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Never Underestimate the Value of Profiling Your Data

Never Underestimate the Value of Profiling Your Data

Posted by: Karl Ufert
Category: Account-Based Marketing ABM, B2B Marketing, Customer Relationship Management CRM, Data Quality, Marketing Data, Nurture Marketing, Profiling, Sales Data

By Erik Frantzen, President, Nurture Marketing

Most companies would agree that the foundation of any successful B2B marketing campaign is a targeted and accurate list of prospects.

In fact, a recent Forrester Consulting study reports that 82% of organizations place high priority on “refining data quality” in marketing initiatives. However, the same study found that 26% of marketing campaigns were “hurt by substandard data in the last 12 months.”

When nurturing customers, it’s imperative that companies practice what they preach when it comes to their commitment to keeping prospect data fresh.

Too many have focused too much time on digital inbound marketing. They have forgotten the tremendous value that accurately profiling data on past, present, and potential customers can have on future sales.

Profiling Your Data Can Generate Multiple Sales Opportunities

The cloud has led to millions of clients already running the latest software revision or release. Yet, for companies in the Channel, maintenance and specific hardware needed in today’s era of cloud transformation (and hybrid cloud) still create many opportunities to cross-sell, upsell, or attach. But, you need to know when those milestones are happening to take full advantage of them. Your customer data can reveal a wealth of possibilities.

For example, expiring software support contracts provide openings to discuss current and future needs, allowing for the potential of upselling to the latest version and additional support. Similarly, hardware maintenance reports can show where a product is in its life cycle and whether it’s a good candidate to be upgraded to a newer on-prem model or for an overall IT redesign such as a move to the cloud.

Profiling data also optimizes your Account-Based Marketing (ABM) efforts, ensuring that your outreach is targeting the correct decision-makers and influencers while addressing relevant issues.

In addition, an updated database reveals dormant clients who may have gone unnoticed during day-to-day sales activities. If it’s been awhile since your last contact, you can update and potentially upsell that customer on the new products and services you now offer.

What You Need to Unlock Data’s Hidden Sales Potential

Before you can create a database full of prospects by profiling your data, there are a few elements you should have in place first.

A Profiling Plan

Keep it simple, but create a plan that addresses:

  • Your Goals – Where you are today and what you want to hit by which date. Include key metrics such as number of contacts, percentage with emails, percentage with industrial codes, etc.
  • Profiling Activities Calendar – What you will do and when (monthly, quarterly, yearly).
  • Incentives and Promotion – Are there any special opportunities that you can create to encourage others in your organization to keep profiling a top priority? For example, with cybersecurity currently a high priority, offer a Dark Web Scan to important prospects.
  • Internal Communications – Once you’ve built the plan and received executive buy-in, you’ll need to report back regularly on your progress toward your goals.

Time and Resources

You will never have enough time or people to accomplish all of your goals. Successful organizations aren’t afraid to prioritize. If you have to eliminate another marketing activity to devote more time to profiling – do it!

Executive Buy-In and Support

Data profiling takes a top-down, companywide commitment and investment, starting with the acknowledgment that profiling is critical to your business development strategy. Everyone in leadership positions should be on board with this initiative, even those who aren’t involved in its execution.

A System to Capture Data

Simply put, you need a CRM system to profile your data. Nothing else will work as well. Be sure to budget time and dollars to implement and maintain your in-house CRM system. Tip: Hire a part-time employee to help you update your database once a year.

For websites, especially those connected to CRM through an automated or manual (imported) interface, if you’re using forms, keep in mind that best practices will suggest asking as little as possible (email) or (email, first name and last name) or (email, first name, last name & company). Most web users abandon the effort when they’re being asked to enter information. If SSO is able to populate that information, do it. If not, you need to keep in mind that the contact information inside the system of record MA and/or CRM has limited fields populated. If Marketing wants to find prospects based on company size, geography, or vertical market – this person who just expressed interest does not appear on that list. You must have a process in place that takes form-fills and populates the other data fields required by Marketing to ensure that your messaging is being delivered to everyone (particularly when CRM is integrated with your website). Especially those within the buying journey.

Many of a company’s greatest assets are hidden in their own databases. Creating and following a plan to profile your data turns intentions into action and converts potential into viable sales opportunities.

This is the latest in a series of articles by Nurture Marketing to help you identify, create, and grow winning one-to-one connections with customers.

This is the latest in a series of articles by Nurture Marketing to help you identify, create, and grow winning one-to-one connections with customers.

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Please contact us to learn more about our marketing and sales data solutions. You may reach us by calling (732) 636-1001, Extension 27, or by visiting the CONTACT PAGE of our website.