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How to Develop a Data Driven Sales and Marketing Strategy

by Amanda Anderson on June 23, 2016

4 minute read

Could you tell me in 30 seconds how many of your customers or prospects use a specific product? If the answer is no, then you may not be executing a data driven sales and marketing strategy.

Often Marketing teams define too broad of a target audience for sales to prospect into. They’ll say ‘we target companies between 500 and 5,000 employees with a revenue greater than $15M, in Finance, Healthcare, and Manufacturing industries’. This is fine for a high-level description of your market. But for Sales & Marketing to be successful, more detail is needed.

Below are the three things that will help you develop a data driven sales and marketing strategy.

1. Data Driven Segmentation

I emphasize “data driven” because it doesn’t do any good to segment your database if the data isn’t accurate. If you’re running a promotion for all customers using the red widget, you need to make sure you have a way to segment your customers down to what color widget they use. You also want to make sure your data is accurate to avoid these two scenarios: 1) If someone stopped using the red widget last week and now upgraded to the green widget, you wouldn’t want to still send promotions about the red one. 2) If a sales rep doesn’t specify what color widget is in the CRM, and that field was blank, then they’ll never get any promotions based on specific widget color.

Depending on the products and services you sell, it may make sense to create a custom module to track product purchase history. The Opportunities module is great for managing your pipeline of past, current, and future deals. But it isn’t well suited for product history and order management. A separate, custom module with a relationship to Accounts can help track previous products purchased, current subscriptions, renewals, and upgrades. From here, you can run reports and segment your customers by current product line or previously used products depending on what you need for the campaign you are running. Below is an example of how W-Systems tracks its customers’ subscriptions. This enables our account managers to keep track of what products our customers previously used, what they’re currently subscribed to, and their renewal date. Tracking this allows us to notify them of promotions or news specific to the products they are using.

Subscriptions screenshot

2. Target Persona

Once you’ve successfully segmented your customers and prospects by product line, geography, size, etc., you now need to define the buyer persona for each segment. A common mistake when defining a target audience is to assume the company is buying, when instead it’s a person who is buying. Identifying the buyer persona helps to define the emotional aspect of a buying decision. What pain do they have; what are they most worried about; what value do they perceive you bring? Defining this for each segment will help you further refine your messaging, value proposition, and content. You can do this exercise internally and send surveys to customers to gather additional insight. Or you can seek an outside marketing firm to help provide a different perspective and challenge your thinking.

3. Supporting Content and Relevant Campaigns

Once you have a narrow and defined target, you’ll need content that is both relevant and has perceived value. Using the description of your target persona, you should have a good understanding of what your customers or prospects need from you. Be as specific as possible in your content and messaging. With the right data segmentation strategy, you have the opportunity to be very specific in the content you create and can be more certain that your message is applicable to the audience. This should lead to higher open and click-through rates as well as higher attendance for your events.

Have you given these a try? How have you shaped your CRM strategy around these objectives? Feel free to reach out to our team here.