Customer contact data: it’s a crucial part of any business. And between customers’ rising expectations for personalized engagements and an increased global focus on data privacy, it’s been getting a lot of attention lately.
High-quality contact data can be leveraged across your whole sales and marketing organization. And when managed effectively, its impact can be far-reaching.
Bad (incomplete or inaccurate) data costs U.S. businesses more than $611 billion each year. But 66% of organizations that cleaned their data reported increased revenue as a result.
Let’s take a closer look at how you can make the most of your contact data to drive real business success.
How good contact data makes better marketing
Understand the buyers’ journey
Buyer journeys are complicated enough for consumer products and services, where you’re tracking a single shopper. But B2B buyers are usually made up of teams of people from different departments and with levels of seniority. A typical buying group for a complex B2B solution usually involves six to ten decision-makers, each armed with different information they’ve gathered independently.
Understanding that journey is a lot more complex. When certain personas enter the conversation at different stages, how does it impact the deal? Does it accelerate, or prolong the sales cycle? Does it affect the deal size?
Your contact database can help answer these questions. By tracking who’s involved in each stage of the buying journey, you get a clearer picture of your customers and prospects. You’ll know who’s involved in purchasing decisions, what’s important to them, and their expected turnaround times. You can then use that information to strategize how to best target them through campaigns and content. Which brings us to…
Create effective targeted campaigns and content
Marketers are tasked with driving pipeline through personalized campaigns, and rely on contact data for their segmentation. The more complete the data, the better they can identify who they should be targeting. When they can zero-in on key decision-makers, they can execute with precision and confidence.
For example, technology company ThoughtSpot was struggling to understand how their marketing efforts were influencing sales. They were unable to capture and match their contacts to corresponding opportunities. According to their SVP of Business Operations, Kaushik Patel, “Getting an accurate view on who was driving pipeline and which programs were helping was tricky.”
So, they implemented People.ai, connecting it to their sales reps’ inboxes. They started capturing and matching those contacts in their CRM system, increasing the sheer number of contact roles by 4x, and giving them valuable insight into how marketing was accelerating in-progress deals.
They found that 10 marketing touches occurred within the 25 contacts captured and added by People.ai. If they hadn’t been able to capture and match contacts to the corresponding opportunities, they would have no way of knowing those targeted people were actively influencing the deal.
“This had a huge impact on attribution, and there was no argument from the reps that this was an accurate picture of who influenced the deal and the people actively involved,” Patel says.
Unlock new market opportunities
One way to determine where to focus your marketing and sales efforts is by building your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
By evaluating past deals and looking for similarities in your accounts with the highest win rates or largest deal sizes, you may find trends you weren’t expecting. You could even uncover opportunities to expand into new verticals or service offerings. Pair that with the deep understanding of the buyer journey, and you now know the types of customers to prospect, what they care about, who they consult, and how all of that impacts the sales cycle and average deal size.
Sales teams are hungry for these ICP details. And by basing your ICP research around closed-won vs. closed-lost deals, they know it’s tangible trustworthy. Embedding these insights into training and working sessions doesn’t just help refine reps’ targeting practices, it also helps build trust between sales and marketing — a terrain that has historically been tough to navigate.
Automatically capture contact data with People.ai
Until recently, managing a customer database required a lot of manual effort. But manual data entry is prone to error, and leads to inaccurate, duplicate, or inconsistent data. According to CSO insights, salespeople waste over 27% of their time due to bad data.
Modern solutions harness AI and machine learning to automate the whole process. For example, People.ai helps you maintain complete, accurate contact records, called SmartContacts as part of their continuous enrichment services.
People.ai automatically plugs into the inboxes of your GTM team to capture contact details, such as name, department, title and seniority. Through patented matching technology, People.ai intelligently detects which opportunities or accounts these contacts are associated with, and ensures they’re added to those records. As those details change over time, the contacts are automatically updated. That means each SmartContact is always up-to-date and associated with the right opportunity or account within your CRM. No more relying on error-prone manual entry.
When customer data gets better – and more valuable – with age, your business wins. By identifying all the key players and decision-makers in your buyer group, you’ll unlock new opportunities to engage your audiences.
You don’t know what you don’t know. So why not start finding out?