One of the biggest challenges for business today is the handling of data. Yes, it’s not the data that’s a challenge but its handling that causes problems for most companies. Every business is producing huge amounts of data today. Customers filling online forms, mentioning brands on their social network profiles, selecting their choices in brand-generated polls, calling businesses to inquire about products/services, etc. are all examples of data creation. In fact, a divulge of data is produced right on the official website of a business e.g. page views, unique visitors, page load time, products viewed, bounce rate, etc.
So, the challenge for the companies is how to make sense of this data.
Data-driven Marketing Is the Present and Future
Today, your marketing has to be data-driven. You can’t send generic emails to your customers because they will never respond to them. A few years ago, customers were happy that they were at least getting a response from the company, even if it was a computer generated one. However, their expectations have changed today. If your email does not address them with their name, it is probably going in the spam folder. A recent research conducted by Epsilon discovered that 80% of customers base personalization as one of the major reasons for buying something from a brand.
A Disconnection between Marketers and Salespeople
Despite marketers using so much of customers’ data, sales teams seem completely disconnected from the loop. It is as though a sales agent’s relationship with a customer starts when he/she connects with the customer for the first time, through either an email or phone call. But that should not be the case. What about all the data that marketers have about the customer? They know what the customer has been shopping for recently, what customer’s recent location is, and perhaps what the customer’s mood is based on his/her social media status.
Even if this data is available to the sales teams, there are often challenges in the sales team in following up the customer after conversion. How many times have sales people been kept in silent after a proposal is sent? How do they know when to follow up without any communication from the customer? Is the customer still interested? This is where platforms like Oneflow.com come in the picture here. Such tools help the sales teams take control of the sales process after conversion and keep everything in one loop resulting in more higher hit rate.
Introducing Sales and Marketing Hybrids
Marketers need to understand sales and sales people need to know marketing. However, you don’t have to have two different departments trying to get into each other’s space. A simple solution is to have sales people who are well-versed with marketing knowledge and skills. These are sales and marketing hybrids, as Sara Larsen of Vainu describes in her interview. However, companies have to identify the people who have the passion and drive to be marketers and sales agents at the same time.
According to the data experts, data is the new oil. It is an asset that companies have to understand the value of. How a company uses data available to it can make or break it. When it comes to marketing and sales, companies need to adopt a completely new concept of sales and marketing hybrids. These are the individuals who can personalize customer experience right from the beginning to convert more.