How intelligent data can fix a broken sales funnel

This is the first in a series of articles from Cognism on how data can help sales and marketing teams identify new business opportunities and key areas for growth.

It’s simple. New business is the lifeblood of any organisation. Gaining customers relies on a smoothly-running sales funnel that finishes with enough new revenue at the end of the process.

If the B2B data you are using to generate outbound leads, build contact lists for sales reps or create marketing messages is not of sufficient quality, it leads to a broken sales funnel. This makes it harder for your sales team to:

  • Identify new opportunities in the market

  • Operate a sales process that turns leads into customers

  • Close deals

Many organisations are finding themselves in this position. Let’s examine why, look at the effects of weak data in more depth, then find out what can be done to improve matters.

Why are good organisations working with bad data?

Some organisations will tell you that their data management was working well until the introduction of GDPR laws in May 2018. Since GDPR imposed restrictions on how companies can store and use customer data, as well as how they can use outside specialists to help interpret their data, these organisations have begun to struggle.

A survey by SBDS found that:

  • 76% of CMOs believe they have missed out on opportunities since GDPR because data has not been used correctly.

  • Poor data management is costing business an average of £1 million.

  • 49% believe that they do not have the talent within their organisation to make the best use of their customer data.

However, organisations using low-quality data is a problem that has always been there. GDPR, which has stopped companies using a scattergun approach to marketing, has only highlighted it.

Data starts to go out of date the second it hits the CRM. Plus, conventional marketing data misses out critical pieces of information that indicates a prospect’s readiness to buy.

If an organisation isn’t taking steps to ensure their data is always clean and current, they are always going to struggle.

What are the effects of poor-quality data on the sales funnel?

Sales and marketing data should be the catalyst for a sales funnel that runs quickly and smoothly. However, if the data you are using to generate B2B leads is out of date, it drastically reduces efficiency.

The worst case scenario is that the leads your reps contact have left the company, or have changed roles and are no longer the decision-maker. As well as being a waste of time and effort, it gives a poor impression of your organisation.

If your data doesn’t convey as much information as possible about your prospect, you could also find that your reps contact leads who:

  • Do not have a budget to make purchases at the moment

  • Are making redundancies

  • Have recently been acquired

Again, this is not a good use of your reps’ time and effort. It puts a blockage in your sales funnel, as you can’t move your prospect on to the next stage until they are ready to buy again.

The sales funnel fix

The solution is to bring data into your organisation that has an extra dimension. Over and above the standard name, job title, organisation, you need data that notifies you about events that give a signal about a prospect’s readiness to buy.

For example, if you could be alerted when an organisation:

  • Secures a new round of funding

  • Appoints a new CEO who wants to make a mark

  • Is reviewing their PSL

  • Recruits new staff

  • Acquires other businesses

What could that do for your sales funnel?

You could make sure your reps make contact when the prospect is actually looking to buy, while your competitors are still using a scattergun approach. You could craft personalised marketing messages that appeal directly to your prospect’s current pain points. You can move them through your sales funnel without any blockages.

Intelligent, real-time data allows you to identify new revenue streams and deliver more value than ever before. If your sales funnel is broken, could this be the fix you need?

To find out how Cognism can fix your broken sales funnel, register for a demo or call +44 203 858 0822.