All organisations’ pipelines are different, but require the same fuel to power them. Are you powering your pipeline with the right juice?
A B2B pipeline is a delicate thing. It has many components, which all need to work in harmony if it is to run smoothly. Each stage of the pipeline has an associated action which needs to be carried out. The desirable outcome, revenue, comes at the end of the pipeline. It’s no surprise that the end of the pipeline is the part most organisations concentrate on. However, if you think more deeply about what goes into the top of your pipeline, you set yourself up for success. Leads are the fuel that powers a pipeline, but the quality of leads depends on the quality of your data. If your pipeline isn’t running smoothly, maybe you’re missing high-quality data.
Why good data is important
The better your data is when generating leads at the top of your B2B pipeline, the more smoothly your pipeline will run. There are 4 main reasons why this is the case:
- Good data helps save time by pinpointing decision-makers
- It enables you to segment your target audience and build buyer personas
- It helps you construct a sales argument
- Good data allows you to target buyers at times when they’re most receptive
Let’s look at these points in more detail.
Good data speeds up your pipeline
In 2018, there is a wealth of detailed information on prospects waiting for you. Data providers such as Cognism collect data on hundreds of millions of profiles. They track more than 4 billion data points to ensure the information is as in-depth as possible, and current. The data sources they use are in the private and public domains. Most of it is self-entered, information prospects volunteer themselves.
If the data you’re using to generate leads is not as up-to-date as it can be, your B2B pipeline becomes inefficient. You’ll be trying to sell to people who have changed roles or even left the company. You’ll be trying to sell to people who can’t buy, because it’s someone else who makes the decision. The average person changes jobs 10-15 times in their career. Don’t waste time targeting yesterday’s decision maker.
Good data makes it much easier to locate the right decision maker, then target them with relevant, personalised content.
High-quality data allows you to narrow your target
The more you know about a lead, the easier it is to know whether they are a potential customer. All organisations should have an ideal buyer persona. However, if your data isn’t detailed enough, how do you know if a prospect fits that persona?
When you know information on a prospect such as:
- Job title
- Company size
it’s easier to know whether this prospect is someone you should contact. It makes it quicker to move leads along your pipeline, because the prospects are people who will benefit from your product. Although, the magic happens when you know even more.
Good data helps you make a connection
Selling is all about solving a problem for a customer. The more you know about a prospect, the easier it is to work out what their problems are, and how your product solves them. When you have detailed, accurate data at the top of your B2B pipeline, you’ll find the clues you need. You know why they’re looking for a solution, not just that they want a solution.
When you’ve worked out what is keeping your prospect awake at night, you can create content to show them how you help. High-quality data enables you to make a connection with your prospect. It shows them that you have thought deeply about how you can help them. You’re not just there to make a sale.
This approach makes your B2B pipeline run more smoothly and effectively.
The best data creates context
At the cutting edge of data, there is more than simply names and job titles. In a world where timing is everything, data can help you ascertain the right time to contact your prospects. You can hit your prospects with the right message, at a time when they’re at their most receptive. This makes your B2B pipeline flow like a river.
If you knew when a business you’re targeting has just received a new round of funding and looking to spend, it could be invaluable. If you knew if your target business had just appointed a new CEO who is looking to make a mark on the company, it could be the ideal time to get in contact.
Find the best data
The speed and efficiency of your B2B pipeline comes from the quality of the data you use at the start of it. Everything leads back to the data. Data is knowledge, and knowledge is power. When you’re creating content, making proposals, negotiating to close, data is the key. You owe it to your pipeline to fuel it with the highest-quality data possible.
If you’re missing high-quality data from your pipeline, it’s time to talk to Cognism. Visit us here or call us on +44 203 858 0822