There has never been so much data and insight available around accounts and individuals that enables organizations to do all sorts of activities more effectively and efficiently than ever before. From prioritizing your target universe to knowing when buyers are in-market, who to approach and which specific messages to use when targeting, data has opened up a whole new range of scale and scope for marketing and sales activities.
Sales and marketing organizations have moved beyond firmographic information about an account to much deeper levels of data that allow them to answer not only the what but also the when, how and why questions surrounding an account. We have 3rd party intent data that alerts us when there are increased levels of research activity around specific topics to determine when an organization is exhibiting signs of being in-market. We have technology that tracks and tells us exactly how individuals and organizations are interacting with our brand – from website visits to ad impressions to reading our product reviews on popular technology review sites. We have “compelling events,” such as a newly hired CEO, a recent acquisition, expansion into a new geography, etc., delivered right to our inbox every day. But the abundance of data available right at our fingertips has given rise to a new epidemic – the infobesity epidemic.
Infobesity, or information overload, results from the desire to gather more and more information without a clear understanding of how that information will be of use. It’s a lucrative idea that the more data you have, the more you will be able to answer. Who doesn’t want more data? Just that having access to all this data doesn’t mean that you have the answer, though. To be able to make smart decisions based on data, you need to turn it into actionable insights. Too much data without a way to make sense of it can paralyze sellers and marketers – they don’t know what the data means, how different data sources vary, which application to use for which purpose, and get stuck in the spiral of data gathering.
With so many applications available to facilitate data gathering, it is critical that operations teams think through a strong integration strategy before purchasing a new solution. Tight integrations will help users better leverage the data across platforms and steer clear of infobesity for both yourself and end-users. Building a fluid experience across platforms can help your team more fully understand the buying signals at an account. It’s the combining of data from all of these different sources that allows you to paint a broader picture of what is happening.
This can be complicated. Data is nuanced and you need to explain (and explain again and again) how it should be interpreted and acted upon. For successful and smooth roll-outs of any new data and technology that you bring into your business, it’s important to recognize that enablement is key to driving adoption and that it is an on-going process and not a one-and-done training session. Everyone learns differently, so think through multiple ways to deliver the message.
Some of the most popular, tried-and-true methods are:
Pre-recorded video “how-tos”
One page cheat sheets
- In-person or virtual training sessions
- “Office hours” sessions for drop-in questions
- Identifying internal power users/champions and promoting their success through internal case studies
Taking a storytelling approach — share a timeline of an active deal from a data perspective to help illustrate how all of these data points or signals work together to tell a larger story. A sample story might look something like this: In January, Acme Corporation started surging on a key topic. The marketing team picked up that signal and started increasing marketing air cover into Acme. In February, the CIO clicked through a nurture email; two weeks later, there were 3 visits to our website. In May, Acme looked at our product reviews on G2 and downloaded our whitepaper from the website. A BDR called and was able to schedule a meeting. In June, they surged again on another key topic, etc. Show your team how data points build upon each other to create a different view of what is happening compared to when viewed in isolation.
Making it personal — when information is relevant, it is more likely to be absorbed.
When enabling sellers, use examples from accounts that they own. They will be more engaged and be able to start acting upon the insights you’re sharing right away. Using the information is believing.
After first introducing new sellers to the tools and providing insights on their target accounts, try to follow up individually for the first few weeks with examples of specific account that are exhibiting interesting behavior. Something as simple as a personal reminder can suffice. “Did you notice that XYZ account had two people hit our website this week, is surging on these three topics related to what we sell, is currently using competitor A, and also has complimentary B technology installed which we just announced a new integration with? This might be a great account to add to your prospecting mix this week…” I know what you’re thinking — this is time consuming! — and you’re right. Depending on the size of your team, this may not be a realistic practice. Even if you are only be able to do this one time for one salesperson each month, I guarantee you that one rep will start to understand and leverage the data available to them a bit more as a result of your efforts. That being said, you don’t need a team hand-delivering insights every day — that’s why you purchased the technology in the first place. These individual notes serve more as a way to personalize enablement when you have the time or happen to stumble upon something very interesting.
Show what “good” looks like. I like to start enablement sessions with new hires with a 2-minute story where I share all of the interesting information I was able to find on an account just by using the various applications we have available to them in CRM. The key message is to resist the temptation to go to Google as your starting point. Most of us have spent countless hours evaluating, selecting, and integrating data and technology into CRM so that we can serve up valuable, relevant information right where our teams work all day.
Remember, enablement is typically not just one training session. It is an on-going process with constant reiteration. Solicit feedback from your team and evolve your message and approach. Don’t just focus on functionality, focus on providing insights. Learn where people are having success and leverage those stories to drive adoption.
At a time when everything is data-driven, it’s easy to point to data deficiency for any setbacks that may face. It’s important to remember to look at what you already have and ask whether you have transformed your data into actionable insights that can enable you to make smart and quick decisions. If you have not, I challenge you to rethink your integration and enablement strategy to ensure your organization is able to leverage these valuable insights to drive success.
This blog post was written by Emily Ketchum for InsightSquared, and is republished here with permission. If you want to learn more about how InsightSquared can help you and your revenue ops team you can reach out to them here.