Having the right data at the right time is key to running your small business. Andrea Ely, Product Marketing Specialist for Data.com and Salesforce explains in this Dreamforce 2015 session, “Connect to Decision Makers Faster and Navigate Your Data Overload with Data.com” how to get the sales leads you need to reach the decision makers.
Seeing a “going out of business sale” sign is disheartening. Just how many ventures go out of business within the first 5 years? According to the US Small business administration, over 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years. The reason for most business failures is discouragingly simple: not enough sales.
What can small business owners do to increase their sales? The answer is also simple: get out and sell more. “If you aren’t out there being an ambassador for your brand,” says Ely, “it’s hard to get that business.” Unfortunately, small business owners often find themselves bogged down in tasks that keep them from selling. One of those tasks is research. If you’re spending too much time doing research, explains Ely, you aren’t out there selling.
Much of the research small business owners do is finding information about potential customers. Salesforce studies found that 21% of typical B2B Sales Rep time is consumed doing research. That is 8.4 hours per week, about one full day a week, nearly 1 week per month, which adds up to almost 2.5 months per year. The bottom line is: small businesses are spending too much time researching and not enough time selling.
You know you need to sell, but where do the leads come from? Many business owners find leads on LinkedIn, from old email addresses, and Facebook campaigns. These sources give part of the data picture but are limited. Other sources of sales lead generation are lists that can be rented or bought, trade shows, and search engine marketing leads. One common problem with these methods of targeted sales leads is bad data.
Managing data is important. In the course of 30 minutes:
- 120 businesses will change addresses;
- 75 phone numbers change;
- 30 new businesses are formed;
- 20 CEOs leave their job; and
- 1 company gets acquired or merged.
These realities have made buying lead lists increasingly less efficient. Think of how the data will change over an hour, month, or year, says Ely. According to Ovum Research, the rate at which data decays, causing lost time, sales, billing errors, and misguided marketing equates to over $700 billion in annual lost revenue.
You need to have the right data at the right moment in order to have customers. Start-ups who haven’t targeted businesses before typically have a hard time getting the right people to contact. That’s where Data.com comes in.
Data.com lets you build targeted lists for maximum efficiency in sales lead generation. Using this lead generation software, you can access the key decision makers. In the video clip, Ely gives the example of selling energy bars or juice with the goals of targeting Vice Presidents of Marketing for all the gyms or yoga centers within the Bay Area. Data.com, a sales prospecting tool, finds the contact information to build a targeted lead list. Because Data.com is a partnership with Dun & Bradstreet, the most up-to-date information is available, saving businesses research time. That time, over 8 hours a week, can be be spent getting out and being an ambassador for your brand, says Ely.
Data.com is programmed on the Salesforce platform for Salesforce customers. Data.com is completely integrated within Salesforce CRM software and allows easy access to sales prospecting leads within CRM. Through Data.com, users can look up accounts and contacts in one click. Data.com has over 44 million contacts, 200+ million accounts, and 100% complete contacts.
Sales intelligence software, Data.com provides sales prospecting and lead demand generation within Salesforce CRM. By building targeted lists of contacts and accounts, users can connect to millions of global contacts and companies without leaving Salesforce. Because Data.com is integrated with Salesforce CRM software, businesses can build targeted lists, access leads, and track the sales pipeline without leaving the CRM application.
Data.com, says Ely, is where small business meets big data. The customer data integration functions of Data.com’s lead prospecting tools allows targeted lead lists to be generated. Salesforce’s Data.com customers have reported:
- 29% more sales opportunities;
- 37% increase in sales productivity; and
- 44% improved data completeness.
Another function of Data.com is as a sales intelligence software. Not only does Data.com provide leads for targeted list generation, it helps in call preparation. With Prospecting Insights, you can learn about your prospective customer. The more homework you’ve done on your leads, the better the call is likely to go. Having the right data at the right time, says Ely, is key for business growth.
Other information availiable from Data.com sales intelligence software is lead scoring, routing, and the lead routing assignment rules applied, territory planning and alignments, and customer segmentation. White space analysis through Data.com is also an essential feature of sales intelligence software rolled into a CRM program. Through white space analysis, cross-sell and upsell potential is shown through.
In the video clip, Ely cites the Pardot statistics that two-thirds of a customer’s decision is made before coming in contact with a sales rep. Having the information available to move the sale along is key. Data.com brings guided insights and additional contextual information like industry-focused content from Hoovers. Data.com also includes call prep solutions from the Prospector tab.
Data.com users Paul Leary, President of Bespoke Collection and Joe Hirasawa, Strategic Account Director, of Kapow share their insights of data integration issues using targeted sales leads to grow their businesses. Before using Data.com, Leary used web forms, face-to-face prospecting, and visitors to Napa Valley. Leary says Data.com “brought leads in bunches,” an apt phrase for the president of the wine collection that has grown to be a corporate events, gifting, and employee benefits vendor of choice.
Leary, a Salesforce customer since 2007, says an important strategy in customer data integration issues is to find out who the whole customer is. While Data.com is central, it isn’t the only piece of their strategy. “A lot of it is about the personalization. It’s all about the pitch,” he says. Leary recommends getting contextual information to get the sale. The call preparation tools on Data.com are only a piece of the information. Leary also recommend using social media to get a better picture of who the customer is.
Joe Hirasawa, Strategic Account Director at Kapow, an events planning partner, has used Salesforce for 2 years and describes their lead prospecting strategy before having Data.com as “ad hoc.” Starting as a company with 3 employees, Kapow used word of mouth, purchasing lists, and search engine marketing as their lead prospecting strategies. With 667% growth in one year, and expanding to new markets every 20 days, Kapow has become the online marketplace for planning corporate events and finds Data.com invaluable.
Hirasawa appreciates having the right data at the right moment and appreciates the ability to take the guesswork out of who to call. “Our quickest path to new revenue is targeting leads,” says Hirasawa. When opening a new market, Kapow uses Data.com to build a lead list. Leveraging time is a major advantage, says Hirasawa, who says using Prospector and Data.com saves their people at least two hours a day.
Kapow uses Data.com and Salesforce to make data-driven decisions. Data.com provides defined lead sources. Kapow admits that not every lead becomes a sale because the potential customer did not initiate contact. However, Hirasawa looks at the results of campaigns for the outliers and is able to tweak campaigns based on the results. He appreciates Lightning, Salesforce’s new user interface, that shows insights into the entire sale through the entire pipeline. “Keeping it in Salesforce keeps the inertia going,” says Hirasawa.
Data powers all customer relations and customers will drive your growth. If your business is small, it’s even more important to focus on brand promotion and awareness. Data.com gives the insight for connecting with the right decision makers, allowing you to focus on more of the most important tasks of growing your business.