Quality lead generation, sales and startup life

Analytics-based sales for SMEs – What on earth is that?

Account based marketing, marketing automation, social selling: these buzzwords are going to be even more prevalent in 2016 and change the working lives of sales and marketing people everywhere. But what is analytics-based sales? We explore what the new term means and why it’s important for the way you do sales.

91% of the most successful marketers agree that marketing automation is “very important” to the overall success of their marketing efforts across various channels. That’s according to a recent report by Marketo.

It’s true that marketing automation is changing the way companies do business and saving them valuable time and resources. Sales and marketing ecosystems work by automating lead nurturing programs, integrating email marketing tools such as MailChimp, and utilizing analytics-based technologies and other lead generation strategies.

But what is the best way for small and medium sized companies to improve their sales processes through analytics, without requiring constant marketing automation processes and expensive tools? Could it be possible for salespeople to qualify leads themselves with the help of analytics?

The answer is yes. It’s something I’m calling analytics-based sales.

The definition of analytics-based sales

Analytics-based sales is a new term, although Accenture has previously written about “Analytics-based sales transformation” – a concept that is more about measuring sales success over time and gathering actionable insights, rather than using analytics for quicker and more efficient lead generation.

According to Accenture’s definition, the highest-performing salespeople should be analysed and their performance used to improve the entire sales team’s performance.

The analytics-based sales I’m talking about is kind of the other way round: use analytics first and foremost before doing sales activities. Analytics is web analytics really, where web leads are nourished and qualified fast and effectively. I’ll explain more about that in a moment.

Infograph about how analytics based sales differs from traditional sales model in SMEs

Analytics-based Sales for SMEs is for people who don’t necessarily have time to create loads of content and get the full benefit of marketing automation software.

The crossover between marketing and sales

Big marketing automation software requires a massive investment of time, money and even designated marketing specialists. It provides information from analytics and other sources and salespeople mainly get their data via marketing people.

Analytics-based sales, on the other hand, is the short and fast route often bypassing marketing. The early pioneers of this approach would use tools like Google Analytics to help turn web analytics into sales leads. With analytics-based sales tools the lead is in the hands of the salesperson, already qualified with pre-set filters and ready to be followed up. In short, analytics enables salespeople to act fast and make better sales.

The analytical side of business has always been in the hands of marketing people more or less, but with these so-called analytics-based sales tools the gap from analytics to sales with qualified leads has been shortened. Analytics-based sales tools allow salespeople themselves to filter out traffic sources and qualify leads in a super easy way.

Turning Google Analytics into a sales tool for salespeople

Turning Google Analytics into a sales tool is what Leadfeeder does. It backloads 30 days of data, filters out Internet Service Providers and shows companies that have visited your website and what they have done there over time. Leads are easy to assign to colleagues, you can follow companies to see what browsing they do next and Leadfeeder can automatically send data to your CRM. In essence Leadfeeder automates the lead generation process and you can customize it as a salesperson.

At the heart of all this is time savings, which is crucial for improving your sales and marketing efforts. As the tool is really easy to use marketing won’t have to intervene all the time. This creates lots of opportunities for marketing to focus on driving more traffic of a higher quality to your website.

Michael Phelan, who has wide experience in sales and marketing – especially in SMEs – gave his take on the role analytics play for sales:

"Analytics are critical to sales success. I recently conducted a sales analysis for a client; the subject was to define the top sales opportunities that consistently resulted in sales. From there we leveraged these data insights to develop a plan to ramp sales."
Michael Phelan, Principal, Go-to-Market Pros

It is important that sales and marketing work closely together, but it’s not efficient if they keep requiring each other’s time. Especially if, for example, there are tools that can automate the lead generation process from your website.

When lead feeds can be created and monitored by salespeople alone, it will release time for marketing people to concentrate more on driving traffic and qualifying leads from other sources. As a result, the touchpoint between sales and marketing moves to a slightly earlier stage, where analytics are utilized by salespeople without constant input from marketing.

The main point is this: sales and marketing should work together, but it has to happen efficiently and analytics-based sales allows that.

A handy guide to the benefits of analytics-based sales for SMEs

More content on analytics, sales & analytics based sales coming up. Stay tuned!

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