Why Data and Analytics Matter More than Ever in B2B
Using data and analytics in B2B is nothing new… or at least it shouldn’t be. When you’re focusing on hitting sales goals, managing your team, and a million other things, it’s easy to allow the prioritization of data, analytics, and reporting to drop. Don’t make that mistake. As tempting as it can be to let things coast, you’ll be missing out on practical information that could be helping you drive business decisions and increase profit.
Here are seven reasons why data and analytics are more important than ever.
1. Data allows you to create a clearer plan for the future.
When you’re so busy working IN, but not necessarily ON data, it’s hard to have the long view in mind. Slowing down to review reports and analytics is time-consuming, but it is well worth your time.
Without reviewing data regularly, it’s like you’re trying to put together a puzzle with only half of the pieces. You’re not seeing the whole picture. Instead, using data gives you greater confidence as you create a 6-month plan, 12-month plan, 3-year plan, and beyond.
Sure, no one can predict the future, but you know what they say:
“The best predictor of the future… is the past.”
Using data in your planning gives you greater peace of mind. It also gives you something to show investors, lenders, stakeholders, and others that play a role in propelling your business forward.
2. Data allows you to maximize your marketing dollars.
How many companies have you seen throw plenty of money at marketing without taking the time to analyze the ROI of their marketing efforts? This situation is all too common. Some aspects of marketing, such as brand awareness, are hard to measure. The more data you can regularly review results in, the more you can make intelligent decisions, such as reducing spend on campaigns with lower returns.
If you can track how leads come in, where leads are coming from, close rate, and the like, you’ll quickly be able to adjust your marketing budget appropriately to support effective pipeline generation.
With the tools available today from Google Analytics, Facebook, and countless other platforms, there’s no reason why data and analytics shouldn’t be an integral part of your marketing strategy.
The idea of maximizing your marketing budget brings us to our third point…
3. Data and analytics help you better understand your audience.
The more you understand your audience, the more effectively you’ll be able to reach them. Instead of guessing who you’re trying to reach, data and analytics based on both current and past customers can help you identify trends and give you other important insights.
The quicker you can clearly define your ideal customer, the more effective your marketing efforts will be and the more likely you are to win deals. For example, identifying which prospect roles in the B2B suite are most likely to do business with you, gives you greater insight and clarity for moving forward. It also allows you to customize your language based on their unique priorities and needs. At the end of the day, that’s your marketing sweet spot, direct communication with your best prospects in the language that works best for them.
4. Data helps you make better hiring decisions.
In addition to outward-facing efforts, such as marketing and audience, data and analytics are important tools for internal decision making as well. Specifically, data allows you to make smarter hiring decisions.
For example, you can use data to determine how many accounts someone can handle before their capacity is maxed out and a new hire is needed.
Similarly, financial data is essential to understand when you should hire and how much you can afford. Additionally, how much risk you are assuming by making (or not making) a specific hire.
It’s the difference between walking around in a dark room and someone turning on the lights. In the dark, you don’t know where you’re at and you’re more likely to bump into something. Once the lights are on, you can see things more clearly and operate with confidence.
5. Data allows you to objectively review employee performance.
On the subject of employees, data related to job performance is an important topic. Without data, performance reviews tend to be more subjective than objective, and thus, prone to human error. On the other hand, performance data is a great way to review the efficiency of your employees and give them helpful feedback. It can also bring insight when companies restructure or there are opportunities for promotion. We recommend tracking employee performance weekly or monthly at a minimum. Employee performance needs to be evaluated based on performance throughout the year to avoid recency bias (where you are just reviewing their most recent job performance.)
6. Data is a powerful tool for improving the bottom line but reducing the costs of goods sold.
Business owners and entrepreneurs alike love to talk about how to increase revenues. However, there is typically little to no conversation about containing costs. Yet, containing costs has just as much potential to improve your bottom line as increasing revenue does. Here’s a perfect example…
In the 90s, a story about American Airlines made the news. They discovered (through data) that they could save $40,000 by eliminating 1 olive from the salads served to customers on board. $40,000 is a lot of money now, but it was even more so 30 years ago.
Until you take the time to review your cost of goods sold, you never know what kind of savings could make a night and day difference for your business, sometimes by making the simplest of changes.
7. Data positions you to take your business to the next level.
Whatever your next big goal for your company is – whether scaling or selling, you will get there quicker if you use data effectively. If scaling, data helps identify a clearer path for the future and steps that need to be taken to get from A to Z. If you’re planning to sell, having relevant data about your customers and your business operations.you can guarantee that your company will be considered more valuable.
At DemandZen, we pride ourselves on being data-driven. If you’re looking for a company to help you find and connect with high-quality leads based on data, let’s talk!
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DemandZEN specializes in Account-Based Demand Generation and solving the challenges around finding, engaging and converting target accounts into real opportunities for B2B Technology and Services companies.