Best Practices to Help Sales Be More Productive Using Data

Ben Bradley

Director of Strategic Accounts - Client Consulting

sales adoption of purchase intent dataThis past week we hosted another insightful Priority Engine user group in Boston. In this discussion we had vendors representing a variety of technologies including HR software, Networking & Security Systems, and Unified Communications. We also had representation from both marketing and sales users in this discussion.

The core theme of much of this discussion was driving sales adoption and success among a crowded tool set. In today’s world, sales reps have an abundance of tools, and seemingly each week have new and shiny objects which can be a distraction.  In this meeting we discussed what works, what doesn’t, and how to grow and keep adoption of a tool set. Below is brief recap of some of the best ideas discussed.

#1 – Getting Buy-In

Universally, for any new tool to be exposed and successfully adopted it must be supported by both end users and management. The best way to help get sales end users to buy-in on new tools is to work with the highest level of sales management in a top down approach.  One of the customers in the room spoke to how they had their Global Head of Sales “Preaching about how great the data is” to the reps. Then as a follow up the sales managers put reminders on each rep’s calendar to check the data source every Monday AM.

Another way to start the process of sales use is a contest. Sales people are often incentivized by competition, so a simple contest can be a simple, yet effective way to jump start usage.

#2 – Building Hooks

Management might advocate for a best practice, however without a simple use case, and quick wins, sales adoption won’t last. In our discussion we talk about 3 hooks you can use to get more value and develop some quick wins with a purchase intent insight platform like Priority Engine:

“Easy-In”: One of the best ways to get adoption is to build a highly actionable list. This list can  segment data and accounts by 3 actionable attributes:

  • Most active accounts – Priority Engine stack ranks the most active accounts over the last 90 days in a specific technology segment.
  • “Influenced” accounts – the vendor has already engaged a lead/contact at the account through demand generation campaigns across the TechTarget network.
  • Site Visitors – users can upload custom sets of accounts that have visited their vendor website directly into Priority Engine to view active prospects available within the tool.

The end result is a list cut on all 3 actionable insights, Accounts that are ranked, AND have downloaded syndicated content, AND visited your site. With this the rep has a clear vision on who to message and access to the data needed to build a compelling storyline.

Make Approaches Scalable & Repeatable: Another concept that was directly mentioned by an ISR in the room was the idea of being able to deploy personalized emails at scale to an identified audience set.  The ISR indicated that he will use Priority Engine to get a list of accounts (and contacts) that are actively researching AND have a specific install base. He can then send 1 email template, which feels personalized to the end user. This creates a scalable and repeatable engagement path. This can also be repeated based on the topic keywords being researched.

Upload lists from other 3rd data sources: We also heard from another vendor that was utilizing other platforms in their programs (Events, Other Outbound channels, data tools, etc.). In this case, it was identified that a good actionable use of Priority Engine would be to load account lists that have been bubbled up via other sources, to expand the buying team contacts, and actionable data set against the accounts. Simply put, it can enhance any other campaigns you are focused on.

#3 – Reporting

A common challenge for reps using the tool is properly attributing influence and success back to the data inputs that have accelerated or even created opportunities. In one scenario an ISR in the room spoke to how they didn’t like to deploy emails from Salesforce because they didn’t like the formatting, their preferred email tool was outlook.  In this case to help track the email activity the rep was using the Email to Salesforce function to track this activity. When the rep deployed an email to a Priority Engine contact or lead he would BCC his Salesforce email, and the activity would be logged.

Based on direct input from our customers, these are 3 quick ways to help your sales reps adopt and leverage purchase intent insight available in tools like Priority Engine. We would love to hear any feedback that you have to add. If you are interested in attending any of our upcoming Priority Engine User Group sessions, please reach out to me today.

b2b purchase intent insight, Priority Engine, Priority Engine User Group, sales enablement

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