Sales and Marketing Teams See Higher Returns with Effective Data Activation, According to Independent Study Commissioned by Dun & Bradstreet
While use of data and analytics is number one priority in coming year, organizations struggle to activate data to address rising customer expectations
Although only 52 percent of decisions are currently based on data, the survey showed that the number one priority for sales and marketing teams over the next year is to increase their use of data and analytics to better meet business needs.
“Expectations are changing in the B2B buying process and sales and
marketing teams need to adapt,” said
People, Process, and Technology Challenges Stand in the Way
Businesses are still struggling to share data and insights across the organization, resulting in a siloed effect that leaves customers with choppy and incomplete communications. Eighty-two percent of respondents cited managing data across the business as a challenge. In addition, 80 percent of respondents cited managing the volume and velocity of data as a challenge, making it difficult for most businesses to pull actionable insights from the data in order to take action and turn it into scalable customer engagement strategies.
The study found that the silos of data across technologies and the lack of a consistent data structure to link systems make it difficult for teams to activate campaigns in a scalable way. As campaign efforts become more diverse and sales and marketing teams become more integrated in various activities across each campaign, attribution can become muddled and create issues and inconsistencies across teams. This makes it difficult to determine what is working, what is not, where budgets should be designated, and where efforts should be focused.
In order to overcome these data challenges, it’s imperative that they re-wire their organizations for data activation success. To date, only 53 percent or less have adapted data-driven success factors like establishing systems of insight and expanding their abilities to source quality external data reliably.
Opportunity for Leading Firms
The study showed that organizations with data activation maturity were more likely to report increases across marketing/sales and customer metrics, with 73 percent reporting more rapid sales cycles, 73 percent reporting a higher return on marketing spend and 77 percent reporting increased customer retention and loyalty.
Mature organizations were more likely to engage with external partners for data and analytics services and have established systems of insight. Mature firms also set themselves up for success in the future. Over the next 12 months, they are more likely to prioritize efforts focused on improving key marketing and sales objectives, including digital selling, campaign attribution and account-based marketing efforts. They are also more likely to increase spending on systems of insight and on partners to help them optimize their data and data initiatives.
Partners and technology were found to be essential in helping companies along their data maturity journey. Respondents say that access to solutions with reporting/analytics, CRM integration and prospect research would be especially helpful in their efforts to improve their data activation practices.
“Customer data, harnessed effectively, can help advance many marketing and sales objectives,” said Slayton. “Those organizations who have mastered data activation across their organizations are seeing much higher returns than those who are still struggling to harness the power of the data and analytics for their businesses.”
To download The B2B Data Activation Priority study, visit: http://www.dnb.com/marketing/media/b2b-data-activation-priority.html
Note to Editors
This study was conducted by