There are many strategic and tactical elements of the revenue process that bring sales and marketing together to collaborate and improve overall results, but where does third-party data fit into the mix? We are in the process of researching vendors in the Revenue Data Solutions market, which includes a variety of third-party data types and capabilities. Each one of the data types provides an opportunity for collaboration between sales and marketing leaders.
Revenue Data Solutions start with contact and company data because these are the basics needed for marketing and advertising campaigns and outbound prospecting. While the sources and the quality of this data has changed, the basic idea of it has not changed much from the pre-digital era when companies would buy mailing lists, phone numbers or even those “I’m interested” lists from the checklist cards in trade magazines.
In many cases the capabilities of these vendors are merely digital versions — or even automated versions — of functions that have always occurred in revenue teams, but some of the data types are things that have never existed in a non-digital world. It is critical for sales and marketing leaders to understand each data type so they can develop a strategic approach for usage in their organization. This is especially true as these data types can provide a direct path to sales and marketing alignment.
Revenue Data Types
- Contact (Demographic) Data: The profile information about suspects, leads, prospects, customers, buyers, unknown and known visitors that can be used to clean, enhance and append individuals listed in the system of record.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders should review lead qualification definition to identify the most likely prospects to pursue and the characteristics or data fields that are most helpful in prospecting.
- Company (Firmographic) Data: The information about companies and their attributes that help revenue teams create ideal customer profiles and target account lists.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders compare their insights into an organization’s best customers to guide targeting and building pipeline.
- Hierarchy and Buying Group Data: The interconnected structure of companies and their subsidiaries, organizational structure and buying groups that can be used to identify pockets of interest and authority, as well as determining buying group patterns that can lead to group consensus.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders need to both understand the company structure and buying group structure so marketing’s aircover campaigns and content align with sales’ prospecting.
- Purchase Intent Data: The specific topics or keywords that are of current interest to companies based on information consumption behavior and other factors.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders should review the information options available to prospects and customers both on their own properties and across the broader web to identify patterns of information and to create additional content.
- Technographic Data: The company information about technology that is installed, what the current technology budgets is and how many computers are in server rooms and on employees’ desks that can be used by technology companies to understand a competitor’s footprint. Progressive organizations can use technographics to understand prospect maturity and growth patterns.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders can confirm competitors from won-lost analysis to support future prospecting and messaging.
- Relationship Intelligence: The data to provide insight on internal and external network connections to a target contacts and accounts, in order to enhance engagement outreach efforts.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders should look within and beyond their own organization to locate connections to enhance prospecting opportunities.
- Market Intelligence: The relevant news feeds, blog posts, company/contact and market insights that are available within the CRM or sales engagement platform. These environmental indicators show when to reach out to a prospect or customer.
- Alignment Recommendation: Sales and marketing leaders need to collaborate on developing sources for specific campaigns that support prioritizing prospecting.
Whether sales and marketing leaders are specifically reviewing vendor requirements for Revenue Data Solutions or just identifying means of collaboration, the benefits of the two functional leaders working together will have measurable results.