The word "data" is everywhere.
In today's sales and marketing world I cannot tell you how many times a day I read the words "data-driven," "big data," "best-in-class analytics," "data backed decisions," and more data and analytical terms positioned in every which way.
Using data to guide business decisions and to get a comprehensive understanding of your prospects and customers is essential today. In fact, 54% of Chief Marketing Officers agree that big data and analytics will be essential to their marketing strategy over the long-term, with the largest impact being seen in their SEO, email marketing, and mobile marketing strategies. However, you have to understand how those data points are being represented and how people are interacting with your technology. I will start with an example. A sales development rep sends you an email. You open the email, read it, and realize it’s poorly written plus the SDR is pitching a product that isn’t a fit for your company.
[Tweet "54% of CMOs agree that big data & analytics will be essential to their marketing strategy"]
Perhaps you forward that email to your sales development team pointing out what not to do (come on, we've all done that). When the SDR checks the analytics on whatever email tracking tool they're currently using, it will show that the email they sent you was opened, perhaps multiple times.
And we could go a step further and say that the SDR's technology stack is noticing a spike of traffic on their website coming in from your company (probably your own SDR team checking out the company who sent the very poor prospecting email). This may display more "interest" to the SDR because "hey, they opened my email 5 times and people from that same company are visiting our site!"
Your name could be racking up lead scoring points by the minute and boom you're a top prospect!
Perhaps that SDR has a meeting with his or her manager that week and you're now on their short list of prospects due to your activity, plus you're now on their manager's radar too.
Taking a step back, you can see that the technology wasn't broken, the SDR was using the technology properly, and everything was accurately recorded. However, you have zero interest in that company's solution, you thought the email was poorly written and sent it out as an example of what not to do and somehow you're a top prospect?!
According to Contently, 45% of marketers still don’t formally evaluate their analytics for quality and accuracy or, even worse, don’t know if they do or not. As sales and marketing professionals, we need to lower this statistic.
Sales and marketing technology is amazing and the capabilities of different tools I research are incredible however, there is always a human element that needs to understand and report on that technology to get a clear picture of what that data actually means. As sales and marketing professionals, we need to know how the data was gathered and understand the human reaction to technology in order to get a thorough understanding of what the "results" are displaying. When you understand how people are using the technology, how recipients are reacting to the technology, and how the data is measured, you will have a much more precise picture as to what you're actually looking at.
In the case noted above, it would have been a smart move for the SDR to pick up the phone, call that prospect and speak to them. They would have uncovered that their product was not a fit and that there is no interest at that company either. This way, the SDR could have allocated their time to other, more promising accounts and left you out of their email blast mess.
Long story short, understand how your tech operates, fully understand how people will respond and interact with it, and be sure that you're reporting on true metrics. Sometimes a few conversations can uncover more than what your weekly summary report is showing, but you won't know until you make those connections and receive confirmations from people on the other end.