Sales and MarketingYou Don’t Need a Weatherman to Know Which Way the Wind Blows…
Well, You Might in Marketing and Sales

One of the famous Bob Dylan lyrics from “Subterranean Homesick Blues” implies that we should be reliant on our instincts, that we are capable of knowing which way the wind is blowing.  In theory, we are capable of determining which way the wind blows, but can we know when it’s going to rain, and furthermore be prepared for when it does?  Let’s not write off the weatherman just yet.

The CEO of iLantern, Charlie Allieri, loves the story of the salesman and his umbrellas.  The short version is: if the salesman is trying to sell umbrellas on a sunny day, obviously there will be no takers.  But, as soon as that rain cloud moves in, all of a sudden those disinterested buyers are lined up for one of his umbrellas, and the salesman can charge a premium price for them.  The moral is: timing is everything.  Offering services when your leads are good and ready means they will be open to listening if you can actually help solve their pain points.

Although you might be smart enough and well-researched to determine “which way the wind blows,” trigger data can let you know when it’s going to rain. Sales and marketers let trigger data make you a good weatherman, predicting the optimal moments to sell.

Data helps determine need and timing.  For marketers, inside sales reps, and outbound sales reps alike, NEED and TIMING are crucial for driving results.

Here’s a comprehensive look at how we use trigger data to complement the entire sales and marketing process. In marketing, we added event data into our campaign workflows.  Knowing that we weren’t interested in spamming our entire list with irrelevant content, we decided that sending more targeted emails to a smaller segment would be more personal and beneficial to help our leads with their needs.  Using event data, we determined who had recent sales wins, mergers and acquisitions, reported good earnings, management changes and other major events.  We then created targeted messaging around those events and created offerings tailored to them: some recipients received webinar invites, some received white paper offerings, some received data sheets, and some simply received information about our blog.  Using marketing automation through HubSpot, we brought behavioral data and event data together to score leads using inbound and outbound techniques.  Our click-through rate had over a 500% improvement.

By the time the leads are passed to sales, salespeople have a more complete picture, filled with conversation starters and a deeper understanding of where leads are in the buying cycle.  They have a more accurate lead score, so reps know who to cherry-pick and focus on, already knowing who has the propensity to buy. Overall, this means less time wasted. With this system in place, there aren’t necessarily more calls made; that’s not the point. There are more precise calls made to the right buyers in their time of need.

Trigger data is just one piece of the puzzle to help create uplift.  There is no magic bullet, unfortunately.  It takes thoughtful integration of all data points along the way.  Having recently completed a webinar with NetProspex and AG Salesworks, it is clear that understanding all the data points, and therefore knowing when to act based on relevancy is the most effective in producing larger ROI for both sales and marketing.  If you missed the webinar, tune in to this recorded version to see the complete process in action.

Buyers are different these days.  Knowing how to use the right data points at every stage from marketing, inside sales to outbound sales, will be the key to not only maintaining relevancy, but also delivering progressive, cutting-edge relevancy.

I would say the Bob Dylan song that rings most true today is: “These times they are a changin’.”  And with the right data you can stay ahead of the times, and have umbrellas on hand when the wind changes directions indicating that it’s about to pour.