How do you get sales people to use tech tools to help them be more effective? It is actually quite simple. Give them relevant insight when and where they need it to close more business. If you give sales professionals a means to close more business in an easily digestible way, they will consume it. For example, put the right customer data on their phones and even on their digital wristwatches, and automate just-in-time research to keep reps on top of market news. That was the vision laid out in the Data.com keynote today at Dreamforce, Breakthrough Selling: The Future of Customer Data in the Cloud.
Andy MacMillan, Sr. VP and GM of Salesforce Data.com recommended this recipe: Start with Salesforce’s new Customer Success Platform. Add clean, verified commercial data from D&B. And finally, ensure the platform can accommodate a mash-up of multiple data sources, including social media and transactional data, using a unique identifier like the D&B DUNS Number.
“Billions and trillions of pieces of data are being collected and put into apps and systems,” MacMillan said. “All that data has to be integrated, and turned into insights.”
According to an IDC study, 70% of Fortune 500 companies will make decisions from a mashup of five or more data sources by the year 2020. That includes internal customer profiles from CRM systems, transactional data, product data, social data, news and third-party data. It may even include data sources that haven’t been invented yet.
“It’s a really exciting time to be in the data business,” said Mike Sabin, Executive Vice President and General Manager of D&B’s Global Alliances & Partnerships in the keynote. “More and more people are using and viewing data as a competitive advantage.”
Targeting sales teams is a logical first place to start. How else can a business make a bigger impact on their revenues than to equip its sales teams with the best possible data and tools to help them do their jobs? The joint value proposition from D&B and Data.com goes like this: Give your sales reps access to prospect and customer data that is complete, accurate and available to them everywhere they go, and they will have richer, warmer connections with customers, right from the start.
“How we think about customer data is changing. Customers expect you to know more about them. They expect you to arrive with insights,” MacMillan said. “The 360-degree view of the customer has to include what’s actually going on with customer.”
To remain competitive, sales people will need to know: What are their customers’ goals? How are things going in their businesses? What sort of progress are they making against their key performance indicators?
In short, the quality of your data, and your data strategy, has a direct correlation to the outcomes you’ll see from the applications you roll out to employees and customers. And like MacMillan said in his talk: The same old thinking will lead to the same old results.