Sales stacks are busy places, with lots of competition fighting for a spot on the squad every day.
Sales people always want an edge, so any time saving, difference making tool will be appealing to them.
When there are so many, and when shiny new tools seemingly arrive daily, how do you work out what platform stays and what takes leave from your go-to technology?
It’s pretty straight forward to work out which tools you don’t use, and which aren’t helping you perform high-value activities better or faster.
Your sales reps will know which technology is valuable (hint: they use it daily). Or, simply ask which tools they can’t live without.
When it comes to data, however, the answer may be more complicated.
You cannot say so easily which sources or types of data are more helpful than others for your sales team to use.
Marketing can purchase static lists of contacts, but are those “prospects” actually live leads or interested in your product or service? No.
You can buy contact information scraping tools, which will allow you to contact leads based on the means and context you want, but that method also relies upon your skills and strategies in sales to determine really how useful this data is.
There are several factors to think about. Let’s go through them.
Frequency of use
How often does your marketing automation system get used? It can host your blog and website, send all your emails, hold all of your leads and sales ops in one place.
Probably quite a lot.
How often do you use your IP data, the information that tells you which companies looked at your site?
Chances are, yours sales team has tried to use this, and sometimes you check it to see if the right type of companies read your blog.
The obvious factor is this: you must decide how often you and the team use a tool or a vendor.
This is critical when evaluating data vendors, because if your frequency of use is once a month, for example, you are incorporating old, stagnant data into your sales and marketing process.
Old, stagnant data decays every second and every day. It becomes less and less useful.
If your team is not using a particular data provider often enough, chances are you have a reason for it.
Maybe the data doesn’t quite fit your processes, you don’t trust the data, there’s not enough, or there’s too much.
This is a sure sign it’s time to pull the plug.
Application to essential practices
Obviously, you can’t get rid of data sources and tools that are essential to your sales team’s daily processes and cadences.
You can however, identify which platforms are necessary and need to be kept, in order to get rid of anything else you have in your locker.
Consider if you’re using data to provide your sales team with real-time intelligence and insights to take action upon.
If you are one of the forward-thinking companies that already has this valuable data source, keep that competitive advantage and press it.
If your data provides anything less than real-time, actionable insights, it’s time for an immediate upgrade.
When considering a change, costs don’t necessarily require an upgrade as well.
You may be surprised at how varied the prices are for particular types of data.
For example, IP data can be vastly expensive when compared to Behavioral Intent Data sources.
Could you live without
Do you live and breathe on a heavy lead generation diet?
If so, it’s probably a bad idea to get rid of any data straight away that powers this strategy. Even if it is costly and ineffective IP data.
Clear out any old subscriptions to tools and sources that aren’t considered vital to your core activities.
Buying lists to give to sales (that they don’t use) is not essential to your lead generation via social media advertising, for example.
It’s got to go. Now
Buying real-time data on prospects in your market is a brilliant way to provide a competitive advantage for your paid advertising strategy and give you fuel for your lead generation.
What are you going to do differently?
This is a time for evaluation and critical thinking.
Just like the outreach from a cold caller that you rejected earlier today worked better 10 years ago, your marketing strategy and industry best practices will change over time and become less effective.
Consider the middle range of your tech stack: There are tools and technologies that most likely are not converting your leads in an expedient manner but may be working at an acceptable level.
These tools are the reliable time sucks that we all find so difficult to get rid of.
And they’re not going anywhere.
These technologies are prime targets to be replaced by exciting new ideas and data sources that can fuel much more repeatable growth and results.
What if you would ditch going to that mediocre event this year (and bringing your team, putting them up in hotels, etc.) and instead try something different and more productive.
Try a new strategy with your data sources. Try a new method to nurture more leads. Try and bring more people into the top of your funnel.
Try some new technology that will tell you which decision makers are ready to buy.
We’re here to support you if you’re bold enough.