SDN Journal Authors: Pat Romanski, Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Destiny Bertucci, Liz McMillan

Related Topics: @DXWorldExpo, Microservices Expo, Containers Expo Blog, Agile Computing, @CloudExpo, SDN Journal

@DXWorldExpo: Article

How Context Will Solve the Big Data Problem for Sales & Marketing

Some innovative solutions are already helping B2B companies sell more by making prospect data actionable in the proper context

Slide Deck from Howard Brown's Cloud Expo® Presentation: Context to Solve the Big Data Problem for Sales & Marketing

It's a simple fact that the better sales reps understand their prospects' intentions, preferences and pain points during calls, the more business they'll close. Each day, as your prospects interact with websites and social media platforms, their behavioral data profile is expanding. It's now possible to gain unprecedented insight into prospects' content preferences, product needs and budget. We hear a lot about how valuable Big Data is to sales and marketing teams. But data itself is only valuable when it's part of a bigger story, made visible in the right context.

What Is Contextual Data?
Historically, business data was analyzed periodically (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) in order to help businesses make better revenue projections and long-term decisions. While decision data enables executives and corporate leaders to make periodic strategic and tactical adjustments, it can't influence workflow in real time. Contextual data, on the other hand, is data that is delivered to the right person at the right time. This data is actionable and can be leveraged by employees in various roles to impact decisions in real time.

An easy-to-understand example of contextual data is Facebook Birthdays. Facebook asks users for their birthday when they sign up and stores that information in a database. Those birthdays are weaved into a story when, on a user's birthday, all of their friends get a notification. By presenting birthday data contextually, Facebook helps remind us of our friends' birthdays and even offers options of gifts to purchase for them.

Why Context Matters
In an enterprise setting, there are huge opportunities to help reps crush quota by delivering contextual data during the engagement phase of the sales cycle. As a prospect interacts with your company by viewing web pages, filling out forms or calling in, you amass an increasingly sophisticated profile of that prospect. This is data that sales reps should be able to access in real time. The first time a prospect calls, a rep can view a lead's marketing referral source to predict what they are interested in purchasing. Screen pops can trigger talking points that can help reps close deals. Through progressive profiling, there's no limit to the amount of data that can be made actionable. For example, reps can view a prospect's job title, company revenue, purchase history, CRM profile, content downloads, social media streams and more before even picking up the phone.

Presenting prospect data contextually can radically accelerate revenue. However, according to a CSO Insights study, nearly half of sales reps feel that they don't have the data they need when talking to prospects. The result is that the majority of sales teams don't meet quota. Often, the data reps need to close deals exists, but businesses have no way to leverage this data to influence workflow in real time. Marketers are great at capturing all sorts of information about their prospects in Google Analytics, CRM systems, business intelligence software and marketing automation platforms. The right data can help reps to predict prospects' intentions, deliver better messages and close more deals. But far too often, data that could be igniting sales remains siloed in various systems of record. That's why businesses need to invest in solutions that provide reps with this data at key moments.

Contextual Data in Action
Some innovative solutions are already helping B2B companies sell more by making prospect data actionable in the proper context. Demandbase is a great example of a company that presents contextual account data about prospects on landing pages in order to optimize conversions. Companies can use Demandbase to automatically tailor-fit content to specific accounts. Imagine the impact of visiting a landing page and not only viewing content specific to your pain points but also featuring your company's name.

The best marketing automation solutions also provide sales reps with real-time views of prospect activities. Marketo, for example, provides a lead view for sales reps that helps them prioritize leads based on quality and urgency. This reduces the time that reps spend deciding which leads to dial and enables them to spend more time on the phone closing business.

My own company, RingDNA, was built on the premise that the more you know about your prospects, the more business you can close. In addition to automatically routing campaign-specific calls to the right sales rep or group of reps, we deliver contextual data that helps reps have more successful sales conversations. One way we do this is by providing reps with a lead's marketing referral source. For example, if a prospect clicked on a paid search ad from Google or Bing, a rep could instantly see which keyword they were searching for. Seeing which keyword caused a prospect to call enables your reps to presuppose which product they are interested in buying. Once a call begins, RingDNA triggers a screen pop with sales talking points directly related to the channel, campaign or keyword a prospect saw before calling. This helps reps stay on message and overcome common sales objections.

In addition, RingDNA delivers a prospect's social media feeds during inbound and outbound calls. According to a Nielsen study, 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase. Customers use social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to vent about frustrations when they are unhappy with a brand, recommend products to colleagues and communicate when they have a need for a solution. Viewing a lead's social media feeds in the context of calls can help reps have more successful sales conversations. For example, suppose a prospect posted on Twitter asking for advice about one of your competitor's products. Your rep could then deliver a pitch focused on ways your product exceeds that specific competitor's solution. But even a simple tweet about the score from last night's Patriots game could be leveraged by a great rep to bolster engagement.

Finally, RingDNA enables sales reps to access collaborative team data from Chatter at the moment of a phone call. This is vital when multiple sales agents are working on closing the same deal, a common scenario in many B2B sales environments. This prevents reps from delivering information to prospects - such as price quotes - that contradicts what has already been stated by another rep.

RingDNA and other trail-blazing solutions that provide reps with rich contextual data are helping to usher in a new era of enterprise sales. From here on out, customer experiences need to be data-driven. Remember that customers almost always call when they are either conducting product research or when they intend to buy. Either way, when your customers call you it's a critical branding opportunity. Your reps' pitches can determine whether your customers have a good or bad experience.

When your prospects call, they don't mind hearing a sales pitch. They just want to hear a pitch that speaks to their individual needs. With the right data, your business can personalize every interaction. This will not only result in your customers walking away with better experiences, it will also empower your sales reps to close more revenue than ever.

More Stories By Howard Brown

Howard Brown is Founder & CEO of RingDNA, a company that is empowering businesses to reimagine telephony by providing powerful web and mobile apps that connect the business phone to CRM, social media, ad sources and other rich sources of enterprise contact data. Howard is a widely recognized platform technology expert whose company DemandResults helped enterprise companies revolutionize their marketing & sales efforts. Prior to creating RingDNA and DemandResults, Brown founded 4Therapy.com, a powerful network of hundreds of healthcare information and referral sites, which he sold to CRC Health (a Bain Capital Company) in 2004. He also founded Senior Transitions, which was acquired by RealPage in 2013.

Brown’s work as a visionary in the B2B sector was recognized in the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and he was recently featured on the popular Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Dreamforce and LeadsCon. Howard’s RingDNA prototype won the 2011 Dreamforce Hackathon, and his RingDNA pitch at Austin’s 2012 StartupCamp won first prize.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

@CloudExpo Stories
Cloud-enabled transformation has evolved from cost saving measure to business innovation strategy -- one that combines the cloud with cognitive capabilities to drive market disruption. Learn how you can achieve the insight and agility you need to gain a competitive advantage. Industry-acclaimed CTO and cloud expert, Shankar Kalyana presents. Only the most exceptional IBMers are appointed with the rare distinction of IBM Fellow, the highest technical honor in the company. Shankar has also receive...
There is a huge demand for responsive, real-time mobile and web experiences, but current architectural patterns do not easily accommodate applications that respond to events in real time. Common solutions using message queues or HTTP long-polling quickly lead to resiliency, scalability and development velocity challenges. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ryland Degnan, a Senior Software Engineer on the Netflix Edge Platform team, will discuss how by leveraging a reactive stream-based protocol,...
Enterprises have taken advantage of IoT to achieve important revenue and cost advantages. What is less apparent is how incumbent enterprises operating at scale have, following success with IoT, built analytic, operations management and software development capabilities - ranging from autonomous vehicles to manageable robotics installations. They have embraced these capabilities as if they were Silicon Valley startups.
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Kevin Jackson joined the faculty of CloudEXPO's "10-Year Anniversary Event" which will take place on November 11-13, 2018 in New York City. Kevin L. Jackson is a globally recognized cloud computing expert and Founder/Author of the award winning "Cloud Musings" blog. Mr. Jackson has also been recognized as a "Top 100 Cybersecurity Influencer and Brand" by Onalytica (2015), a Huffington Post "Top 100 Cloud Computing Experts on Twitter" (2013) and a "Top 50 C...
Digital transformation is about embracing digital technologies into a company's culture to better connect with its customers, automate processes, create better tools, enter new markets, etc. Such a transformation requires continuous orchestration across teams and an environment based on open collaboration and daily experiments. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Alex Casalboni, Technical (Cloud) Evangelist at Cloud Academy, explored and discussed the most urgent unsolved challenges to achieve fu...
The standardization of container runtimes and images has sparked the creation of an almost overwhelming number of new open source projects that build on and otherwise work with these specifications. Of course, there's Kubernetes, which orchestrates and manages collections of containers. It was one of the first and best-known examples of projects that make containers truly useful for production use. However, more recently, the container ecosystem has truly exploded. A service mesh like Istio addr...
Predicting the future has never been more challenging - not because of the lack of data but because of the flood of ungoverned and risk laden information. Microsoft states that 2.5 exabytes of data are created every day. Expectations and reliance on data are being pushed to the limits, as demands around hybrid options continue to grow.
Poor data quality and analytics drive down business value. In fact, Gartner estimated that the average financial impact of poor data quality on organizations is $9.7 million per year. But bad data is much more than a cost center. By eroding trust in information, analytics and the business decisions based on these, it is a serious impediment to digital transformation.
Business professionals no longer wonder if they'll migrate to the cloud; it's now a matter of when. The cloud environment has proved to be a major force in transitioning to an agile business model that enables quick decisions and fast implementation that solidify customer relationships. And when the cloud is combined with the power of cognitive computing, it drives innovation and transformation that achieves astounding competitive advantage.
Digital Transformation: Preparing Cloud & IoT Security for the Age of Artificial Intelligence. As automation and artificial intelligence (AI) power solution development and delivery, many businesses need to build backend cloud capabilities. Well-poised organizations, marketing smart devices with AI and BlockChain capabilities prepare to refine compliance and regulatory capabilities in 2018. Volumes of health, financial, technical and privacy data, along with tightening compliance requirements by...
Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settlement products to hedge funds and investment banks. After, he co-founded a revenue cycle management company where he learned about Bitcoin and eventually Ethereal. Andrew's role at ConsenSys Enterprise is a mul...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that "Miami Blockchain Event by FinTechEXPO" has announced that its Call for Papers is now open. The two-day event will present 20 top Blockchain experts. All speaking inquiries which covers the following information can be submitted by email to [email protected] Financial enterprises in New York City, London, Singapore, and other world financial capitals are embracing a new generation of smart, automated FinTech that eliminates many cumbersome, slow, and expe...
DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Evan Kirstel is an internationally recognized thought leader and social media influencer in IoT (#1 in 2017), Cloud, Data Security (2016), Health Tech (#9 in 2017), Digital Health (#6 in 2016), B2B Marketing (#5 in 2015), AI, Smart Home, Digital (2017), IIoT (#1 in 2017) and Telecom/Wireless/5G. His connections are a "Who's Who" in these technologies, He is in the top 10 most mentioned/re-tweeted by CMOs and CIOs (2016) and have been recently named 5th most influential B2B marketeer in the US. H...
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DXWorldEXPO within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of bus...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, @CloudEXPO and DXWorldEXPO have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, we provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading...
Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo have announced the conference tracks for Cloud Expo 2018. Cloud Expo will be held June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, and November 6-8, 2018, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA. Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with the introduction of DX Expo within the program. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive ov...
DXWordEXPO New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City and will bring together Cloud Computing, FinTech and Blockchain, Digital Transformation, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, AI, Machine Learning and WebRTC to one location.
@DevOpsSummit New York 2018, colocated with CloudEXPO | DXWorldEXPO New York 2018 will be held November 11-13, 2018, in New York City. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises - and delivering real results.