Get Smart: Make Sure Insights from Marketing Analytics Reach Your Sales Force

by Rick Volz on October 1, 2009

Rick Volz, B2B Practice Leader

Rick Volz

In a recent “Get to the Point” e-mail from MarketingProfs, the topic was “Marketing Analytics” with the subject, “Get Smart.” To me, it held a very appropriate list of tips – minus one Big Tip that often gets missed in the B2B market.

The article states, “Especially in a down economy,” writes Barbara Bix in a Pro article at MarketingProfs, ( “it’s important to understand where the opportunities are — and how to capitalize on them.”

She illustrated her point with an example from a mid-size provider of B2B software solutions. Their Marketing Analytics team is responsible for identifying opportunities in three areas:

Collecting, mining and leveraging customer and prospect data. “For most businesses,” Bix says, “the fastest and most cost-effective way to win business is to sell into the current customer base. Therefore, it’s no surprise that this company devotes most of its market intelligence budget to analyzing and reporting on its customers and current prospects.”

Conducting market research. “The primary responsibility for [this task] falls to the company’s product and industry groups,” writes Bix. “The market intelligence group, however, is responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of that research across product groups.”

Managing strategic planning. “Each year,” she says, “the market intelligence team works with each of the customer-facing groups to incorporate any changes in market dynamics, or customer requirements, which could affect the company’s long-term direction. Every six months, they also review the tactical plan and make adjustments, if needed.”

These are three important areas that leverage marketing analytics in any company doing smart marketing, but I think there is a major step missing that would help organizations “Get Smarter”:

Another critical use for insights from marketing analytics is to drive the findings and output to the sales organization.  Once customer and prospect opportunities have been identified and prioritized through the process of planning, research, mining and analysis, an organization can REALLY capitalize on insights if it pushes specific opportunity-level strategies and tactics to the individual sales representatives.

Armed with an intelligence-based “playbook” of identified and prioritized account level opportunities for each product/service in the portfolio, the sales representative has a focused territory plan, with resources aligned to drive customer and market share growth, while shortening the sales cycle.  Don’t leave the sales process out of the mix when applying marketing analytics and insights. Now that’s getting smarter!

About the Author:

Rick Volz is a Business-to-Business Practice Leader for SIGMA Marketing Group, responsible for thought-leadership and business solutions in the B2B market.  Follow Rick on  or connect with him on .

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