We need to bring media sales and marketing into the 21st century

Chris Whife, International President, Demand Science examines the importance of data to the evolving role of sales and marketing

The world of work has changed dramatically over the past year, with many commentators claiming that companies have gone through three years of digital transformation in just a few months. This change is particularly visible within the sales and marketing teams.

Traditionally, these teams have relied on creative relationship builders and original thinkers, with face-to-face meetings often being an important part of their roles. But the world has changed. Notably because of the digital transformation, but also with the permanent limitations that we are experiencing with the Covid pandemic.

Taking advantage of digital tools and available information, in order to capitalize on market opportunities, wherever they are, is now an integral part of their missions.

There’s also the prospect of the post-Covid rebound, which no business can afford to miss. Both teams are essential functions in helping to grow a business by finding new perspectives and opportunities and building relationships with them.

As economies have reopened, now is the time for businesses to make the most of all the opportunities available to them. If they don’t use the latest methods and use the data to get all the insight they can get, they risk falling behind the competition and most importantly have a serious impact on the bottom line. and the long-term growth of a business.

The rise of data

Despite the increasing use of digital tools in businesses in recent years, some elements of sales and marketing still relied heavily on face-to-face contact.

For example, the events industry; before the pandemic, it was still common for many business executives to attend major conferences and events to make connections with potential buyers.

Sometimes armed with incomplete knowledge of who to watch in certain companies, but also to cast a net in the hope of finding the right people, at a large conference with thousands of attendees, it was often a waste of resources.

Over the past few months, even the few live or hybrid events have struggled with vendor booths being so far away from conferences, due to efforts to get things out there more, that it was a waste of money to exhibit.

Along with this, sales managers could set up a full day of meetings, but not being able to identify in advance who is actually looking to buy a product could prevent them from generating leads at all.

However, over the past 18 months, sales and marketing teams have been forced, like everyone else, to adjust to working from home, without the benefit of in-person meetings and events.

Sales and marketing teams needed to find new ways to identify and contact potential prospects. This has forced many workers to truly view data as a viable tool.

However, for it to be useful the data must be of high quality. This means information that includes who to contact in a business, their cell phone number and social profile so that they can be contacted when not in the office, and, most importantly, an overview of their intention to purchase a. product. Ensuring that teams have this high-quality data will make the difference when it comes to successfully generating leads.

Make data easy for everyone to use

While the right data is vital to building modern sales and marketing functions, it is just as important to have access to simple tools that can be used with that data.

For example, in the UK there might be hundreds or thousands of potential prospects for a business to sell their products as well, with only a handful looking to buy at that time. It is impossible for a human to go through and process manually in a short enough period of time that it is worth it.

By implementing technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), it is possible to penetrate beneath the surface of data and gain valuable knowledge.

For example, AI and ML can provide insight into what a person watched or where they entered your site, whether it is a targeted advertisement or a leadership article. enlightened written by a spokesperson.

This can then highlight people who are showing signs of willingness to buy a company product, allowing sales managers to prioritize raising awareness among those targets. This increases the chances of converting the lead. It can also ensure conversations aren’t forgotten, automatically reaching targets if they haven’t been answered within a set amount of time. These tools make data easy to use and understand, enabling teams to generate real value from the information they have.

What does the future look like?

While the exact picture of the future of work is unclear, the data and information we can glean from it will certainly be critical to the success of any business.

The teams that still resist this change will begin to lose to those who embrace it. By combining high-quality data with the latest AI and ML techniques, sales and marketing teams can be confident that they are looking for the right leads, whether in a physical or remote office.

Chris Whife is International President of Demand Science