No matter what you sell and who you sell it to, we are all on the lookout for ways to improve our sales processes. From coming up with new cold pitches to trying out new tools for lead generation and scraping customer data, we always look for a better way to get more sales.
However, you just might be sitting on a hidden gem – your own customer data. Before you try out that fancy new tool, how about looking into the data you already have to make some adjustments to how you sell at the moment. Here is how to use it to guide your sales strategy and improve your bottom line.
1. Lead segmentation
Not all leads are created equal. When using customer analytics, you’ll be able to analyze which customers spend more, have shorter sales cycles, and higher lifetime values.
Let’s say you’re selling a proposal software app and you decide to look into your customer base and see who spends the most and what they buy the most.
By digging into your data, you might learn that freelancers made up a big part of your customers. As a group, they rarely upgrade to a paid plan. Even worse, when they do, they come and go, paying for one month, then leaving the next.
On the flip side, SMBs and enterprise customers spend more money and stayed with us for longer. This can give you a clear idea of which target market to focus on.
As new leads came in through inbound, you can prioritize them based on who is likely to purchase soon, buy more accounts and have a better customer lifetime value. As a result, your team doesn’t have to waste time chasing leads that never convert or spend pennies.
In a SaaS business, data is everything. For each customer, we compare their CAC (customer acquisition cost) and their CLV (customer lifetime value). If a customer takes a lot of money to acquire but only stays for a brief period of time, their CLV is low. Perhaps customers coming from affiliate programs are the ones bringing in the most revenue? This gives you a great idea of what kind of customers you should pursue and you can segment your leads according to the lifetime value that they may bring later on.
When you segment your leads this way, you can also score them in your CRM. As you assign different scores, you’ll be able to prioritize who needs to be contacted first and who can wait. In our case, segmentation and scoring help us determine who the most important leads are so we can ensure they get contacted by our most experienced sales team members. This also means you’re wasting less money on things like email marketing, social media ads, sales funnels that are not converting, etc.
That way, you don’t send your most experienced sales reps chasing accounts that bring in $200 per month. You’ll send them to close deals with 50+ seats, bringing in thousands annually. The added benefit is that you’ll save massive time for your sales team and you’ll increase their job satisfaction too.
2. Product development
Just as mentioned above, not every customer is the same. If you want to have a great business, every customer matters, that’s for certain. But in order to take your product there, you need to listen to your customers and their needs.
There is a huge danger in having your product roadmap being public and letting your customers decide on the features you’re going to build next. Your loudest customers may not be the ones bringing in the most revenue, so you really need to be strategic about choosing where your product goes.
When you looked into your customers’ use of your product, you may have realized that unsurprisingly, enterprise customers use an entirely different set of features compared to SMBs and freelancers. Also unsurprisingly, they spend quite a bit more than smaller businesses and freelancers.
Using this knowledge, you can guide your team and tell them which features to prioritize. In the end, your goal is to create the best product possible but adding 10 features per month is just not possible. This is why you look into your existing customers’ use of the app to see which moves make the most sense in terms of return on investment.
If you don’t use product analytics to guide your product development, you’ll go one of the two ways. Number one, you’ll trust your gut feeling and develop the features that you think your customers want. Of course, this is plain guessing and not a recommended approach.
The second approach you would take is asking your customers what features they want and let them create a sort of “wishlist” of the features for you to work on. The problem is, the people requesting these features are rarely the ones bringing in the most revenue for the business. As a result, you can invest precious time and money into features that barely move the needle.
Instead, use customer analytics to ask your most important customers how you can create a better product for their use case.
3. Becoming agile
The more you know, the more easily you can adapt your sales approach and process. Once you start thinking that you’re outperforming your competition and that no one can come close to you, problems start happening.
As the recent pandemic has shown us, no business is completely safe from major changes happening in the world or even your industry and niche. Great business management has all the information in their hands to make educated decisions and change their course.
For example, looking into your customer analytics could show you that your customers are suddenly prioritizing a different set of features. Perhaps you’ll see a sudden loss of customers in a certain segment, such as enterprise B2B.
The more you keep tabs on what your customers are up to, the easier it will be to change your approach quickly instead of taking ages to adapt. Instead of wondering which data to turn to, you can use a BI application such as ClicData to make sure you’re looking at the right information all the time.
One example of going agile is pivoting your entire business model. As drastic as it may seem, it is necessary in some cases. For example, the COVID-19 pandemic caused many businesses to shut down overnight, and others were able to pivot and adapt overnight! Urban Sports Club is one of them – they provided memberships to a variety of gyms and fitness studios. Instead of shutting down overnight, they decided to go into a new direction.
When the pandemic started, they of course noticed the major drop in the number of sales, as well as the use of their app. To stay relevant, they launched thousands of different training courses. The business model is similar, the target audience is already there and the business ensured that they would stay relevant until a happier time when gyms and fitness centers can be opened again.
4. Collect data from a variety of sources
Depending on what you sell, your customers may have a large number of touchpoints before they convert. Some sales cycles can go on for months, especially if you sell to enterprise B2B, where each purchasing decision has to go through several stakeholders. It may start with a webinar, then a personal call, a number of emails, and finally another phone call.
When you use customer analytics, you can collect data from a large number of sources to make educated decisions. For example, you can start off with your website and realize that Google Analytics only tells a partial story of how your (potential) customers behave.
You can also use data from other sources. For example, live chat/customer support software can tell you how many times someone reaches out to you before deciding to buy.
When you take a detailed look at how someone uses the very product you sell them, you’ll have incredible insights. You’ll immediately learn which aspects of your product are the most useful and which segments of your customer base use which features. No more guessing.
Of course, doing this requires analyzing your data over a longer time period and letting an expert draw the conclusions from the data pulled.
Customer analytics sounds like a buzzword – if you’re not looking at the right data. By using customer analytics properly, you’ll be able to move more quickly, make the right business decisions and earn more revenue. Instead of taking a look at the latest sales tools and tactics, use the information that you already have – so you can benefit both your customers and your business.
Make sense of your customers’ data with ClicData’s business intelligence and dashboard platform to make better decisions. Derive actionable metrics from multiple data sources and track your marketing and sales performance in real-time dashboards. You can start a trial today or book a demo with our product specialists.
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About the author
Petra Odak is a Chief Marketing Officer at Better Proposals, a simple yet incredibly powerful proposal software tool that helps you send high-converting, web-based business proposals in minutes. She’s a solution-oriented marketing enthusiast with more than 5 years of experience in various fields of marketing and project management.