In the modern vendor/client relationship, there’s no question about who occupies the driver’s seat: the driver.

Okay, bad jokes aside, we all know the customer is in charge. For sales and business development teams, this means that anything short of an excellent experience won’t result in a conversation, let alone a closed sale.

Customer data and relationship intelligence play an increasingly pivotal role for business development teams that need to ensure contextual, on-point experiences for clients and sales prospects alike. To help you do more with customer data, we turned to two of the brightest minds in the sales industry: Matt Heinz and Barbara Giamanco. Read on to discover their insights.

Introhive: Matt, you’re one of the few experts who covers top-of-funnel marketing all the way through to a salesperson closing the deal. In your experience, how do the most successful organizations approach customer data differently?

Matt Heinz: The most successful organizations use data not to report the past but to predict and change the future. Past behavior doesn’t always reflect future expectations. So simply assuming what happened in the past will happen again isn’t an effective way at leveraging the data around us.

Introhive: Ah, so past performance is most valuable when it’s used to predict the next play?

Matt Heinz: Yes, successful organizations certainly look at past performance and learn from it. They obsess about finding new insights in between data points that can give them an edge. But they also use that data as a starting point for understanding, predicting and preparing for a future market, customer base or prospect opportunity that will help them win.

Introhive: That’s awesome, thanks Matt! Say Barbara, there’s little question that it’s harder for sales and business development folks to capture the attention of sales prospects, and sometimes, even existing customers. As someone who has helped thousands of people rise above the sales messaging noise, how can sales and business development professionals use relationship data to craft better sales messages?

Barbara Giamanco: When writing your sales message, you want to position it from the buyer’s point of view. Focus on what they care about not what you want to sell. Buyers want to know that you can help them solve their business problems, that you understand their business, their industry or the competitive challenges that they face.

In that first interaction, you only make it easier for someone to ignore you when you pitch your company and product features. How do you learn about the buyer before engaging them? Use the internet, their website, their online profiles or even information in business intelligence tools to really get to know more about them.

Introhive: As a company committed to delivering relationship intelligence to sales and business development pros at the moment they need it, that’s great to hear, Barbara. Can you share an example?

Barbara Giamanco: Of course, happy to. I spent time researching one channel marketing executive that I wanted to meet. I found a video that had been recorded at a recent conference she attended. In that video, she laid out her 7-strategic priorities for the year. In my message to her, I said that I’d seen the video and then mentioned that based on what I knew about her company, industry and competitors, I suggested the three that I thought might be the most critical to focus on and why. I then asked for a 30-minute call to share more details on my suggestions. I kept the email very brief because the point of the email was to secure the sales call. That’s where we could go deeper. She did schedule the meeting with me and she then hired me to do work for her. Research takes more time, but it is always worth the effort.

Introhive: Great stuff – thanks again Matt and Barbara for taking time to share your  wisdom with our readers!

To learn more about how Introhive can help you win with customer data, schedule a demo today.

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