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How Data Will Change
The Playing Field For
Marketing And Sales
WE'VE SAID IT BEFORE.
IT IS AN AMAZING TIME TO BE WORKING IN MARKETING AND SALES.
Technology has changed the game. Now, more than ever before, we have access to
more data and insight to help us market, sell and service our customers. Companies on
the cutting edge are learning from consumer counterparts to utilize the wealth of data
to improve their businesses. We are pushing overselves to become more data-driven
in our decision making and planning. But it's more than just lip service.
So we connected with over 20 thought leaders in marketing and sales and asked the
How will sales and marketing professionals become
more data-driven in 2014?
We enjoyed reading everyone's predictions and we hope you will to. Please feel free
to add your prediction and share this with anyone you feel would find value in it.
-The Lattice Team
Using insight to
shorten sales cycles
Companies will marry big data marketing and sales
insights with detailed "outside-in" understanding of
their buyers' journey to drive higher campaign and sales
productivity resulting in 20% shorter sales cycles.
B2B will model sales
and marketing after B2C
Technology accelerates transactions, increases
efficiency and lowers the cost of doing business.
Technology impacts people's behaviors and in the B2C
space, it gets consumers to make decisions in real time.
When we get hungry we go to Yelp. When we need a
car, we go to Zipcar. B2B buyers demand similar, instant
responses in the B2B space. They'll often realize that
it is easier to get information and insights about a
product or service from a peer than it is from the B2B
vendor. In 2014 sales and marketing professionals need
to translate information into insights that deliver real
value to the customer - in real time.
A deeper understanding
of the customer
Sales and marketing professionals have been leveraging
data to learn more about their customers. They will
continue leverage data and analytics to develop deeper
understanding of the customer.
But in the coming year, we will see data and analytics
used to bring rich, concrete and specific insights to
their customers. These insights will be company,
functional and role specific. Sales and marketing people
will leverage these to drive specific conversations to
help customers improve their businesses and more
effectively achieve their goals.
The year of context
We will see great use of "context" in sales and
marketing. By context, I mean everything from recent
behaviors and activities to location to real-time
predictions. Companies will get better at bringing in
this rich contextual data and using it to make better
decisions about how to prioritize sales team's time and
personalize marketing interactions.
VP Marketing and
New technology brings
Salespeople will see a massive productivity gain by
adopting a new wave of technology aimed at them. This
technology will help them engage the right prospects at
the right time with the right message.
Culture, data and
2014 will be about 3 things for sales and marketing: culture,
data and content.
The pressure of more customers doing their own research
further into the buying process will finally force sales and
marketing to transform themselves into truly customercentric cultures that use data and personalization to deliver
valuable, informative and entertaining content.
So while CMOs and heads of sales will need to lead with
courage to put customers ahead of worn out notions that
overly promotional marketing and the hard sale still work,
marketing and sales leaders will be setting up enterprise big
data platforms to follow customer trends. Brands will setup
real newsrooms, start producing content like a publisher—
content their audience wants and needs—personalized to
The end of separate
The greatest advances in 2014 will come from sales and
marketing using the SAME data to prioritize and act on
the right, ready-to-engage prospects. Too often today
they're using separate systems, separate databases.
Pull that data together and magic can happen!
Heinz Marketing Inc
Leveraging the heck out
With all the hype around content marketing, social ads
and ad optimization, etc. in 2014 I predict a year more
focused on the business processes connecting sales
and marketing. We have all the technology we need. It's
time to leverage the heck out of it.
Data driven—it's not
what you think
There are two types of marketers - those who are
trying to become more data driven and those who
realize there is WAY more data than just what people
downloaded and what web pages they visited. The
marketers who have mastered scoring with their
marketing automation will begin looking to more data
to make better decisions (aka predictive analytics).
Change in comp
I predict many marketers' new comp plans will reflect
revenue performance metrics, not MQLs or any other
metric. Data will drive quality pipeline. Jason Long of
the Pedowitz Group has it covered in this blog post:
The transformation of
We've all had a front row seat to the marketing
transformation over the past 10 years: digitization,
real-time, social media, content marketing, inbound,
marketing automation. These were not ephemeral
ideas. They transformed marketing. Predictive
analytics is now emerging as central to the modern
marketing organization and a top focus for 2014.
Leading marketers are leveraging data science to
market and sell more intelligently. They are bringing
every relevant buying signal — from the web, social,
CRM and marketing automation sources — to find,
prioritize and close their next customer. Inspired by the
awesome predictive analytics engines of Google and
Amazon, we are seeing a marketing arms race emerge—
powered by data.
Social media will lead
We will see more B2B lead gen from social. Marketers
are learning how to tap into social networks - Twitter,
LinkedIn and Facebook to drive engagement and
capture the lead. Services like Social123, LittleBird
and InsightPool are helping us figure out better
acquisition strategies, find business influencers and
append contact information. And the beauty of social
is that the account owner is incented to maintain their
information, so we will see a higher level of accuracy
than from traditional list vendors.
VP of Demand
The buyer remains in
The buyer’s control of the sales process will continue
to grow. Today, the research and prospecting process is
dominated by the prospects. They go online, research
who has solutions for the problems they’re facing,
read case studies and talk to their colleagues. In 2014
and beyond this domination of the buying process
will continue into the qualification and solution
design stages of the pipeline with prospects visiting
your website and determining whether or not you’re
qualified to do business with them, not the other way
around! Prospects are taking action and reaching out to
sellers proactively more than ever before! Before, they
didn't know you were there until you called. Today, you
don't know they are there until they buy!
The journey to
Given the various evolving technologies, applications
and digital channels, organizations really need to
think big about how they approach their audiences.
Integrated strategic measures are critical to delivering
on the promise of relevance and value, and data fuels
the ability to refine communications.
One of the ways data will support the alignment of
marketing and sales is by enabling the two teams to
maximize the value of their respective reporting and
analyses. When everyone understands how to analyze
data in ways that are meaningful to key performance
indicators, organizations can improve on their
commitments to repeatable success.
The rise of smarketing
The departments of marketing and sales give the
first steps towards an inevitable merger to a new
department called smarketing. The digital disruption
of all businesses leads to the creation of this new
I think the industry is going to become too
hyperfocused on personalization/segmentation to the
point where they are making decisions based on sample
sizes that are just too small. This type of advanced tech
is great for big companies and fun to write about, but
may not be applicable to most people interested in
On a more positive note, I think there will be a further
trend to use qualitative data to start 'humanizing' the
quantitative data we gather in our analytics platforms.
Numbers are in a vacuum, and it is our job as marketers
to make the numbers 'real' to make strategic business
decisions. 2014 will [hopefully] be the year that bridges
the gap between the data-centric & the user-centric.
Chief Editor &
Optimize and predict!
I want to believe that 2014 will be the year
organizations begin to use their data to optimize and
become more predictive. In looking at some of the
recent studies, it is clear that many B2B organizations
are still grappling with how to use their data as a key
strategic driver of their business. The tools and access
to data are more prevalent than ever and 2014 needs
to be the year where the application of this insight is
applied to drive Customer Lifetime Value and revenue
The democratization of
In 2014, marketers will realize that they can harvest
the buying signals from the web, social media and 3rd
party data sources to improve every aspect of demand
generation and sales. The prize will go to those who
do this first by following the practices of Internetscale companies like Google, Facebook and Netflix
and focusing on drawing insights from data to make
predictions about who is likely to buy next. All the
pieces are now in place – the cloud, large installed
bases of CRM and marketing automation systems
and the exploding data volume. Predictive marketing
and sales applications will democratize the power of
buying signals for everyone, no team of data scientists
A focus on online and
With 67 percent of the buyer's journey happening
online, and not all of it at the start of the journey,
sales has a big interest in knowing what's happening
online and what to do about it. Next year will see
tighter alignment of tools that give visibility into
online behavior and delivery of sales enablement that
makes it more efficient for reps to follow up with the
right response. We'll also see marketers doing a better
job of planning their efforts against account-level
objectives and not just general market assumptions.
Finally, 2014 will be seen as the year b-to-b got serious
about customer experience, with sales and marketing
defining their roles in the post-sale relationship based
on understanding customer needs and behavior online
VP and Group
Director, DataDriven Marketing
Data will provide a leg
up on the competition
Based on the results of our 2014 Sales Performance
Optimization (SPO) study, we continue to see a
deterioration in the conversion rate of leads to first
discussions. To overcome this, marketing first needs to
do a more effective job of analyzing which prospects are
more likely vs. less likely to want to engage with their
firm, and then execute targeted lead gen campaigns
towards those accounts.
Sales then needs to thoroughly research those accounts
to develop compelling reasons for why the prospect
should agree to include a salesperson in their "buying"
process. Vendors who succeed at leveraging data to
accomplish both these tasks will have a significant leg
up on their competition.
In the B2B economy, the trajectory of data-driven
decision making will move toward consolidation in
the front office. Specifically, I think we'll see more
Chief Revenue Officers emerge—replacing formerly
distinct (and isolated) VPs of Sales and Marketing. It's a
farewell to finger-pointing. The intelligence aggregated
from data enables more expansive views—and more
expansive decision making power. Interestingly,
marketing directors and sales directors, managers of
the data at the operational level, will become more
Finding the right
With clear and measurable evidence that data-driven
organizations perform better, sales and marketing
teams will continue to find ways to quantify patterns
and derive insights from data to find, close and keep the
right (most profitable) customers.
In our era of massively available data, it is not easy to
figure out what information really matters. I predict
that we will see sales and marketing leaders hiring
(or contracting or partnering with) data scientists,
dedicated to analyzing buyer and seller behavior to
increase revenue generation, sales productivity and
2.0" and CEO and
The year of change
The shift to digital business will impact sales and
marketing professionals in a way like no either.
• Recognize that we no longer sell products and
services, as buyers seek experiences and outcomes.
• Democratize the data to decisions pathway to enable
innovation. Data driven decisions are the norm and
speed up the time to action.
• Realize that B2B and B2C are dead. It’s a P2P and
• Focus on context as right time relevancy beats real
time information overload. Data drives context and
• Shift from engagement to personalization at scale.
We're making that move right now.
Love the one
I very much hope that we will witness greater
concentration and focus on the development of existing
client relationships. The reality is that far too many
organizations are devoting 80% of their resources on
finding new opportunities and yet 80% of their business
arrives from current clients/customers. Unsurprisingly,
those same customers who took so long to first identify,
then qualify, then close, are often left feeling extremely
neglected, and eventually disappear - or more often,
are "stolen" by a competitor who shows more interest in
them. Let's make 2014 the year we "love the one we're
with" rather than being so commercially promiscuous.
Content = data + art
In 2014, content will become even more important
for sales and marketing, and the most effective (and,
increasingly, innovative!) content will be inspired by
customer insights based on real facts—supported by
data—not just hunch, opinion, guesswork or “feel.”
But, at the same time, content can never be completely
data-driven. In other words, data is part of the process,
but it’s just a part because creative inspiration is equally
The best content tells a true story well. The ability to
create a compelling story (via creative inspiration)
based in real customer insight (via data) is the key.
I guess you could say that data + art are the killer
strategy in 2014 and beyond.
Lattice delivers data-driven business applications that help
companies of all sizes market and sell more intelligently.
Inspired by today’s consumer applications, Lattice
brings every relevant buying signal into the world’s most
comprehensive, cloud applications. With Lattice, companies
stop guessing and start relying on data science in an
application that anyone can use to find, prioritize and close
their next customer. Its rapidly growing customer base,
including Dell, SunTrust and VMware, use Lattice’s open and
secure applications to generate 75% more pipeline, triple
conversion rates, and double win rates. Lattice is backed by
Sequoia Capital and NEA.