From Zero to Hero: Quality of Data VS Quantity of Data


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Quality data is one of the essential keys to running a successful business in today’s always on, analytics driven world.

While the sheer amount of data available is impressive, quantity by itself typically only translates into more work. That is until it is shaken down into something useful.

As the business world is evolving overnight, the only way we can truly compete is by making sure our B2B sales and marketing teams have the best possible resources available to them.

Zero approach vs. Hero approach

A smart salesperson understands that selling is a numbers game.

Unfortunately, what they might not comprehend about the process is that it’s what you do with those numbers that can have you looking like the hero or just another zero.

Most would welcome a large quantity of new leads to work with because they know that gives them a statistical advantage when it comes to closing a new deal.

Regrettably, those sales representatives have now been put in a position that leaves them having to spend a large amount of time “weeding” through data in search for that “magical” contact.

This process not only dated but it brings up the issue of time management as well as concerns about the quality of service they can truly provide. After all, if all their time is spent churning through leads, how much more time do they really have to woo the new clients?

Large effort + Minimal return = Zero approach

To transform your B2B sales team into “Heroes” they need to be given resources that warrant the title. Their lead data needs to be filtered down into something they can translate into more accurate targeting. This way they can redirect their skills to building deeper, longer lasting relationships.

“But how do we do that?” You scream from the top of the tallest building.

To answer that, we need to first understand that we’re not limited by where we get our data from. Actually, we have several avenues at our disposal that include our websites, external paid sources like Google AdWords, our CRM systems, marketing campaign responses, offline activities like trade shows, and of course social media.

Alone these sources provide basic information, but when used together they allow us an insight into our customers lives along with very valuable predictive analytics. From these findings we can then determine a variety of things.

For example:

  • Website data can tell us which version of our page is best received.
  • Paid sources can tell us which real time offers are most popular.
  • CRM data can help predict when a target might make a purchase.
  • Marketing campaign responses can gauge the probability of closing a sale.
  • Social Media can tell us when our promotions are most effective.

Quality data allows gives right message to the right person at the right time through the right channel.

Time for a little “Action” Hero

What we’re missing from most of our massive databases is the relationship. How does all this data relay what our prospects really want and how can we best give it to them?

We need to start somewhere and with data pointing to just how much of the world is focused on social media, it’s time we used that to our advantage to increase our sales productivity like a real “Hero.”

Social media giants like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and most recently Google Plus have quickly become part of everyday life for hundreds of millions of people.

These social media channels have connected people in a way that allows them to not only share details about themselves, but also communicate with one another their opinions and experiences about any product or service they choose.

When it comes to data, social media can be a gold mine.

Social media is about relationships. While building those relations a smart salesperson can begin to learn a customer’s online habits and preferences. This can then be used to focus on specific data elements that can be used to customize their sales and marketing communications to fit the individuals demographic.

For example:

  • We could determine what position a person holds at their company and if they are the decision maker. If they are not, we can find out who is.
  • We can then use that existing social relationship as a common connection between ourselves and the decision maker.
  • Using social intelligence we can learn what they regularly talk about and what their current challenges are to leverage an opportunity for an introduction.

Here’s a famous quote that sums it all up:

“The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” – Gordon Gekko

As we develop these new skill sets their implementation will simply become second nature. This will cause the quality of our data to go up. When that happens, we will be able to identify and duplicate our successful efforts ensuring that the quantity of data we require only depends on the results we seek.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Koka Sexton
Koka Sexton, Social Selling Evangelist and Sr. Social Marketing Manager at LinkedIn, is one of the most recognized social selling experts in the technology industry. A career in helping companies use social media for lead generation, creating new opportunities, and engaging customers. READ MORE at the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog.


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