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This guest post is published in support of a recent interview CPSA did with Jaakko Paalanen CSO at Leadfeeder.

Leadfeeder is a clever web app that increases your sales intelligence by integrating your sales and marketing data. Leadfeeder uses your Google Analytics data to show real companies visiting your website. It integrates to your CRM and email marketing tools to increase your sales intelligence.

Listen to the interview and read on for part one of a two part investigation by Jakko’s colleague, Lauren Ventura, as she explains how salespeople can get more business from better use of marketing data. Enjoy!

Ways Data Can Help Close More Sales

Sales leaders often make this mistake because of a common misconception:

If you drive your sales team to its limits, push your team with promises of high-end perks and bonuses like a carrot on a stick—you’ll increase profits and your market share.

If this scenario sounds like something you’re currently facing or have faced in the past, we’d like to offer a few modern tips to help. Using the ideas in this post, we want to guide you on how you too can analyze your marketing data and leverage it more effectively, so the data becomes the carrot, and you have no need for the stick. When you take the time to glean insights from your data and analytics, you might be surprised at what you find.

Here’s how you can get started using marketing data to close more sales.

Listen to the exclusive CPSA interview with Jaakko Paalanen CSO, Leadfeeder.

What’s Happening in Your Buyer’s Journey?

Oftentimes the biggest pain-point in sales cannot be cured by merely hiring more salespeople or pushing the team you have harder. If you go through your pipeline and analyze it, pay special attention to where your customers drop off. Now, the only way you can uncover this is for you to map your customer’s buying journey.

If you’re a SaaS or PaaS B2B product, does this drop off happen during the Free Trial Phase of the buying process? If so, how can you nurture the prospect more effectively to help them continue down the purchasing pipeline?

MarketCircle offers the following pro tip:

“[S]ee what length of sales cycles work. If short cycles are your strength, use that information to help identify when a lead has gone cold, and your sales team can move onto newer projects. Alternatively, if you have long sales cycles, an automated nurturing campaign can help you close deals with less work, freeing your team to work on the lead at the right moment.”

How can marketers provide this data to sales for leveraging their pipeline effectiveness? Christopher Ryan of CustomerThink offers the following, “Often, people don’t really know how long their sales cycle is — only describing it as “long” or “too long”. The problem is, you can’t improve what you can’t measure. A manual way to find this out is to take the last 20 or so deals and calculate the average sales cycle by determining the length of time between first contact by your sales team and close of the sale.”

Whatever marketers end up discovering after analyzing the buyer journey and pipeline sales cycle, communication regarding your product and researching the customer are key, according to research. A study from LinkedIn, noted the top four most important factors in engaging with prospects in the early buying stage are the following:

Buyers expect sellers to ...

(1) understand their company's business model,

(2) be a subject matter expert or thought-leader,

(3) provide valuable resources, consultation, education, etc., and

(4) know the seller’s company's products/services.

When you reach out to a customer during their top-of-funnel of the journey, as aforementioned, during the Free Trial Phase of the buying journey—make sure to do your homework. Tailoring your communication around their business needs, offering case studies from similar customers or businesses, providing hands-on, personalized demos, as well as one-on-one onboarding, are all tactics that can improve your sales team’s odds of sealing the deal.

According to KISSmetrics, metrics to be analyze of at the awareness stage or top-of-funnel of the buyer journey include:

Sessions – This is especially important if you’re driving traffic to product pages on your site. Google Analytics Session data measures the level of activity on your site in two ways. You can view Sessions as time-based or navigation-based. Marketers can analyze this data to help sales understand how leads and prospects are using the website, where they come from, and what users are doing before and after an important action like a form fill. Using Leadfeeder, marketers can drill down into campaign data as well and see exactly where a prospect is clicking on-site to send sales the most promising prospects into their pipeline.

Percentage of old visitors versus new visitors – Are prospects returning to your site, thus, becoming more familiar with your brand? “The New vs Returning Report in Google Analytics, found under Audience > Behavior, is a great place to understand how people who have been to your site before behave differently to those who are new to the site,” Anna Lewis of explains.

Engagement – Put simply, this is where you can see if readers are opening and clicking through your campaigns. “For example, you might not want to just see your incoming traffic from Twitter, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular tweet,” writes Kristi Hines of KISSmetrics. “Or you might not want to see the influx of traffic from a newsletter blast, but whether that traffic is the result of a particular banner or link in the email itself. If you want to get down to specifics, you need to start using UTM parameters for custom campaigns in Google Analytics 5.”

About the Author

Lauren Ventura is Content Marketing Manager at Leadfeeder.

About the Podcast Guest

Jaakko Paalanen is the Chief Sales Officer of Leadfeeder, where he helped to grow a global team across 9 different countries and took the company from $0 - $2M ARR within 2 years and now pushing towards $10M ARR. He’s obsessed with building sales hacks and processes where the ‘machine’ and human work together towards the same goal. Leadfeeder is a leading B2B sales intelligence platform and a top-rated Google Analytics Tech Partner with customers all over the world.

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