Driving sales efficiency remains the ultimate goal for most businesses. Going after the right deals, building long-lasting relationships with multiple buyers in an account is key.
This evolving landscape demands sales teams to be agile, strategic, and, most importantly, armed with the right data.
And at the heart of this data-driven revolution lies B2B contact data – a crucial element in the arsenal of sales teams striving for success. Having access to contact data can open several doors for sales teams.
Organizations already have a wealth of contact data. Unfortunately, they are trapped across various applications and tools in siloed Go-to-market (GTM) systems. Think of crucial data trapped in phone calls, emails, meetings, calendars and countless other tools that your reps use.
The CRM, intended as the central hub for this information, often becomes a repository of incomplete, inaccurate, or rapidly decaying data. Manual updates are sporadic, and the consequence is a compromised ability to engage effectively with prospects.
The result? Critical data about prospects and buyers never make it to the CRM. And your sales team ends up targeting the wrong people and chasing the wrong deals. That’s the opposite of efficiency.
Merely having a vast pool of contact information is not enough. Tracking the dynamic relationship between sales teams and prospects is table stakes. Every interaction – phone calls, demos, emails, and notes – needs to be meticulously recorded. And shared in a unified manner for sales and marketing teams to be on a common page.
Enter AI-led Contact Data Automation
The solution lies in automating contact data capture into CRMs and deploying Artificial Intelligence (AI) for real-time actionable insights. This not only streamlines the process but also ensures that the data is consistently accurate. AI provides a unified, comprehensive view of prospects, enabling sales teams to deliver an exceptional buyer experience at every stage of the journey.
Benefits of AI-led Contact Data Automation
Introducing AI-led automation into your contact data strategy can yield several benefits across the buyer’s journey. Let’s look at the top ones:
1. Clean, Complete, and Up-to-Date CRM Data
AI can automate the process of collecting, cleaning, and updating contact data, ensuring that your CRM is always equipped with accurate and current information. This improves the reliability of your data and allows for more effective communication with leads and customers.
2. Automated Manual Tasks
AI can take care of time-consuming tasks like data entry, freeing up valuable time for your sales team. This allows them to focus on more important tasks, such as building relationships with leads and closing deals.
3. Actionable Insights
AI can analyze contact data and provide actionable insights about leads and buyer behavior. This can help sales teams understand their target audience better, tailor their sales strategies, and improve the effectiveness of their campaigns.
4. Predictive Analytics
AI can use historical data to anticipate future trends and behaviors. This allows sales teams to stay ahead of the competition by identifying potential opportunities and risks in advance.
5. Unified View of Deals and Activities
AI can provide both sales and marketing teams with a unified view of data, allowing for better collaboration and alignment. This ensures that both teams are working with consistent and accurate data, leading to more effective campaigns and sales strategies.
Use Cases for Sales Efficiency
From the first point of contact to nurturing long-term customer relationships. AI-led contact data automation can address various gaps in the sales process. And real-time insights into deal status and buyer behavior can become the foundation for driving sales efficiency.
Let’s look at some of our top use cases that contact automation can drive for sales:
1. Contact-Level Engagement Insights for Effective Multithreading
Pushing deals from creation to closed-won requires strategically engaging every member of the buying committee. Quite often, sales leaders do not have visibility into who their sales reps are engaging in every deal. They rely on a download from the deal owners during the pipeline review calls.
But almost always, most deal owners simply talk about champion and/or economic buyer engagement. It’s rare to discuss buying committee coverage, which can have 10-30 members involved if we consider enterprise deals. What makes this worse is that the opportunities in CRM would also only show 2-4 contacts. Sales leaders and managers continue to be in the dark. They don’t know what they don’t know.
By automating contact data capture, sales leaders instantly get visibility into buying committees. Combining this with good Salesforce reporting, they can gain visibility into the depth and breadth of engagement with each member of the buying committee. Such insights enable sales leaders to guide deal owners to execute more effectively.
While this is the age of AI, the truth remains that people buy from people, especially in high-touch B2B sales. This mandates reliable visibility into the strength of buyer-seller, or rather buying committee-seller relationships.
Each buying committee member is like a door. All doors lead to the same destination, in this case, that destination is ‘closed-won’. But the path to closed-won can vary behind the door. Some doors can open long paths, some short. So every door must be opened because you never know which door has a shorter and quicker path to achieving a closed-won deal.
2. Sales-Marketing Harmony for Account-Based GTM
If you’re a sales leader or an operations leader planning an account-based GTM strategy, ask your marketing counterparts if they have unprecedented access to clean and complete contact data. There’s a very high chance that their response will be ‘limited’. And don’t be surprised or offended if they blame your sales reps for not adding contacts to the CRM.
Your marketing teams are forced to rely on third-party data vendors for contact data, when in reality, there’s an abundance of those in your sales reps inboxes and calendars. The result? Irrelevant marketing campaigns due to poor audience targeting. This is where sales reps start blaming the marketing team for poor air-cover.
Effective ABM influences sales cycles and win rates. However, they are only effective if the contact data of buyers is accurate.
AI-led contact automation can offer first-party, marketable contacts for every account. It can also give marketers insights into buying committee maps, buyer-seller engagement, and pipeline progression. These contact lists are critical knowledge needed to run efficient ABM contacts.
With historical data capture of older deals that were ghosted or lost, ABM campaigns can be run to revive those accounts. This would give marketers up-to-date first-party buyer contacts that are captured directly from sellers’ inboxes’ and calendars.
In this way, AI-led contact automation can equip marketing teams with clean and complete contact lists for precise targeting in ABM campaigns. This improves the efficiency and effectiveness of ABM strategies, leading to better engagement and conversion rates.
3. Tracking Job Changes of Buying Committee Stakeholders
Job switching is more popular than ever today, due to an abundance of opportunities (and layoffs, if we consider 2022, 2023, and maybe 2024). Broadly, across industries, the average tenure is 4 years.
But this will be lower if we start zooming into industries, company size, functions, and geographies. The point being – your buying committee is more dynamic than ever. On the other hand, B2B sales cycles are only getting longer. You never know who will move out during the sales cycle. There’s a good and a bad side to this.
Let’s begin with the bad side, first. If a key stakeholder of the buying committee – champion, economic buyer, coach, executive sponsor – moves out of their job and if the other members were not engaged, chances are the deal momentum will slow down, or worse, fall through the cracks. This is why multithreading and contact-level engagement (use case #1 above) are quintessential.
The good side of key stakeholders moving to new companies is that the new company they joined can now be targeted more effectively, resulting in a pipeline generation opportunity. However, the likelihood of a new opportunity will depend on a prior relationship with this stakeholder. This is why contact-level engagement is quintessential. If a highly engaged stakeholder moves out, the chances of converting the new company into an opportunity are high, and vice-versa.
This is a cost-effective method of creating opportunities, resulting in a lower cost of customer acquisition. But of course, this is dependent on:
- your CRM contact data is clean and complete
- your sales reps are strategically multithreading every opportunity
- you have access to contact-level engagement insights
4. Revive Lost or Stalled Deals
There’s nothing sweeter than winning a deal that was previously lost or stalled. Typically, until now, this has only been possible if:
- your product is now offering what the buyer was looking for before
- a significant time has passed since the deal was lost and it’s worth returning to it once again
- the buying committee has changed, making it an almost fresh deal
But what if there was another way? Every day your sellers engage several buyers. But such buyer contacts along with the activities (emails, meetings, phone calls) remain trapped in your sellers’ inboxes and calendars instead of being in the CRM. Studies have shown that anywhere between 50-70% of opportunity-level contact and activity data is never added to a CRM. That’s a goldmine of data if you think about it.
So if you’ve been in business even for 2 years, you already have a significant amount of historical contacts and activities stuck in your inbox and calendar systems. But there are solutions available today that can backfill this historical data gap in your CRM with accurate and reliable time travel data capture technologies. What you get is access to previously engaged contacts that can be re-engaged either by sales only or by sales and marketing teams. This ties back to the door analogy from earlier in this blog.
Infusing the CRM automatically with these missing contacts in the larger buying group within an account and recent activities around a deal can solve this problem.
Transform your Sales Managers into Great Coaches
With insights from contact data automation, sales leaders can:
a. Have a clear view of what activities lead to success
Your sales reps and managers can know exactly what activities can drive them towards success through real-time data.
b. Review activity data and align behavior to strategy
You can use activity data to measure if your team is making the right behavior switch at the right time to reach goals.
c. Get an early insight into risks
View potential risks that may affect future performance. Managers can rectify it in real time much before the damage happens through the right coaching.
This unparalleled visibility helps sales teams steer clear of a bloated pipeline, and only focus on deals that are real. This leads to more confident forecast rollups and a much better utilization of everyone’s time and energy.
AI led contact automation can provide sales leaders with reliable buyer engagement insights, allowing them to make more accurate sales forecasts and strategic coaching decisions. This helps optimize sales performance and drive revenue growth.
Nektar: Your Solution to Contact Data Challenges
Nektar’s AI-led contact automation solution automatically captures contact data and matches it to the corresponding opportunity in your Salesforce CRM. With this solution, sales leaders can:
- Monitor SDR/BDR productivity and ensure hot leads never turn cold
- Improve CRM data integrity and SDR-AE handover hygiene by automatically syncing all lead activities into Salesforce
- Gauge the depth and breadth of account penetration
- Run targeted ABM campaigns using first-party marketable contacts
Nektar’s zero adoption contact data capture solution offers:
- Reportable activity data across the customer lifecycle.
- Adherence to engagement playbooks.
- Comprehensive buying committee contact and engagement data.
- Clean and complete historical won deal data.
- Contact-level engagement and scoring.
- Alignment of sales and marketing through contact and engagement data.
- Visibility into buying committees.
Let Nektar be your Magic Wand!
You already have the data you need to achieve your sales goals. Unearth it from your siloed GTM tools with Nektar and unleash the true power of your contact data.
Efficiency is key in 2024. And clean and complete contact data capture with actionable insights is the way forward.
Sign up with Nektar today and experience the game-changing benefits of AI-led contact data automation. Crush your sales goals, build effective pipelines, and unlock the full potential of your contact data.