How to Use Predictive Analytics to Drive Sales and Demand
Technology has made it easier than ever to understand the unique needs of buyers and reach them with personalized content.
Despite this, many businesses still rely on outdated sales tactics.
There’s no reason to make huge uneducated guesses about markets or leads anymore because you have heaps of high-quality data at your disposal.
Case in point: predictive analytics in sales and demand generation.
6 Ways to Use Predictive Analytics to Drive Sales and Demand Generation
Predictive analytics lets you take historical behavioral data and use it to predict future behavior.
In other words, you don’t have to:
- Collect high volumes of leads and figure out which ones are qualified
- Cast a wide net to boost demand
- Send leads generic content for nurturing
- Wait until customers churn to win them back
- Deal with alignment issues between sales and marketing
Instead, you can use predictive analytics in sales and demand gen to develop highly targeted campaigns. You can also use predictive analytics to figure out the best places to devote your attention.
Improved Lead Scoring
Traditional lead scoring techniques are tedious and inefficient. It’s impossible to score leads correctly 100% of the time. If it were, you wouldn’t have so many challenges between marketing and sales.
Predictive lead scoring uses historical and current data — including intent data — to build comprehensive lead profiles with artificial intelligence. AI removes human error from the equation. Plus, machine learning improves with time and can identify tiny details humans cannot.
Marketing can spend more time learning from the data and developing effective campaigns. Sales can spend less time on unqualified leads. Predictive lead scoring saves a tremendous amount of time and makes everyone’s lives easier (and the business more successful!).
Better Lead Nurturing
Gartner research shows that the buyer’s journey is complex. It’s not a linear process either — so why do marketing and sales teams still treat it that way?
Buyers only spend 17% of the entire sales process meeting with all sales teams. Your team members might only get 5% of a lead’s time.
Instead, use predictive analytics to nurture leads seamlessly.
Intent data and behavioral data can tell you where a lead is in the sales cycle and which competitors they’ve already researched. Marketing will have a comprehensive understanding of every lead. They’ll know when to send specific content, such as case studies, and implement social selling.
Plus, predictive analytics can help you nurture current customers before they churn. You’ll know if they’re investigating competitor plans and when to intervene with offers or other retention tactics.
Effective Account-Based Marketing
Technology and data have made ABM accessible to businesses of all sizes. 92% of marketers say they’re running an account-based marketing strategy.
You can thank predictive analytics for that.
Predictive analytics make it easy to monitor behavior, needs, and predict future actions. You don’t have to spread yourself too thin targeting accounts that will never convert.
Instead, you can focus your budget and resources on the accounts most likely to deliver the highest conversion rates — and even the highest lifetime value!
Effective Content Creation
Predictive analytics can help you understand the buyer’s journey on a deeper level. Pieces once hidden in boardrooms are suddenly brought to life through intent data and behavioral data.
Not only is this helpful for lead nurturing, but it also helps you develop the most effective content.
Predictive analytics can show you which content types you have gaps, such as:
- In-depth blogs
- Case studies
Specifically, you’ll understand which pain points, verticals, and accounts to create this content for.
Predictive analytics help you narrow down who actually needs your product. You’ll know which segments to target with content and which not to bother with.
The average B2B buyer consumes 13 pieces of content during the journey — both from your website and third parties like industry blogs.
Predictive analytics can help you figure out what to create and where to share it as well.
Businesses are struggling to implement effective personalization strategies. Research shows 80% of marketers will ditch their personalization efforts over the next five years due to poor ROI and data issues.
However, personalization is essential to success in every sector.
85% of buyers say they’ll avoid doing business with a company that doesn’t personalize the first touchpoint.
Don’t expect brands to stick around long if they can’t manage to figure out their personalization strategy over the next few years.
Use predictive analytics to understand behavior and create the most relevant content possible. You can even add an AI-driven recommendation engine to your website so visitors receive relevant content suggestions.
Improved Sales/Marketing Collaboration
Sick of forcing marketing and sales to get along? Predictive analytics can help because it eliminates many of the hurdles these departments face.
With each department running more efficiently, you’ll experience less hiccups and bottlenecks.
You can apply predictive analytics internally as well to improve business processes.
The Bottom Line
Predictive analytics is only effective when you’re working with the highest quality data and you’ve got every department on board. Low-quality data, missing fields, and siloed data only hold you back from making educated business decisions.
Once you clean up your data issues, however, the possibilities are endless.
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