Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Web 2.0 Authors: AppDynamics Blog, Liz McMillan, Adrian Bridgwater, Carmen Gonzalez, Dana Gardner

Related Topics: Big Data Journal, Microservices Journal, Containers, Web 2.0, Cloud Expo, SDN Journal

Big Data Journal: Article

How Context Will Solve the Big Data Problem for Sales & Marketing

Some innovative solutions are already helping B2B companies sell more by making prospect data actionable in the proper context

Slide Deck from Howard Brown's Cloud Expo® Presentation: Context to Solve the Big Data Problem for Sales & Marketing

It's a simple fact that the better sales reps understand their prospects' intentions, preferences and pain points during calls, the more business they'll close. Each day, as your prospects interact with websites and social media platforms, their behavioral data profile is expanding. It's now possible to gain unprecedented insight into prospects' content preferences, product needs and budget. We hear a lot about how valuable Big Data is to sales and marketing teams. But data itself is only valuable when it's part of a bigger story, made visible in the right context.

What Is Contextual Data?
Historically, business data was analyzed periodically (weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc.) in order to help businesses make better revenue projections and long-term decisions. While decision data enables executives and corporate leaders to make periodic strategic and tactical adjustments, it can't influence workflow in real time. Contextual data, on the other hand, is data that is delivered to the right person at the right time. This data is actionable and can be leveraged by employees in various roles to impact decisions in real time.

An easy-to-understand example of contextual data is Facebook Birthdays. Facebook asks users for their birthday when they sign up and stores that information in a database. Those birthdays are weaved into a story when, on a user's birthday, all of their friends get a notification. By presenting birthday data contextually, Facebook helps remind us of our friends' birthdays and even offers options of gifts to purchase for them.

Why Context Matters
In an enterprise setting, there are huge opportunities to help reps crush quota by delivering contextual data during the engagement phase of the sales cycle. As a prospect interacts with your company by viewing web pages, filling out forms or calling in, you amass an increasingly sophisticated profile of that prospect. This is data that sales reps should be able to access in real time. The first time a prospect calls, a rep can view a lead's marketing referral source to predict what they are interested in purchasing. Screen pops can trigger talking points that can help reps close deals. Through progressive profiling, there's no limit to the amount of data that can be made actionable. For example, reps can view a prospect's job title, company revenue, purchase history, CRM profile, content downloads, social media streams and more before even picking up the phone.

Presenting prospect data contextually can radically accelerate revenue. However, according to a CSO Insights study, nearly half of sales reps feel that they don't have the data they need when talking to prospects. The result is that the majority of sales teams don't meet quota. Often, the data reps need to close deals exists, but businesses have no way to leverage this data to influence workflow in real time. Marketers are great at capturing all sorts of information about their prospects in Google Analytics, CRM systems, business intelligence software and marketing automation platforms. The right data can help reps to predict prospects' intentions, deliver better messages and close more deals. But far too often, data that could be igniting sales remains siloed in various systems of record. That's why businesses need to invest in solutions that provide reps with this data at key moments.

Contextual Data in Action
Some innovative solutions are already helping B2B companies sell more by making prospect data actionable in the proper context. Demandbase is a great example of a company that presents contextual account data about prospects on landing pages in order to optimize conversions. Companies can use Demandbase to automatically tailor-fit content to specific accounts. Imagine the impact of visiting a landing page and not only viewing content specific to your pain points but also featuring your company's name.

The best marketing automation solutions also provide sales reps with real-time views of prospect activities. Marketo, for example, provides a lead view for sales reps that helps them prioritize leads based on quality and urgency. This reduces the time that reps spend deciding which leads to dial and enables them to spend more time on the phone closing business.

My own company, RingDNA, was built on the premise that the more you know about your prospects, the more business you can close. In addition to automatically routing campaign-specific calls to the right sales rep or group of reps, we deliver contextual data that helps reps have more successful sales conversations. One way we do this is by providing reps with a lead's marketing referral source. For example, if a prospect clicked on a paid search ad from Google or Bing, a rep could instantly see which keyword they were searching for. Seeing which keyword caused a prospect to call enables your reps to presuppose which product they are interested in buying. Once a call begins, RingDNA triggers a screen pop with sales talking points directly related to the channel, campaign or keyword a prospect saw before calling. This helps reps stay on message and overcome common sales objections.

In addition, RingDNA delivers a prospect's social media feeds during inbound and outbound calls. According to a Nielsen study, 46% of online users count on social media when making a purchase. Customers use social media channels like Twitter and Facebook to vent about frustrations when they are unhappy with a brand, recommend products to colleagues and communicate when they have a need for a solution. Viewing a lead's social media feeds in the context of calls can help reps have more successful sales conversations. For example, suppose a prospect posted on Twitter asking for advice about one of your competitor's products. Your rep could then deliver a pitch focused on ways your product exceeds that specific competitor's solution. But even a simple tweet about the score from last night's Patriots game could be leveraged by a great rep to bolster engagement.

Finally, RingDNA enables sales reps to access collaborative team data from Chatter at the moment of a phone call. This is vital when multiple sales agents are working on closing the same deal, a common scenario in many B2B sales environments. This prevents reps from delivering information to prospects - such as price quotes - that contradicts what has already been stated by another rep.

RingDNA and other trail-blazing solutions that provide reps with rich contextual data are helping to usher in a new era of enterprise sales. From here on out, customer experiences need to be data-driven. Remember that customers almost always call when they are either conducting product research or when they intend to buy. Either way, when your customers call you it's a critical branding opportunity. Your reps' pitches can determine whether your customers have a good or bad experience.

When your prospects call, they don't mind hearing a sales pitch. They just want to hear a pitch that speaks to their individual needs. With the right data, your business can personalize every interaction. This will not only result in your customers walking away with better experiences, it will also empower your sales reps to close more revenue than ever.

More Stories By Howard Brown

Howard Brown is Founder & CEO of RingDNA, a company that is empowering businesses to reimagine telephony by providing powerful web and mobile apps that connect the business phone to CRM, social media, ad sources and other rich sources of enterprise contact data. Howard is a widely recognized platform technology expert whose company DemandResults helped enterprise companies revolutionize their marketing & sales efforts. Prior to creating RingDNA and DemandResults, Brown founded 4Therapy.com, a powerful network of hundreds of healthcare information and referral sites, which he sold to CRC Health (a Bain Capital Company) in 2004. He also founded Senior Transitions, which was acquired by RealPage in 2013.

Brown’s work as a visionary in the B2B sector was recognized in the book Business Model Generation by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur, and he was recently featured on the popular Entrepreneur on Fire podcast. He is a frequent speaker at conferences such as Dreamforce and LeadsCon. Howard’s RingDNA prototype won the 2011 Dreamforce Hackathon, and his RingDNA pitch at Austin’s 2012 StartupCamp won first prize.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MetraTech, now part of Ericsson, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Ericsson is the driving force behind the Networked Society- a world leader in communications infrastructure, software and services. Some 40% of the world’s mobile traffic runs through networks Ericsson has supplied, serving more than 2.5 billion subscribers.
While great strides have been made relative to the video aspects of remote collaboration, audio technology has basically stagnated. Typically all audio is mixed to a single monaural stream and emanates from a single point, such as a speakerphone or a speaker associated with a video monitor. This leads to confusion and lack of understanding among participants especially regarding who is actually speaking. Spatial teleconferencing introduces the concept of acoustic spatial separation between conference participants in three dimensional space. This has been shown to significantly improve comprehe...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists will peel away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud environment, and we must architect and code accordingly. At the very least, you'll have no problem fil...
The Domain Name Service (DNS) is one of the most important components in networking infrastructure, enabling users and services to access applications by translating URLs (names) into IP addresses (numbers). Because every icon and URL and all embedded content on a website requires a DNS lookup loading complex sites necessitates hundreds of DNS queries. In addition, as more internet-enabled ‘Things' get connected, people will rely on DNS to name and find their fridges, toasters and toilets. According to a recent IDG Research Services Survey this rate of traffic will only grow. What's driving t...
Today’s enterprise is being driven by disruptive competitive and human capital requirements to provide enterprise application access through not only desktops, but also mobile devices. To retrofit existing programs across all these devices using traditional programming methods is very costly and time consuming – often prohibitively so. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jesse Shiah, CEO, President, and Co-Founder of AgilePoint Inc., discussed how you can create applications that run on all mobile devices as well as laptops and desktops using a visual drag-and-drop application – and eForms-buildi...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The recent trends like cloud computing, social, mobile and Internet of Things are forcing enterprises to modernize in order to compete in the competitive globalized markets. However, enterprises are approaching newer technologies with a more silo-ed way, gaining only sub optimal benefits. The Modern Enterprise model is presented as a newer way to think of enterprise IT, which takes a more holistic approach to embracing modern technologies.
Every day we read jaw-dropping stats on the explosion of data. We allocate significant resources to harness and better understand it. We build businesses around it. But we’ve only just begun. For big payoffs in Big Data, CIOs are turning to cognitive computing. Cognitive computing’s ability to securely extract insights, understand natural language, and get smarter each time it’s used is the next, logical step for Big Data.