A business buying decision is complex. There are usually multiple people involved in the decision-making process, and a number of stakeholders who need to be pleased with the outcome of the purchase. In addition to the nuts and bolts of buying — assuring that the price, quality, and service offered is acceptable and pleasing to your customers — you also have to be sure that you are building and nurturing long-lasting relationships.
Most relationships with business customers are ongoing, easily lasting for decades. Yet there are challenges in maintaining this type of long-term relationship, especially when the people you deal with at the company come and go. People are promoted, change jobs, retire, and new workers are hired. How can you maintain an ongoing relationship in this environment of change? Big data can help.
The Data Gives You a Clearer Picture of Who Your Customer Is
The business marketer essentially has two customer faces: the employee or employees that they regularly have contact with plus the organization as a whole. The first are just regular people: people who make decisions using a combination of critical factors (what products offer the best value, can improve operations, and come with the lowest risks) plus psychological factors (what provider of certain products or services handles their questions and problems the quickest, is easy to get in touch with if there is an issue, and continues to help them impress their superiors). The second face of the customer is the company as a whole. The only thing this face is interested in is what ROI you offer.
Big data can help you profile both faces of your customers: the individuals you work with plus the organization as a whole. Data is tremendously helpful in tracking and analyzing what happens after the deal goes down, in other words, mapping the lifecycle of your customers to identify the ways you can extend those long-term partnerships. Within the data, you can identify what psychological and cultural factors motivate the employees you deal with regularly, and also gives you an accurate snapshot of what the organization is looking for and where they see themselves heading.
The Data Gives You a Tool for Refining Relationships Over Time
As workers come and go, and as the organization grows and changes, the data will help you, the marketer, make the changes necessary to keep pace. Perhaps your primary contact is a creature of habit. He simply buys from you because that is what he has always done. When he retires and someone else takes his place, the data can help you identify who she is, what her motivating factors are, and how to assure that she continues to buy from your company and depend on your products.
How can the data do this? Using a cohesive CRM tool or in-house solution, you can gather data points from all of the contacts your customers have with your business. Marketing can produce the email and phone communications, while sales can offer the dollar figures the company spends with you each year. Billing can tell you if they pay in full, pay over time, or have problems with slow payments. Tech support can illuminate you about how tech savvy the workers are and how often they reach out for help. With all of this information, you can assemble a deep and accurate picture of your customers.
Each touch point produces another set of data with witch you can build a more meaningful relationship with your customers. Over time, you will know exactly who your customers are, what they are looking for, and what their goals are. With this information, you can become the business that helps them get there.
ReachForce helps marketers increase revenue contribution by solving some of their toughest data management problems. We understand the challenges of results-driven marketers and provide solutions to make initiatives like marketing automation, personalization and predictive marketing better. Whether you have an acute pain to solve today or prefer to grow your capabilities over time, ReachForce can unify, clean and enrich prospect and customer lifecycle data in your business, and do it at your own pace.
To learn more about how ReachForce can help you optimize demand generation and your impact on revenue, check out our real-time web form enrichment demo, or request a free marketing data diagnostic. Get the power to let data drive marketing and higher performance.