The results of a recent survey reveal that while B2B marketers are becoming more adept at collecting real time data, they are missing the boat when it comes to converting it into their sales performance. The online survey of more than 230 senior corporate marketers carried out on behalf of the CMO Council, suggests that many businesses lack the systems and organization to deliver sales intelligence to their front line sales and support staff.
A quick look at the CMO’s Customer Sales Intelligence Scorecard soon reveals the areas that the executives perceive as being weak.
The overall grade of D for the Key Competency Areas is both disappointing and surprising; it’s when you drill down into the specifics that a more disturbing picture emerges.
- Only 9% say that they see real time delivery of sales intelligence and breaking news to the front line.
- A very poor 14% consider that the front line have access to the right level of customer intelligence.
- Customer data accuracy, depth and reliability scores at only 16%.
- Only 16% consider that there is an effective remote mobile user interface to customer data.
Each of these vital sales areas score a miserable ‘F’ and although it’s not a massive sample size, such a resounding thumbs down is indicative of the extent of the problem.
According to the report the problem doesn’t lie with the collection of intelligence about customers and potential leads; after all social media and mobile technologies have ensured that customer management systems have become ever more sophisticated. The breakdown occurs with real time delivery of real time data to the right place, at the right time to empower sales teams to take advantage of it. The report concludes that many businesses are failing to invest enough time and money in managing the data about customers, both existing and potential, that they collect.
If the trends identified in the survey are reflected across the marketing industry (and based on what we see in the marketplace in general, they are) this is a problem. Marketing executives and their teams will need to adopt a much more flexible and dynamic approach to ensure that customer intelligence data reaches the front line at the right time, whenever that may be.
The greatest challenge? Marketing teams are largely either understaffed or without the necessary budget allocations to make this happen. I see this, and hear these stories, from marketers at every conference I present at. They know the basics of what they need to do, but they don’t have the knowledge and expertise they need to execute, their teams are running lean and their budgets leaner.
What are your thoughts on this? If you’re a marketer, where are you when it comes to integrating real time data into your sales and marketing tactics? If you’re an agency or a consultant, what are you seeing with regard to your clients’ adoption of real time data integration?