The Business Case for Predictive: 4 Talking Points
It’s easy for B2B marketers to develop a reputation as technology shopaholics. Just think about the sheer number of tools and services that promise to help you do a better job creating demand and delivering leads to sales. In his annual marketing technology landscape survey, chiefmartec.com’s Scott Brinker cites 1,876 marketing technology vendors (nearly double the number from the previous year), and 43 different categories of tools. As he puts it, “Counting marketing technology tools is like counting the stars in the sky.”
But keeping your organization outfitted with the most current – and effective – tools is part of your job. So, what happens when a new class of tools comes on the market, and you’re convinced of their value – but you’ve spent your budget for the year? Or your executive team has no idea what predictive intelligence is and what it can do? Or the marketing operations team is worried about a long ramp-up time or complicated implementation?
Your colleagues need to understand the powerful top-line results that a great predictive intelligence solution can deliver. Your goal should be to help them see how the best of these tools can impact quantifiable metrics (like revenue and win rates). Here are four talking points to help you make the case.
1) We’ll be able to engage with prospects earlier and identify the right contacts on the account.
“The only way we really know if our target prospects are planning to make a purchase is if they actually tell us. That almost never happens.
As a result, we waste a lot of time and money on ‘spray and pray’ techniques. We blast out marketing messages and hope that some of them will spark enough engagement to help us close deals.
In addition, we have no good way to accurately identify decision makers. Many times, we discover too far down the line that we’ve been pursuing a person or team with no decision-making authority.
If we had predictive intelligence, we would have a much better sense of what our prospects are researching and how close they are to making a purchase. We would also clearly see the key contacts and influencers for each account.”
2) We’ll send more qualified leads to sales and close more deals quickly.
“Our conversion rates are lower than they should be. Sales is rejecting most of our marketing-qualified leads (MQLs), which is frustrating everyone.
A predictive tool will monitor our prospects’ buying signals – on our site and on third-party sites – and determine with more than 85% accuracy the buying stage of each of those prospects. Plus, we’ll be able to predict the products they’re likely to buy. Sales will have a higher volume of more qualified leads, and will also know which sales leads to pursue first. Again, this will translate to faster sales cycles and higher win rates.
Investing in a predictive tool would help us start closing more deals immediately; and if we close only two deals by our fourth quarter, the investment will have more than paid for itself.”
3) We’ll get a leg up on our competition.
“How many times have we heard a salesperson say that a prospect just rolled out our competitor’s solution — and that they had no idea the prospect was even in market? Sales cycles in our industry are long, and getting in early can make all the difference between winning or losing a deal.
If we enter the buying process too late, we enter in a weak position. We’ve lost the opportunity to educate the prospect about the value of our solution versus that of our competitor. This means we have to invest more resources to close the deal and are going to take a hit on pricing.
Predictive intelligence will help us preempt these challenges. We’ll know more about the solutions our prospects are considering based what they’re researching online — searches, whitepaper downloads, and website reviews. Knowing what they know and what they need will help us capture their interest early before they reach out to competitors or make a formal announcement about an RFP.”
4) We’ll be better equipped to break into new markets.
“When we’re breaking into a new market, how do we get better intelligence on who the decision makers and influencers are in this space? How can we be viewed as a market leader and get prospects to think of us as the default choice?
Many prospects simply aren’t aware we have a solution that will work for them. Predictive intelligence can help us identify these prospects and accounts and give us insights into their research and buying behaviors. This will help us build a go-to-market strategy and engage our new buyers with the right materials at the right time so we can have the greatest impact on consideration and purchasing decisions.”
Reframe Your Company’s Thinking
In the end, you want your executive team to understand how data can drive results. The best predictive intelligence tools help you:
- Identify prospects early in the buying process, before the competition gets to them;
- Determine the buying stage all the accounts you could sell to — both known and net-new;
- Shed light on the most important contacts at those accounts — the true decision makers in the buying committee;
- Decide which prospects to pursue, when to pursue them, and how to get the best engagement to establish a relationship.
As a result, revenues goes up. Win rates go up. Customer satisfaction go up. Your business is booming.
Predictive intelligence is designed to predict the future. As we all know, what’s true today is not necessarily going to be true six months from now. Prospects’ priorities change. Their business challenges shift. The right predictive vendor will give you complete visibility into your dynamic buyer universe.