3 Questions You Should Answer Before Using Predictive Intelligence

 In B2B Marketing, B2B Sales, Predictive Intelligence

Last week Bernard Marr spoke to the heart of the big data dilemma in his piece for Forbes: Big Data: Too Many Answers, Not Enough Questions.

“Data on its own is meaningless. Remember the value of data is not the data itself – it’s what you do with the data. For data to be useful you first need to know what data you need, otherwise you just get tempted to know everything and that’s not a strategy, it’s an act of desperation that is doomed to end in failure.” – Bernard Marr

This made us wonder, are B2B marketing and sales teams thinking about the right things when they consider implementing predictive intelligence? We believe there are 3 key questions that teams should answer before they embark on big data and predictive intelligence implementation:

  1. What are my strategic goals, and how do I measure sucess?

If you’re looking at predictive intelligence as a way to get in front of your competition, how do you know when you’ve met that goal? You might ask:

  • “Are we reaching prospects early enough in the buying cycle?”
  • “How much bigger could our deals be if we are the first ones to respond to the RFP?”

Set goals based on where you are now and where you want to go. Measure the before and after.  To use this technology to your advantage, have a clear grasp of what you want to accomplish first.

  1. How do I use data to drive immediate results?

Predictive intelligence can dramatically improve your success rates by providing insights that allow you to make data-driven marketing decisions from what to say in your next email blast to writing a compelling pitch for your inside sales team.

Let’s say your goal is to deliver net-new leads to your sales qualification team. Predictive intelligence will shed light on the activity that led to these new accounts’ high scores. What products are they considering? Indicators like these will define the best approach for targeting these brand new prospects and how best to engage. Without data, you’ll find that you (and your sales team) will be spending a lot of time on efforts that lead to zero top-line impact.

  1. What else can I do with the data?

Getting information about your prospects’ and their buying stage, on an ongoing basis, is the key to deploying predictive intelligence throughout your marketing efforts and sales interactions. For example, advertising dollars can be more precisely targeted and can generate a higher ROI when inputs from previous efforts come back into the predictive intelligence platform. Companies can create powerful segmentation and nurture campaigns in their marketing automation systems. They can personalize their web pages according to the predicted buying stage of that visitor.

What’s next?

“Successful companies today are making decisions based on facts and data-driven insights. Whether you have access to tons of data or not, if you start with strategy and identify the questions you need answers to in order to deliver your outcomes then you will be on track to improve performance and harness the primary power of data.” – Bernard Marr

Companies that learn how to use data to drive their strategies and execution have a tremendous advantage over companies who don’t. To learn more about how to implement predictive intelligence, join Cisco, SiriusDecisions and 6sense on September 10th at 9am PT/12pm PT for our webinar: Predictive Intelligence: From Rollout to Revenue.

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