I have good news and bad news. Let’s do bad news first: You don’t know everyone in your area who might be interested in doing business with you. Ergo, you are missing out on customers.
The good news? Data is the cure for what ails you.
Data is the great sales equalizer. Having data to drive your strategies is like using a dragnet to capture fish. The alternative is to operate on gut instinct, which is akin to sitting in a dinghy with a pole and waiting for nibbles.
Here are two ways in particular data can help you create a thorough, sweeping sales dragnet that leaves no stone unturned.
Data Makes for Smarter, Timelier Marketing
If a friend of yours sets you up on a blind date, would you like to know something about the person’s likes, interests, and aversions beforehand? In dating and business alike, advance scouting and intel can lead to better connections, more relevant ice-breakers, less wasted time, and fewer overall heartbreaks. Knowing a thing or two about your potential customer’s needs and affinities is the starting point for effective marketing.
Scouring data sources can reveal a potential customer’s brand preferences, which gives you crucial insight into their operation. Instead of winging it with a cold call out of left field, imagine knowing in advance:
- The types of trucks a customer uses
- How old their trucks are
- The brands of trucks they prefer
- How big their fleet is
- Whether they buy new or used trucks
- Recent inspection violations and accident data
- Credit risk info
- Types of cargo hauled
Every nugget of information you can scoop up about your potential customer can help you craft the right marketing message at the right time. If you know about specific violations, or can ballpark when upcoming warranties might be expiring, that’s your cue to holler at them.
Being relevant, helpful, and timely is a great way to establish rapport, win trust, and build relationships.
The integration of outside data into your marketing efforts can equip you to launch targeted, highly personalized campaigns, and help you break the ice with potential customers before they buy from the other guys.
If sales is a net, marketing is the rope attached to it. Data is the fiber that makes the rope (and the net) strong.
Data Provides a Framework for Targeted Sales
What criteria do you use to find new customers? How do you determine who’s a hot prospect and who’s not?
Data can help you find, rank, and sort potential customers based on granular criteria, like vehicle inspection data, makes/models/brands, or fleet travel patterns, which gives you an organized template for targeted sales. If you provide services related to breakdowns or repairs, for instance, it greatly behooves you to learn as much as you can about truck routes.
As James Vogel, Randall-Reilly’s Vice President of Analytics and Professional Services, stated in a recent Truck Parts and Service piece: “Inspection data can help distributors and repair centers identify fleets within their area with trucks that have been put out of service for brake or lighting issues. You can target fleets that may not be within a distributor’s area, but whose trucks travel through their area and might need parts or service.”
That’s how you raise your game right there.
Data arms your salespeople with insider information about potential customers in your area of responsibility. Or beyond. The right data alerts you when prospective customers enter your market, and gives you an idea of what potential revenue might be up for grabs. Digging for fleet details (#fleetdeets) opens the door for making a play for your competitors’ top customers.
Ultimately, honing in on specific prospects who are in your wheelhouse gives your sales team a stable, efficient framework in which to thrive. Data can empower your team to out-hustle and outmaneuver your competitors.
Targeted sales and smart, timelier marketing are just two ways data can help you weave an efficient, exhaustive sales dragnet.
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