HBR: Big Data for B2B May be Overhyped

23 Aug

A recent Harvard Business Review blog post provides a thoughtful analysis of one of the looming issues facing B2B marketers: how to think about Big Data. As the hype builds, marketers are looking closely at their CRM data (and data in other systems) to see how to best leverage it to drive revenue.

The post asserts that broad data analysis is overrated and that marketers should focus on the narrow set of insights that really matter in a B2B sales environment. Here is the guidance on B2B Insights:

“It’s impossible to know all the insight types that you can hope for, but it is imperative that you have several to bank on that can help sales force members answer key questions. For example, salespeople can gain insight into which customer to target, which offers maximize value for each customer, or how to spend time to drive success. Sales managers can gain insight into what guidance to give salespeople, how to set goals that are fair and realistic, and how to keep a team on course to achieve district goals. Sales leaders can gain insight into how many salespeople are needed, how to attract and retain top talent, and whether an incentive plan is motivating the right kinds of sales activity.”

B2B sales is always more complicated because the sales person has a relationship and often knows more about the prospect than the data can tell. The key to providing value to sales people is to help prioritize activity: helping them figure out who to call, what to focus on, and what activity to take next to maximize their chance of success.

The full post can be read here.

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