So, you’ve contemplated acquiring valuable data, and I presume you have a strategy in mind for leveraging it to boost sales for your business. Typically, this strategy may involve initiatives like Email Marketing, Telesales, or Direct Mail, all of which can indeed yield promising results. However, one common pitfall that many small businesses encounter is failing to see the bigger picture when it comes to their data. While their individual campaigns may be effective at capturing prospects ready to make an immediate purchase, what about those individuals who are gearing up to buy tomorrow, next week, or even a year down the line?
The challenge lies in viewing your data through the lens of isolated projects. This approach doesn’t connect the dots between the data you collect, which means you miss out on observing the buying behaviors exhibited by prospects during the early stages of their purchasing journey. These initial stages often involve research, and they constitute a critical phase where approximately 80%* of buying decisions are made.
Consider the last time you made a significant purchase. You likely conducted extensive online research before stepping into a physical store or speaking with a salesperson. The reason behind this behavior is simple: you wanted to be well-informed about your purchase to ensure you made the best decision at the right time. In fact, even after conducting thorough research and entering a store, you probably avoided interacting with a salesperson until you were nearly ready to make a purchase.
Now, let’s apply this scenario to your upcoming marketing campaign. While your ultimate measure of success will undoubtedly be based on closed sales, the initial key performance indicators (KPIs) typically revolve around email opens, clicks, the number of appointments or inquiries generated. Yet, these metrics only capture individuals nearing the end of the buying cycle. This limitation is precisely what occurs when you examine your data at a project level—it overlooks the contacts in the early stages of their buying journey.
For instance, imagine you ran an email marketing campaign, and one of your contacts (let’s call him Dave) opened a few emails but didn’t take any further action. Most companies would dismiss Dave, focusing on contacts who clicked specific links, possibly passing the list to a telemarketing firm to further qualify them. But when you consider the bigger picture, these are the low-hanging fruit—the contacts ready to buy now, possibly considering your competitors as well.
Now, let’s revisit Dave and look at the bigger picture. It turns out that Dave is a highly promising prospect. Yes, he may have only opened a couple of emails, but he also extensively Googled your company, explored your website, returned weeks later from a social media post to read a case study, and even called your reception desk with a seemingly innocuous question. Dave has been diligently conducting his research and is on the brink of making a buying decision. All you need to do is recognize him and nurture his interest, ensuring that your offering remains top-of-mind when decision time arrives.
So, why don’t more small businesses capitalize on these opportunities? Often, they perceive it as too challenging, managing their data across disparate projects (email marketing programs, spreadsheets, etc.), preventing them from seeing the larger data landscape and the hidden golden opportunities.
Fortunately, rectifying this is straightforward. Small businesses can take control of their data to uncover these hot prospects by adopting a simple CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to consolidate their data and marketing efforts into one unified platform. The right CRM can streamline these processes without overwhelming complexity, offering tools to track leads, record notes and reminders for you and your team, and automate the identification of contacts displaying buying behaviors. In essence, it ensures you always have a holistic view, allowing you to know who to contact, when to contact them, and most importantly, why!
Meet Popcorn, a user-friendly CRM designed specifically for small businesses. It provides essential marketing tools to help manage, nurture, and convert sales and hot prospects more efficiently. Watch our 90-second video to learn more.
*Marcus Sheridan’s revised data from ‘They Ask, You Answer’.