The New Customer Acquisition Model -
Finding people who want to buy your goods—whatever your goods may be—is an age old profession. Qualifying leads to nurture through the
buyer’s journey are the lifeblood of a salesperson’s job. Once based solely on relationships and good, old-fashioned boots on the ground, the battle for leads is a never-ending struggle. A lot has changed since the early days of sales. Armed with volumes of data, sales professionals are increasingly taking advantage of digital media platforms instead of calls to connect with cold leads. The world has adopted a common tool for sharing information. Digital resources have created a space in which product and service providers have the ability to quickly and easily connect on a personal level with folks looking to buy. This landscape for sharing information has rendered discovering new leads—and identifying those that qualify—more efficient and far more effective. With the right tools, each salesperson has the ability to identify and connect with qualified leads on his or her own. In this white paper, you will learn more about harnessing the vast amount of data that exists in order to effectively generate quality leads for your business, in turn driving revenue.
Sales in the Digital Age
Did you know:
• 90% of the data that exists was created in the past two years 1
• 80% of that data is unstructured, existing online in the form of tweets, blogs, reviews and posts 2
• 78.6% of salespeople incorporating social media into their strategies outperformed those who did not 3
In the early days, a salesperson’s success depended on the rare occasion that cold leads and sales demos resulted in quality leads. And that was just the beginning of the relationship. The new sales model shortens the prospecting period and takes advantage of the power of digital data. Where at one time the joke was that social media was simply a place to share pictures of yesterday’s lunch, today a number of platforms exist to help buyers and sellers communicate effectively and on a personal level. In this symbiotic relationship, sales teams and customers are able to share valuable information to accelerate the sales cycle.
These days, a lead could be someone completely outside of your existing network, identified based on a relevant comment on a social media site. The wealth
of available data has changed the game for folks tasked with finding new business. Selling with insights backed by data science is the closest thing to knowing your customer inside and out. Digital data helps you understand your existing audience by illuminating specific personas within your existing and competitive audiences to help develop messaging as well as design products that suit their lifestyles and address their needs.
Data Driven Customer Acquisition
Who is your customer, and how do you find more people like them? Connecting with customers on a personal level with content and communications that resonate is essential to good business. Having the intelligence into what makes your ideal customer tick gives you a leg up on the competition. The more you
know, the less cold your outreach will be. While it may seem like solving one problem gives way to a whole new set of issues, modern data science can
help sales professionals automate the process of unpacking brand audiences to develop specific segments based on interests and behaviors.
Here’s how it works:
• Sales professionals select audience sources that they would like to better understand (i.e., brand audience, competitive audiences, keywords)
• Automated tools ingest social profiles and the unique posts that correspond to each user
• With data science techniques, posts and profiles are analyzed to determine patterns and understand demographics, geolocation, affinities, interests and influence
• Once each individual audience member is categorized, automated tools analyze and segment the aggregate audience to produce
actionable buyer personas
There is a ton of information available to sales professionals, but understanding the intricacies of your audience is the hardest part. Modern data science gives you the ability to analyze digital data, so your brand gets a comprehensive picture of the nuances within the larger audience in order to enhance communication and personalize content. In particular, it is helpful to know things like:
• Most commonly used words as pertaining to a particular subject
• Top hashtags within a subject
• Top brand mentions within a specific topic or affinity
In other words, using keywords to understand the context in which the group discusses “sports” in a general sense will help inform content creation and
context. Including top hashtags connects the messaging with the most relevant conversations and popular brand mentions suggest partnerships, new audiences and possible competitive brands.
Enlightened Audience Expansion
As a sales professional, insights into the demographics and psychographics of your brand’s audience can help you meet customers halfway to provide the best solutions more efficiently and effectively than the competition. Audience expansion is the whole point of customer acquisition. Once you know who you’re looking for, it’s safe to say there are others out there just like them. With audience expansion, your sales team can identify and define the perfect customer, and then
automate the process of identifying individuals beyond your brand’s existing customer base. With data driving the expansion, customer acquisition can be targeted at scale. Using digital data, brands can expand based upon conditionals including:
• Audience interests
• Demographic and psychographic characteristics (gender, age, race, city, country, language, marital status, parent, political affiliation)
• Hashtag and keyword expansion
• Competitive audience sets
• Data source
• Account type (person, organization, entertainment, etc.)
• Social platform
• Device and Operating System
By including more layers into the initial search, you can identify the most desirable targets and then build an audience that looks like your ideal set.
Connecting to Your Audience
People are busy and complicated. How do you stand out? Your messaging will resonate better with your audience if you understand as much as you can about who they are, their likes and dislikes, their values, etc. If you “speak their language,” you can personalize your communications with a warm, authentic tone. Before making a purchase, customers will research products and service providers to make a decision they are most comfortable with. In order to keep an audience warm, sales teams should use data to understand:
• The basic demographics of key market segments
• Prevailing interests, affinities and leanings that characterize specific segments
• Where the most valuable customers are
So how do sales professionals develop that connection? Understand that demographics only segment your audience slightly. An additional layer detailing affinities and interests segments the audience ever further. For example, rather than lumping all millennial women together, a data-driven sales team can separate the women who are interested in school, soccer and international travel from those who are more focused on healthy eating, style and fitness. With information like that, it’s safe to say that a sales team would take two distinct approaches to communication. As another example, it’s also important to understand how geography affects your customers’ perspective, desires and needs: trends in Dallas and Houston can be just as distinct as coast-to-coast fads. The right kind of communication makes or breaks customer outreach. Relevant language, tone and messaging suggests expertise and familiarity with the subject—elements that typically encourage positive impressions. That’s why it’s no surprise that knowing how specific segments of your audience communicate about relevant subjects is important.
Our modern world is chock full of information for use by both buyers and sellers. Consumers have gotten smart about taking advantage of available resources to make smarter purchasing decisions. With more information available, customers are more inclined to research the best product, provider and deal that they can find. It’s time for sellers to catch up. Using audience insights, sales professionals can identify and expand upon specific audiences and develop personal connections by providing helpful content relevant to the buyers’ unique perspectives. The ABCs of sales haven’t changed. But provided the right tools, savvy sales teams will be able to prioritize communications to those who are predisposed to the brand.
About People Pattern
People Pattern is a Software as a Service platform that supplies meaningful Audience Insights to the world’s biggest brands. Via semi-supervised machine-learned algorithms and natural language processing, People Pattern turns vast, messy public expression into actionable persona sets, helping brands gain an edge in the race to win, retain and serve customers.