Still, 89 Percent Believe Data Quality Drives Sales and Marketing
Dun & Bradstreet released the company’s annual B2B Marketing Data Report, which finds that half of B2B professionals express a lack of confidence in the quality of their data, amid growing consensus that data is increasingly critical to the success of sales and marketing programs. The study surveyed 250 B2B sales and marketing professionals with titles at the Director level and above.
The percentage of those stating that data quality is important to sales and marketing functions has continued to increase over the years, with a nearly 15 percent increase compared to 2016.
Based on responses from this year’s survey, B2B marketers understand that data plays a crucial role in enabling all stages of sales and marketing strategies, with the top five activities being campaign execution, personalized content and messaging, sales prospecting and closing, generating customer insights with analytics, and lead qualification and scoring.
“B2B companies are currently at a crossroads,” says Josh Mueller, Global Head of Marketing for Dun & Bradstreet. “They overwhelmingly understand the value of data to their organizations, but have not yet figured out how to collect, integrate and apply that data in insightful ways to help make business decisions. Organizations that have established a solid data foundation as core to their sales and marketing programs can improve performance over their counterparts that don’t have that data foundation.”
Data Quality and Management are Top Challenges
Lack of B2B data confidence impacts the most fundamental sales and marketing initiatives. As a result, even buzzworthy strategies like account-based marketing (ABM) may not be as prevalent as previously thought, with only one-third of surveyed companies implementing ABM programs.
Data management across the organization continues to frustrate. Despite massive investments in CRMs and other systems over the past decade, nearly 40 percent of respondents still claim to be beginners or novices in integrating data with their CRM. Likewise, over 90 percent of respondents said that it is difficult to align sales and marketing data about companies and contacts when executing programs across multiple channels.
Only 33 percent of respondents state they are confident in the ability to attribute specific marketing activities to the buyer’s journey, tracking initial outreach to closed sale.
“By using data to connect sales and marketing activities, businesses can better identify new opportunities, focus on the right audience with the right message, arm sellers with the right intelligence, and provide learnings that enable them to continually improve their strategy,” says Mueller. “When done right, this is the winning formula for more personalized, efficient, and impactful marketing at scale.”