Five strategies for B2B companies to get more value from their customer data
Explore five strategic approaches for B2B businesses to harness their customer data effectively, boosting profit margins and enhancing customer experiences.
Data. Many B2B companies are drowning in it, from the ever-growing number of channels and touchpoints they’re operating across. Yet, only a few are utilising this data strategically to solve their business challenges and drive growth.
Think data is just for your marketing and IT departments? This is a growth-limiting misconception – but a common one in the B2B world. Here at IMPACT Commerce, we believe that mastering customer data is possibly the most cost-effective way for B2B companies to grow. Now, with stormy clouds on the economic horizon, it provides a bigger opportunity than ever before.
In this article, we’ll explain how executives at B2B companies can leverage the customer data they already have to unlock better decision-making, enhanced customer experiences, and sustainable commercial growth across their organisations.
Why invest in data now?
Simply put: utilising customer data offers a good return on your investment.
The volume of data in the world is expected to double by 2026. Consequently, B2B companies are increasingly exploring ways to extract maximum value from the goldmines of customer data many have at-hand.
The numbers bear this out. According to data from McKinsey, companies that have strong analytics are 1.5x more likely to be faster growers than their peers, and 64% of B2B companies are expecting to increase their investments in predictive analytics.
Customer data can help tackle critical business challenges that many B2B companies are facing today. These include personalisation, reducing customer churn, sales prioritisation, resource management, and more.
Data utilisation goes way beyond personalisation in businesses. It's critical to building a business that is commercially sustainable for the future.
The road to success? Activating your data
By itself, data won’t get you anywhere.
To truly unlock the potential of customer data, B2B companies must think beyond the basics and explore how to prioritise and activate their data, connect the dots, and reap actionable insights that directly impact the bottom-line. This is where many B2B companies are falling short.
“C-level and management usually have an idea where they have potential for optimisation or why revenue is declining. But only a few truly understand the causal relations beneath, and have a plan and structured approach for activating data to gain the insights they need to make the right decisions and solve their core challenges efficiently,” William adds.
5 strategies to get more value from your customer data
Creating a culture where important business decisions are based on data can catapult B2B companies toward faster and more sustainable growth. Here are five ways pioneering B2Bs are leveraging their customer data to benefit their bottom line.
Customer churn significantly impacts your revenue and growth prospects. By delving into customer data, B2Bs can identify patterns that signal potential churn risks. Armed with this knowledge, they can take proactive steps to re-engage and retain at-risk customers through tailored retention strategies and interventions.
Profit margin data often gets overlooked when making decisions related to advertising or recommending products on websites and other channels. B2B companies can leverage their data to determine which channels to invest in, optimise pricing strategies, marketing efforts, and product recommendations, ensuring that you maximise profitability while providing the most value to customers.
Running a successful business means making the right decisions – and that comes from data, not gut decisions. Customer data can provide invaluable insights into market trends, customer preferences, and operational inefficiencies that can then be acted upon. This data-driven approach empowers decision-makers to make informed choices, leading to improved business outcomes.
B2B buyers are increasingly digitally savvy and conduct more and more of their buying journey independently, online. Because of this, customer data is becoming a game-changer for B2B sales teams. Customer data enables salespeople to gain a deeper understanding of customer behaviour and preferences, so they can monitor prospects carefully, and then step in when the time is right. It also optimises the time spent on manual tasks like prospect identification and cold calling.
Making use of customer data to grow your business doesn’t stop at new customer acquisition. Existing customers are also a valuable asset for any B2B company.
Looking into your data can help identify the most profitable accounts, and spot cross-selling and upselling opportunities, allowing you to increase the share of each customer’s wallet. Additionally, tailoring offerings based on data can foster stronger relationships and bring greater revenue from existing accounts.
5 Challenges you should be aware of
Customer data can do a lot if used correctly. Unfortunately, here at IMPACT Commerce we see many B2B companies not getting the results they expect from their data investment. Here are the key obstacles B2B companies need to consider before starting their data activation project.
Lack of data objectives
The challenge often begins already at the starting line, where some B2B companies fail to identify goals for using their customer data, such as preventing churn and increasing existing customer wallet share. As a result, many B2B companies lack the capabilities to translate data into relevant, actionable insights.
Lack of organisational buy-in
A New Vantage Partners study found that only 20% of executives say that a data culture had been established within their companies. Achieving success with customer data requires significant organisational buy-in and a cultural shift toward data-driven decision-making. Resistance to change, lack of familiarity with data, and limited adoption of data tools can hinder the effective use of customer data.
Poor data quality
Becoming a data-driven organisation relies on the availability of accurate and reliable data. B2Bs can face challenges in maintaining data quality, data integration from disparate sources, and ensuring data integrity, which can impact the accuracy and effectiveness of the insights they’re trying to collect.
Collecting and storing large amounts of customer data is inherently risky. Danger spots include potential breaches, data privacy concerns, and regulatory compliance issues. B2Bs need robust data security measures and compliance frameworks to mitigate these risks effectively.
Implementing data solutions is often complex, requiring investments in technology infrastructure, data management systems, and skilled personnel. If a B2B company doesn’t have the right level of expertise or resources in-house, the whole project can falter.
Isn’t a CDP enough?
A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is often recommended as the perfect solution for companies looking to refine their data and create a holistic 360* customer view.
However, by itself, a CDP will not solve your business problems or drive growth.
The key to success is the activation of your customer data, not just the ability to consolidate and unify customer data, as provided by a CDP.
Capture your data opportunity with IMPACT Commerce
Don’t leave money on the table by ignoring the potential of your customer data. By utilising it properly you can identify growth opportunities, optimise resource allocation, and solve some of your biggest business challenges.
As you’ve seen however, extracting maximum value from data isn’t a simple plug-and-play process.
Reach out to IMPACT Commerce’s data experts to learn more about how your data can be activated for the greatest business impact. We’d be happy to share knowledge and reflections with you about our cases.