Sales Efficiency: Data is Key to Top of Funnel Success

This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

The following is a guest post by Courtney Buchanan. Courtney is the senior content marketing manager at Mattermark, a data intelligence tool that helps sales professionals identify the right prospects that matter most. This post originally appeared on the Mattermark blog.


Sales teams are constantly looking for more efficient ways to move prospects from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. That’s no surprise, yet they continue to struggle with optimizing their processes. The more efficient a SDR is at turning prospects into loyal customers, the more successful the business will be. But converting leads to sales requires more than speed. It requires evaluating prospects and nurturing them through their journey. Successful sales reps know that building rapport and strong relationships with customers is essential to long-term growth.

When sales reps are armed with information and truly understand the customer’s position in the market, they can better gauge if the customer matches the ideal customer profile and if their product or service will meet the customer’s need. By digging into data such as location, number of employees, recent funding, stage and employee growth, sales teams can spend more time filling the funnel with high-quality leads.

Boost Efficiency in the Top of the Funnel

Sales teams look for any edge they can get when finding prospects. The pressure is on to improve the efficiency of your sales team. For the biggest impact, take a page out of Tomasz Tunguz’s book, and focus your efforts on improving the top of the funnel to “save the time of your sales team and meaningfully improve unit economics.”

The better your SDRs get at qualifying and handing off highly qualified leads, the less you need to hire. Fewer SDRs, generating more highly qualified leads, drives down the cost of acquiring customers. Keeping this cost low will drive your sales efficiency up.

The result? Your company grows faster with less capital.

Find Prospect Data Fast and Easy

Sales professionals, like many others, never have enough time to complete all their tasks. On average, sales reps spend 8 hours a week searching for information and only one-third of their time actually selling.

When sales teams are armed with data to identify and focus on prospects that matter, sales and business performance increases. With Mattermark for Chrome, SDRs can easily see a company’s Growth Score, funding rounds and key people when they visit the prospect’s website or receive an email in Gmail. The Chrome extension is a one-stop shop for data consolidation and smart prospecting.

Gone are the days of conducting dozens of Google searches for information. They can simply click on the Chrome extension icon and have access to valuable insights. For instance, here’s the data you’d see on Pandora’s website:

Whether you’re researching an inbound lead or looking for new customers to go after, here’s how your SDR team can save time and find data fast:

  • Visit the company’s website
  • Click on the Mattermark Chrome button
  • Compare your qualification criteria to the location, number of employees, and funding in the extension
  • View your connections at qualified companies and start reaching out

Improving efficiency throughout your sales funnel isn’t easy, but it’s something you’ll eventually need to address. Speed up your sales prospecting and company qualification for your whole team today.

The post Sales Efficiency: Data is Key to Top of Funnel Success appeared first on Startup Digest Blog.








To learn more about Startup Digest, visit us and get in touch.

How Sales Reps Can Use Funding Data to Identify Their Next Big Money Prospect

This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

The following is a guest post by Courtney Buchanan. Courtney is the senior content marketing manager at Mattermark, a data intelligence tool that helps sales professionals identify the right prospects that matter most. This post originally appeared on the Mattermark blog.


Just three years ago, the food delivery business started to take off, with more than $1 billion VC investments. Back then, Grubhub and Just Eat were the main players in the space, and today there are more than 7,000 consumer-facing food e-commerce companies.

In the past month, we’ve seen a myriad of acquisitions, funding rounds and IPOs. Amazon acquired Whole Foods for $13.7 billion, and Blue Apron has begun pitching an IPO to raise more than $500 million. On top of that Nestle backed Freshly with a $77 million Series C round, and Delivery Hero is looking to raise $1.1 billion in an IPO.

Whether a company closes a round, gets acquired or goes public, this new funding often spurs company growth. With company growth comes an appetite — and the budget — for new tools to help accelerate product development, close deals and increase customer loyalty. As a sales rep, your product likely fits into one of those categories. Sales teams should stay on top of the latest funding news to identify the right moment to reach out to prospects when they have the budget and need for your product.

Data-Driven Prospecting for Food E-commerce Companies

When an industry like food e-commerce is on fire, it’s wise for SDRs to take a big picture look at companies in the space to identify good prospects that have the budget to invest in your product. These are the top 10 food e-commerce companies ranked by the Mattermark Growth Score.

Funding data is helpful for filtering companies that align with your ideal customer profile. Here are a few ways SDRs can use funding data for prospecting:

1. Funding Amount

Companies that recently raised a round of funding or were acquired are prime prospects since they have the budget and need for new products. With data-driven tools, SDRs can see that Deliveroo and Postmates are the top two food e-commerce companies that have raised more than $100M in their last funding round. By filtering based on funding amount, sales teams can gain insight into companies that match their ideal customer profile.

2. Late Stage With Recent Funding

If late stage companies are your target customers, you can search for companies in Series C or late stage. SDRs can add a filter for companies that have received funding in the past six months to target ideal prospects. In the food e-commerce space, Go Jek, Swiggy, Instacart, ezCater and Feaso are the top results.

3. IPOs

When a company files an initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission, they are entering a more mature market and are often held to higher standards since their financial and business information is public. Predicting IPOs can be tricky, so it’s best to merely keep an eye on the news and be ready to reach out when a company files its documentation.

Let’s take a deeper dive into Blue Apron, which has an expected IPO of June 29. It’s a late stage company with a growth score of 2,587 and $194 million in funding. The company may IPO at a price between $15 and $17, which would land the value around $3 billion. Blue Apron’s revenue has increased 10 fold from $77.8 million in 2014 to $795.4 million last year, and its growth is typical of mature companies that hit a $1 billion run rate. Its gross margin is 31 percent, which for comparison, Amazon’s gross margin is 37 percent. While it may be tempting to merely look at revenue as a measure of success, it’s important to consider all data points.

With the right data at their fingertips, sales teams can spend more time targeting prospects that match their ideal customer profile when they have the budget and need for their product, and less time blindly reaching out to companies.

The post How Sales Reps Can Use Funding Data to Identify Their Next Big Money Prospect appeared first on Startup Digest Blog.








To learn more about Startup Digest, visit us and get in touch.

Optimize Sales Ops by Integrating Data-Driven Tools

This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

The following is a guest post by Courtney Buchanan. Courtney is the senior content marketing manager at Mattermark, a data intelligence tool that helps sales professionals identify the right prospects that matter most. This post originally appeared on the Mattermark blog.


Sales reps used to spend endless hours inputting information into CRM systems to arm their team with insights to reach out to prospects and current customers — and some still do. But when you spend all of your time filling CRMs, it’s hard to find time to build relationships and close sales. In today’s modern sales era, salespeople are automating data entry so they can focus on strategic, account-based activities.

Believe it or not, 64 percent of sales reps’ time is spent on non-selling activities, such as updating contact and lead cycle information, according to a recent Accenture study. Typically when sales teams buy a new CRM software, the database comes empty. Sales ops spend days and weeks inputting data, and then once it’s set up, they continually update the CRM with new information based on recent activity and changes to contact details. It’s no wonder that 55 percent of sales reps say sales tools are more of an obstacle than facilitator of sales performance.

But sales tools are intended to help, not hurt, your lead cycle. Time and time again, sales teams say sales software becomes even more effective when the systems talk to each other and work with the same data. Here are three ways integrating sales tools helps you identify people in your funnel that match your ideal customer profile and reach out to only the prospects that matter:

1. A Cohesive View of High-Quality Data

Sales tools that integrate and share information take the manual part out of data entry and let modern sales professionals focus on what they’re best at. Salespeople should focus on human-driven activities, like building relationships and personalizing outreach, rather than tasks that machines can perform, like inputting data.

As companies fill their CRM, they often realize that prospects that should talk to are already in their funnel. They just don’t have the right data to personalize their communications. When companies combine firmographics from Mattermark like company size and funding with existing Salesforce data about lead cycles and prospecting, sales reps can more intelligently target prospects. For instance, you can learn directly in Salesforce that a customer recently closed a round of funding and congratulate them without bouncing between different sales tools. With this type of personalized outreach, sales teams can warm leads and have more powerful interactions that move from first conversation to closed deal faster.

2. Automatically Updated Insights

Out-of-date data is one of the biggest pain points salespeople face when it comes to lead enrichment. Without updated, relevant information, sales reps miss many new customer and upsell opportunities. When you integrate tools, data is automatically updated to help you qualify leads using the most timely, relevant information. Not only does information update without any action, you can also set triggers and actions to enrich leads and opportunities. For example, if a sales rep at an HR software company wants to reach out to companies once they cross the 50 employee count threshold, he can set notification triggers to know when it’s the right time to reach out to a particular company. Automation ensures sales teams don’t miss an important chance to build a stronger relationship with customers or reach out at the most timely moment.

3. Streamlined Workflows

It can be headache inducing to jump between CRM, lead enrichment and email systems. Even worse, it can take hours to input data from one software to the others. Despite the increase in sales tools intended to increase productivity, sales productivity has decreased from 41 percent to 36 percent in the last five years, according to Accenture. By integrating sales solutions to work for you instead of against you, sales teams will increase productivity and quality of outreach with all data easily accessible in one place. For example, with Mattermark and Salesforce, sales reps can instantly see updated employee count, latest funding and news among other data on the company page in Salesforce.

As SDRs, sales ops and sales reps move from transactional to trusted relationships, automating data entry and processes will increase your ROI and let sales teams focus on more strategic, human-centered activities. Just because you have data doesn’t mean you’re using it in the right way.

The post Optimize Sales Ops by Integrating Data-Driven Tools appeared first on Startup Digest Blog.








To learn more about Startup Digest, visit us and get in touch.

How a Bottom-Up Approach Can Help You Sell to the Big Guys

This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

The following is a guest post by Courtney Buchanan. Courtney is the senior content marketing manager at Mattermark, a data intelligence tool that helps sales professionals identify the right prospects that matter most. This post originally appeared on the Mattermark blog.


Enterprise sales reps typically have taken a top-down approach, talking to C-level executives since they’re the gatekeepers of the budget. But in the last decade, we’ve seen a shift to a bottom-up model that puts employees first and empowers them to encourage company-wide adoption of a tool. Instead of targeting VP-level or C-suite executives, salespeople are realizing the importance of understanding the end user and creating a strong relationship with individual employees.

Increasingly, employees are driving the adoption and purchase of technology because they love the product and convince their colleagues of the software’s value. Individual employees have encouraged their companies to use tools like Slack and Salesforce company-wide. Starting at the bottom rather than the top is a great user acquisition approach for SaaS companies. Here are three ways salespeople should connect with the end user to ultimately secure exec buy-in:

Understand Specific Pain Points and Use Cases

When you talk to employees who would use your product on a daily basis, you’ll have a better understanding of employees’ pain points and how your solution fits into or outperforms their current solutions. With this insight, you can take a product-led approach to sales by highlighting features that address their needs and speaking to how similar companies have reaped benefits using your product.

Getting a trial signup with an individual employee is easier than with C-suite executives because they’re looking for ways to work more efficiently and strategically. Plus they’re more likely to regularly use your product and evaluate whether it solves their pain points. As the end user evaluates your product, pay close attention to their feedback since that insight will help you sell to the VP or C-level exec further down the road.

Empower the End User to be Your Champion

During the trial period, your goal is to turn the end user into an internal champion at the company — someone who will advocate for your product and encourage his colleagues and senior leadership that they can’t operate as efficiently or strategically without your product. While the prospect is evaluating your product, make sure to establish strong rapport and provide the support they need. The better their trial experience, the more likely they’ll be to use your product regularly and convince colleagues why it’s core to their daily activities.

The champion is key to expanding product adoption from one loyal advocate to many employees at the company. Some B2B companies like Yammer and Zendesk even structure their business models around employee adoption spreading within the company. Individual employees can sign up for a trial and buy it on their own, and as more people at the company sign up, the number of users and associated sales increase.

When more employees adopt the product and want access to additional enterprise features, VPs and the C-suite will have greater incentive to upgrade from the trial or freemium version. Word-of-mouth marketing and advocacy starts with establishing a strong relationship with your internal champion and providing them strong customer support.

Get Immediate Feedback and Improve the Product

Your relationship with the end user should be a win-win for you and the customer. You provide them with support and they share product feedback with you. Create an open feedback loop and regularly check in with employees to hear what they love and what can be improved. Be sure to share this insight with the product and customer success teams.

Feedback straight from the end user will help you expand product features and improve any current features. While your short-term goal is to keep current customers satisfied, other prospects likely have the same pain points and would benefit from the improved and additional features.

With a bottom-up sales model, you’ll reduce the length of the sales cycle and have more one-on-one interactions with individual employees to secure their support and establish good rapport. To effectively implement a bottom-up approach, you need to find the right employee to turn into your internal champion. When an employee becomes a strong advocate, you’ll see the company’s use of the tool increase and perhaps an increase in subscriptions.

The post How a Bottom-Up Approach Can Help You Sell to the Big Guys appeared first on Startup Digest Blog.








To learn more about Startup Digest, visit us and get in touch.

Your Sales Success Depends on These 4 Data Points

This post originally appeared on blog.startupdigest.com.

The following is a guest post by Courtney Buchanan. Courtney is the senior content marketing manager at Mattermark, a data intelligence tool that helps sales professionals identify the right prospects that matter most. This post originally appeared on the Mattermark blog.


You’ve heard about the importance of data-driven insights and you likely already use data to inform prospecting, but if you’re like most salespeople, you know you can take it one step further. Today, establishing relationships with customers and creating personalized experiences (hello account-based sales) is vital to winning their attention and money.

Successful account-based sales requires high-quality, updated data. Yet, 57 percent of sales organizations do not think they effectively use analytics, according to a recent McKinsey survey. They might be overwhelmed by the data deluge, or perhaps they simply don’t know what data to collect and what to do with it. But data doesn’t have to be — and shouldn’t be — intimidating.

In fact, data will make you better at your job and your life easier. It allows sales managers to understand a customer’s preferences and pain points — what gets them most excited and what keeps them up at night. The more specific the data, the better you’ll be able to segment and personalize.

Whether you’re looking to revamp how and what data you collect or you’re starting from scratch, here are four types of data that will help you build customer relationships and ultimately hit your numbers.

1. Firmographics

This demographic data is the nuts and bolts of the customer persona. It includes company size, number of employees, industry, funding and locations. To make sure you’re going after companies that align with your target customer, create an Ideal Customer Profile based on the criteria for a company that’s likely to convert into a successful customer. Salespeople should talk with marketers and product managers to make sure they have the same vision of the target customer. Evaluating companies based on firmographic information is an ongoing process. Even if a company is too small or not currently in an industry that you serve, revisit the company as you both continue to grow and scale.

While the company is your customer, it’s equally as important to get to know the individuals who you’ll interact with most. Once you have a grasp of their role and personal motivation for talking with you, find a way to connect with them personally to establish trust. Did you grow up in the same hometown or do you have similar non-profit interests? The more you can establish trust up front, the better off you’ll be when you’re ready to close the deal.

2. Technographic Data

Companies worldwide spend $3.54 trillion dollars on IT, according to Gartner, so prospective customers are likely investing in other solutions as well. Knowing a prospective customer’s current technology solutions will help you understand the company’s maturity and aptitude for investing in your solution. Some call this prospect fitness. You can learn a lot about a company’s stack and its gaps by looking at the current solutions. For instance, if a company uses Salesforce and Marketo, you can highlight how your offering compliments those solutions.

3. Behavior and Intent

Once you have a clear picture of the company profile and its current tech solutions, you’ll want to dig deeper into their purchasing intent. Consider what articles the customer contact reads, topics she engages with on forums, content she downloads, ads she clicks and her customer journey on your website. Does she click from the product page to pricing? Has she downloaded any whitepapers — and if so, which ones? What articles is she sharing on social media?

These data points will help indicate if a customer is in the market and hungry for a solution like yours. It will also provide insight into how she makes decisions and her deepest pain points.

4. Engagement

Returning or current customers have a gold mine of information to help you personalize the sales journey. If a customer has bought a product or service from your company in the past, analyze how the customer has used the offering and talk to account reps to gauge the customer’s happiness and needs. If you have a good relationship with the customer, this is a prime upsell opportunity. If the account rep says the relationship isn’t in the green, make sure to work with the account rep to make the customer happy before engaging them again.

Each of these four data types holds a wealth of information on their own, but when combined, they empower sales managers to understand customers’ pain points, personalize the interactions and ultimately close the deal. As you have additional conversations with prospects and collect new information, you’ll be able to respond in a relevant, personalized way because you’ve done your homework and have firmographic, technographic, intent and engagement data at your fingertips. When married together and used correctly, data will help you be smarter about prospecting and hitting your numbers.

The post Your Sales Success Depends on These 4 Data Points appeared first on Startup Digest Blog.








To learn more about Startup Digest, visit us and get in touch.