Your data holds the key

19th of December 2016
Your data holds the key
Your data holds the key

In order to compete for larger contracts, smaller suppliers need to drive targeted sales campaigns that reach the right people with the right product, at the right price, at the right time. And all this on a lower budget than their bigger counterparts. But correct use of data and technology could be the answer, writes Paul Black, ceo of sales-i for ECJ.

The cleaning industry is worth more than €20 billion (£17.5 billion) worldwide, with contract cleaning services alone generating a profit of €116 million. There’s little doubt it’s a lucrative sector, yet many smaller suppliers are battling to get their share. Larger, better known cleaning product suppliers as good as own the big business contracts.

In order to compete, the smaller suppliers need to drive targeted sales campaigns that reach the right people, with the right product, at the right price, at the right time. And all this on a lower budget than their bigger counterparts. Easier said than done.

Aim high

New business acquisition is always a priority that has to be carefully balanced with customer retention, but ultimately both need to generate profit. A massive database of customers and prospects may look impressive, but how much value is it actually delivering?

It’s a classic case of quantity versus quality. To generate quality, high potential leads, all your sales and marketing efforts need to focus on the key decision makers at the companies you’re targeting. This doesn’t mean just the C-suite or board level executives (although they are, of course, very important) – think laterally and consider the employees who act as advisors or gate-keepers to the higher echelons. Essentially, you need to get your business proposal in front of the people who have the real buying power and influence.

Get personal

A lot of work goes into creating, producing and implementing a good sales strategy. All of which can fall flat in a second if your target prospects have not been researched thoroughly or communicated with properly. No matter how competitive your product or how compelling your message, if your sales and marketing campaigns are distributed at random you will have wasted your time and money.

The ‘spray and pray’ approach does not make good business sense and cannot be relied upon to increase company profits. To see real return on investment, you need to personalise your communications with data-driven insights. The right technology can help you get to know your customers and prospects better, ensuring that you understand their pain points and only offer them relevant solutions.

Even the smallest of companies gather huge volumes of information every single day. A busy sales team can’t be expected to sift through it all and filter out the relevant information for each and every customer across a range of product lines. The mere quantity of data you own in no way indicates quality information that can be translated into revenue-generating action.

Technology, when used correctly, can take the raw data and separate the relevant from the irrelevant, giving it structure and purpose. With greater insight into present and even future customer behaviour, your salespeople will be able to direct more engaging conversations and strengthen existing client relationships.

Use the right tools

There have been many recent advances in big data technology that can help you identify and respond to important customer actions. The right software can help you track customer buying behaviour, monitor how and when they engage with your company, determine their preferred touchpoints (email, mobile, social), and regularly assess loyalty levels.

Your customer data holds the key to huge upselling and cross-selling opportunities – but they can only be unlocked with the right technology. Suppose a certain customer buys your carpet cleaning products twice a year on a recurring basis. When the next date approaches the system will alert you and recommend that you proactively contact the account.

This enables you to offer your customer additional cleaning products, perhaps for their office curtains or blinds, at a substantial discount. This simple action alone will give you an edge over any competitors muscling in and ensure that your company retains important market share.

Alternatively, if you’re trying to win new business, your data can help you plot bespoke solutions that reach the right person. If the business in question has tiled floors, it’s no good sending them a special offer for carpet cleaning via email – especially when your target prefers to communicate over the phone.

Customers expect to be remembered, and so they should, yet for salespeople who aren’t blessed with perfect recall, this presents a challenge which can lead to some embarrassing encounters. Fortunately, when your all-important customer data is stored and secured in the cloud, it’s accessible anywhere at any time. Sales intelligence software allows you to review historical information from meetings and correspondence at a moment’s notice – when an important detail slips your mind at the next customer event you won’t be caught on the back foot.

Stay relevant

The cleaning industry is a rapidly growing market with substantial profit-making opportunities for companies of all sizes. However regardless of actual size, only the most technologically-savvy businesses will achieve notable success. Using the right tools will put you a step ahead of the competition, enabling you to demonstrate a real understanding of your customers’ needs and preferences. With superior intelligence at hand, your sales team will be able to offer personalised, timely deals that are more likely to convert and lead to repeat business.


Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited