More Context, Not More Data, Is the Real Key to Sales Growth

By Karen Ng, Senior Vice President of Product, Hubspot
A woman looks at a computer monitor.

These days, we’re all looking for new ways to win over B2B buyers. But generating new pipeline in an increasingly complex customer landscape is hard. And there’s not just one roadblock to overcome, but dozens. Making sense of the reams of customer data at your disposal can feel like an impossible feat, and the proliferation of technology stacks only compounds the problem. 

Yet in the midst of these challenges, many successful sales teams are not only closing big contracts but upselling and cross selling, too. For companies that follow their example, the opportunities are huge. 

The New Frontier in Sales Growth 

Turns out, most businesses are still applying yesterday’s sales solutions to today’s buying scenarios. More than 80% of marketers still rely on third-party cookies to generate leads, and 1 in 5 aren’t prepared to lose access to them. This approach prevents teams from leveraging more attainable (and far more valuable) first-party data. At the same time, much of the data that teams do collect sits in untapped silos. More than a decade after “big data” became a buzzword, less than 80% of companies are yet to create a data-driven culture. Two-thirds of executives say they’re uncomfortable using business data themselves, and more than 73% feel data skills are too hard to learn. 

Unfortunately, technology isn’t helping the way many thought it would. Even in the age of AI, 3 in 5 software buyers regret their purchases, and more than half say the financial blow will significantly impact business performance. 

It all adds up to a vicious cycle of more – more tech stacks, more complexity, and more confusion. That’s why successful sales teams have decided to approach the changing B2B customer landscape from a much different angle. Instead of more data and tools, they’re focusing on smarter integrations. 

To Capture the Hearts of Customers, Focus on First-Party Data and Tools 

The data that comes directly from your customers isn’t just higher quality; it also provides more reliable insights. Plus, today’s customers want you to take the time to get to know them. Of B2B buyers, 8 in 10 expect companies to be well informed about their personal information during interactions. To meet those expectations, you need a reliable way to combine all the context you can – every LinkedIn InMail and message, every transaction, every role change or career switch – to bring your customers new insights. Every time you interact with them.

This is how today’s successful sales professionals create meaningful relationships with customers, and why top performers close deals over $500,000 without ever meeting buyers face-to-face. Instead of relying on external data sources to blast buyers at random, they quickly analyze the information customers willingly provide to take on the role of strategic consultant with a select few. 

The question is: How do they make the mountain of data so actionable? This is where having the right integrations comes into play. While many sales teams get bogged down by dozens or even hundreds of SaaS apps, high-performing ones know to focus on just two or three. They sync marketing and sales data into one steady stream of insights that lets them build stronger relationships, faster. 

For example, businesses that integrate LinkedIn Sales Navigator and HubSpot make 4% more connections and see 25% more content engagement. These teams rely on a single, smart integration to quickly access all the context they’ve obtained about a prospect’s journey right within LinkedIn. Then, as sales reps gain new insights, one click is all it takes to update HubSpot with the same information. This puts reps in a better position to deliver the right message to the right person, at the right time. And because all the historical information they need is in LinkedIn, they can reach people in a natural, organic way. 

“For B2B sellers, securing high-quality conversations with the people that matter at your target accounts is the ultimate goal, but the path to arranging those conversations is not always clear,” said LinkedIn Sales Solutions VP of Marketing Gail Moody-Byrd. “With the right combination of tools leveraging first-party data, sellers can utilize insights to identify warm connections based on unique insights that can help them break into an account, customize outreach based on where buyers are in their purchase journey, and nurture relationships to deepen their customer engagement.” 

In a world where traditional sales techniques often fall flat, the key to success lies in smarter insights – not more meaningless data. The sooner you embrace this new mindset, the better positioned you’ll be to prioritize the right accounts and build the right relationships. Once you experience the transformative power of smarter integrations between your most reliable tools, capturing customers’ hearts can become second nature.