Interview with Avention           3/2/2016

Let’s Get Real.

In this series, we interview sales tool providers and get real about the problems they’re solving and why you should care (or not).

This week I interview Vicki Godfrey, CMO of Avention.

Nancy: I ask guests to answer the first question using what I call the “You know how…” format. Tell us, what does your solution do?

Vicki: You know how every great marketing plan is data-driven – but a lot of time is lost digging through irrelevant info trying to find critical facts about your customers and target industries? Avention bridges this marketing intelligence gap and does the heavy lifting for you.

We partner with more than 100 data sources, including Morningstar, Freedonia, LexisNexis and Thomson Reuters, to deliver the most current and relevant market data to our customers. This high-quality, curated data helps Avention customers break through the avalanche of information on the market, access real-time insights, make meaningful connections with their audiences and inform strategic business decisions.

Nancy: That sounds like a problem worth solving (and a worthy solution). But let’s get real, sales and marketing organizations have a lot of challenges and they have to make choices about which to solve first. Why shouldn’t they continue with things the way they are if they’re getting by? What are the ramifications of not solving the problems you outlined?

Vicki: Marketing and sales teams need to address their data challenges head-on now because:

  • They’re wasting money and basing their marketing decisions on inaccurate or outdated data.
  • They’re missing out on opportunities, like finding new prospects that are highly qualified or lookalikes to their existing customer bases.
  • Their impersonal sales and marketing pitches are falling on deaf ears.
  • They’re losing time and money by acting on incorrect data or doubling up efforts across different teams and departments

 

Nancy: What types of questions should Marketers ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Vicki: Marketers should focus their questions on how efficient their data-collection and data-analysis processes are, and the quality of data these processes are delivering. We suggest asking things like:

  • Are we relying on data from Google when making marketing and sales decisions?
  • How long does it take us to research and prepare what we need to know?
  • How do we currently target potential customers and what does our ideal customer look like?
  • Do we even know who our potential and ideal customers are?
  • Does our view of customer data match sales’ view?
  • Have we recently lost market share to our competition?

All of these questions center on whether you have quality data, and how long it takes you to get and analyze that data.

Nancy: What types of questions should sales leaders ask to decide whether solving this problem should be a high priority?

Vicki: Again, these questions should focus on how efficiently you gather and use data. For sales, this is slightly different, for example:

  • When we conduct sales research or collect business information, how much time are we spending accumulating and analyzing that data?
  • How much time are we spending looking through different databases to find the prospect information we need?
  • Do we know exactly when to call a customer or prospect based on actions they take outside our database?
  • How can we find and target potential customers earlier in the sales lifecycle?
  • Are we finding revenue-generating opportunities quickly?

Nancy: This question is your choice. What do you want to answer that I didn’t ask?

Vicki: One question we get a lot is: How do we deal with disparate data sources?

Just think of all the data sources a typical marketer uses: CRM, lead generation tools, marketing automation platforms, etc. — and that doesn’t even touch on external data. Having all this information is great, but it can be tough to analyze it and get it to tell you what you need to know.

So, having a single, centralized view into this data is what we’ve found is the most efficient way to leverage it. Avention has a new solution focused on this problem: OneSource DataVision. It provides a single access point that allows marketers to visualize and analyze data to make more informed decisions, update data so it’s accurate in all repositories and even make data gathering more efficient.

And, what do all these things lead to? They make it easier to identify gaps in the market and pinpoint the most relevant opportunities, among many other things, of course.

Nancy: What should people do next?

Vicki: Start using data analysis as a valuable business tool, rather than a hurdle your team is constantly jumping over. Learn more from our on-demand webinar about centralizing multiple data sources. I also encourage readers to visit us at Avention.com.