Mikey Renan is Head of Sales at Sense360 by Medallia, a platform offering high-quality data and actionable business insights to its clients. Recently, he joined our CEO Michael Pollack and VP of Marketing Sarah E. Brown on an episode of Intricately's Selling in the Cloud podcast to discuss how to transform marketing data into actionable insights.
In the episode, Renan shares Sense360's approach to transforming “raw” data into actionable insights that clients can use to drive business results. He also explains how he answers the most challenging question any prospect can ask about data: "So what?"
1. Data alone isn't enough
Sense360 has loads of data that’s relevant for sellers and marketers, but Renan knows “data is just a means to an end. People don't actually want more data because they’re already overwhelmed with data. What they want is the ability to make smarter decisions quicker and with more confidence so they can grow their business.” As its name implies, Sense360 is in the business of “making sense” of data, turning it into actionable insights that can be leveraged to drive revenues. “We have an entire platform and a consulting team that helps our partners extract value from these insights. But it's never a matter of just selling data. We want to help you be smarter about your business.”
It took time for Sense360 to learn how to go beyond offering “just” data to providing deeper insights to its B2B clients about the behaviors and expectations of their customers. “In our early days,” says Renan, “we definitely fell into the trap of geeking out over our own data and . . .using it in email outreach to show prospects data points we thought were cool.” What Renan learned was that business prospects don’t care about “cool” data points. Instead, they want actionable insights that help them make better business decisions.
2. Transforming data into actionable solutions
Renan shared an example of how Sense360 learned to go beyond selling “cool” data to providing prospects with insights they could act upon to drive solutions and revenues. “Back in the day, we would send emails to a top burger chain that we were trying to get to talk with us. We’d send them an email saying; ‘through our proprietary data set, we see that your customers are leaving you and going to burger chain 2.’ Want to talk about it?
The problem was that Sense360’s email did a great job introducing a pain point, but said nothing about solutions. As Renan explains: “the prospect would read the email and say ‘so what?’ How do we as a burger chain do anything about that issue? How does that help us improve our business?” As time went on, Sense360 improved its outreach.
Sense360 “started unpacking the layers” of a pain point, says Renan, and offering solutions to discuss with prospects. Its “new and improved” emails would say, according to Renan: We see in our data that you’re losing high household income consumers to your key competitor, burger brand 2. Your customers are going to burger chain 2 at breakfast and, through conversations with those consumers, we understand that it's because they have a better kids menu and quicker drive-thru. This is a significant audience segment that you're losing. It's something that you need to reverse.
Even better, these more effective emails would move from diagnosing a pain point to offering solutions: We have some thoughts about how you can reverse the trend by starting to satisfy the needs of those customers you’re losing – kids' menu, drive-thru improvements, and so on. Let's talk about how we can help you act upon them.
As Sense360 started to go beyond “just” data to providing more actionable solutions for its partners, “we started to get prospects on the phone talking with us quite quickly,” says Renan. Data plus insights backed by solutions drove more conversions for Sense360.
3. Answering a perennial question: “So what?”
Sense360’s “data-into-actionable solutions” approach was the direct result of the company “being reactive to the feedback we were getting from prospects,” explains Renan. “For example, we’d send someone an email and they'd say we already have that data -- a common response whenever you send data, because so much of it looks similar.” These prospects would respond with an email basically saying, “We got the data you sent, but so what?”
What effective prospecting comes down to, Renan believes, “whether it’s email outreach or any other touch point, is that every interaction should be about value creation for the end buyer. We need to put ourselves in the mindset of the person that we’re selling to, learn about what's keeping them up at night, and what challenges they're facing.”
Every time a prospect sees an email from Sense360, Renan wants them to say, “I need to open this email because it's probably got something that's valuable to me.” The only way you get to that point “is by consistently creating content from their mindset, not from what you might think is cool, but content addressing the problems they're facing on a daily basis.” That approach transforms data into actionable solutions and revenue-generating customer engagement.
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