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3 min read

Data...why you need to learn to embrace it

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Data is vital to everything we do and consume.  

Without it you would be unable to buy your morning coffee with your contactless payment card, whilst you rush for your train that would be caught up in timetable confusion, leaving you to try and work from home without internet access and with a defunct mobile phone. And god forbid, if you get through the day relatively unscathed and sit down to the next Netflix boxset, the viewing algorithms would leave you watching the first season of your favourite show when you should be on season five. First world problems hey! 

So, the modern world needs data to function. As do businesses. And data comes in many forms: production data, accounts data as well as sales and customer data. But many people view data as stale, stagnant and boring. Not often seeing the value of being involved with data and using it to develop their business.  

But if you apply a human face to your data, especially your sales and CRM data, then it becomes a whole different story. Every piece of data in your sales/CRM systems belongs to a person, who belongs to a business, who may one day become a customer. So, shift your perception of data from numbers and regard each record as a real person who has challenges, pressures, needs and desires, just like us all. 

Beyond the human face that you have now applied to your data, is the detail of your relationship with them. You can segment your data many different ways.  

One way is deep diving into the relationship status you have with them. Are they advocates, customers, prospects or suspects?  


These are your most valued customers, your evangelists. You just love them, and they love you. They are high worth and have been around your business for a long time. The beauty of data means that you can study their DNA, looking at their demographic and firmographic make-up, really drilling down into what makes your relationship so special. And you can then use that data to create a profile of your ideal customer: giving you data-driven ammunition to find more potential advocates, their doppelgängers. After all, you know how to keep these guys happy. 


Not quite evangelist status but important paying customers non-the-less. This segment makes up the bulk of your customer volume, but probably not the bulk of your revenue. Interrogating purchase data and engagement behaviour data, will uncover opportunities to move them up your relationship ladder:

  • Are they repeat buying the same item or licence?
  • Should they be moved onto a different, more secure subscription?
  • What natural up-sell opportunities exist based on what they currently buy?
  • Can you cross-sell them products from other departments that will make them even more dependent on you as a supplier?

Drill down into your data and build a rich picture of their behaviours, establish where they are exposed and then make them an offer they can’t refuse! But do it with the support of data that you have tuned in insight. 


This segment will not be as data rich as the previous two, however they are still prospects because you have some data about them. They will not have bought from you but they will have engaged with you. They will have completed a web form, downloaded some content, responded to an email or engaged with your social media activity. You are on their radar but still flying quite low. Build a picture of their interest with the data you do have, and exploit that interest:

  • What web pages are they visiting?
  • What products have they looked at?
  • What size business are they?
  • Is a specialist responsible for the area you serve or is it merely looked after by a stakeholder?

All this intelligence will help you pitch effectively, with messages and solutions that solve their problems. 


Unfortunately too many companies place too much focus on building big lists, crammed full of suspects that aren’t moving through their funnel and are sucking up resource. Suspects are important of course and they are needed to feed the top of your funnel, but it’s vital that they are as data rich as possible. All too often, contacts will drop into a CRM with only name and email address and nothing more. Frictionless sign-up methods encourage this, and capturing suspect data with ease is a popular tactic. However, the data is virtually useless unless you quickly qualify them and begin to build a more rounded picture of their profile and needs.   

This work doesn’t need to be resource intense. Systems and automation can do much of the heavy lifting of making contact and nurturing opportunities with value-add content. Putting contact processes in place and building your pipeline can also help smooth your sales curve so that you are not subject to the feast and famine that is the typical annual cycle of many small and medium sized businesses.  

So, try to think of data, processes and systems as a way to really grow your business. Interrogate your sales data and really focus on exploiting the value from your CRM data. Invest some time in establishing some processes, free up your head space and get back some hard-earned time to concentrate on delivering what you do best. I’m guessing it doesn’t involve data!

To discuss how embracing data can benefit your business, please get in touch, we’d love to have a chat with you!