Collaboration between Marketing and Sales is a prerequisite for customer success today. However, marketers must use data and analytics to gain insight into customer behavior and establish a personalized relationship with buyers.
Rishi Dave, the Chief Marketing Officer at iconic brand Dun and Bradstreet, explains how to use data to achieve these crucial customer relationship goals. As CMO, Rishi oversees all of Dun & Bradstreet’s marketing including brand, customer analytics, marketing technology, social, demand generation, digital marketing, events, creative, and content.
Michael Krigsman: I’m Michael Krigsman, an industry analyst and the host of CxOTalk. And, I’m speaking with Rishi Dave, who is the Chief Marketing Officer of Dun & Bradstreet. So Rishi, tell us about Dun & Bradstreet.
Rishi Dave: Yeah. Dun & Bradstreet is a global company squarely in the data analytics space. We have data on 265 million businesses around the world, updated three million times a day.
Michael Krigsman: It’s quite extraordinary! How have buyers and their expectations changed over time?
Rishi Dave: Boy, if you think about what the experience today with companies like Uber or Amazon, they really expect a company to understand and know them, and know the main pain points that they’re trying to solve and then when they interact with the company, they expect the company to have the backbone on them and actually be very targeted and personalized in how they interact with them.
Michael Krigsman: And so, how does the availability of this data create that sense of personalization or even, can I say, sense of intimacy, with that customer?
Rishi Dave: Well, there are three key things that we see. One is that there’s a lot of data out there. And so, first and foremost, companies are increasingly taking all that data and structuring it and cleaning it. Secondly, they’re using analytics and other ways to really understand what that data means. And thirdly, they’re surfacing those insights in a way that people and systems can take action on them.
Michael Krigsman: When you say, “Take action,” can you elaborate on that, please?
Rishi Dave: So, a salesperson may, for example, see within their CRM that based on all the data that the company has, this customer has the highest propensity to buy this type of product and this is the right person. And by the way, this person was recently promoted to this position. That’s a lot of great information they can use to target the person at the right time, new to […], with the right information saying, “Okay, this is the exact solution that the data are telling us they need.”
Michael Krigsman: But, it’s not just sales, right? Their marketing has to work lockstep with sales, as well. And, that’s been a problem for many companies that silo. So, how do we get around that and unify, bring together, marketing and sales?
Rishi Dave: Marketing has a larger and larger role. If you think about it, the marketer plays a very large role in architecting the right experiences before the customer even goes to a salesperson or even decides to talk to your company. Then, once it gets to a salesperson, that salesperson has to be enabled with the right data, content, etc. And, marketing also can play a very large role there, as well.
So ultimately, that requires sales and marketing to be very close and work very closely together. So, kind of garner the days when marketing says, “Okay, I’m going to generate as many leads as possible,” and sales says, “I’m focused on closing.” Now, everyone needs to focus on closing sales because both marketing and sales have a role in that.”
Michael Krigsman: So, you’re CMO of a large, well-established organization and so, how do you think about this collaboration with sales in your own organization?
Rishi Dave: Oh, you know, I think about it every day and it’s actually critical to our success. So, I’ll give you a great example. You know, we may leverage analytics and marketing to prioritize the right set of accounts that we need to go after for a particular new product. But, we absolutely work with the sales team to bring in the qualitative data into that process and then jointly decide what part of […] accounts to go after, and nothing happens in a silo.
Michael Krigsman: You mentioned metrics. What are the ultimate metrics and how do you know it’s working?
Rishi Dave: Sales. [Laughter] What sales are you closing? I mean, ultimately, as marketers, we have to measure ourselves on sales. And, once marketers start doing that, then the alignment happens very well with the sales team. So, making sure the leads are high quality and [to] lead the sales, the pipeline is high quality and reads the sales. It’s not just generating for the sake of generating. Once that happens, then there’s real alignment between the two organizations.
Michael Krigsman: So, what advice do you have for marketers and for salespeople to foster that alignment that you were just describing?
Rishi Dave: Making sure that the sales team and the marketing team are using common definitions, looking at the same reports and same information, and making decisions together on where to invest and where to move money, and where to move budgets and things like that, and where to focus and what customers to focus on.
Michael Krigsman: Okay! Rishi Dave, Chief Marketing Officer of Dun and Bradstreet. Thanks so much for spending the time with us!