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Data silos could hinder your sales pipeline. Here’s why

26.06.2024

Data silos can be a nightmare for businesses. You might have the best product or service, the most on-the-ball salespeople, and the most targeted marketing, but if your customer data is siloed, then there’s a missing link in the marketing to sales chain.  

Picture the scene. A lead heads to your website, fills in the ‘contact us’ enquiry form, and says they’d like to have a chat. This is great news, until you come to prepare. You know the lead’s first name and email address, but what else? 

Are they a new prospect on the verge of converting, or an existing customer gearing up to make a complaint? Have they engaged with any of your marketing assets, and what can you learn from this? What’s their role, and do they have decision-making power? 

Not knowing this information – or having it scattered across multiple platforms – is going to make your job harder and the lead’s experience more fragmented. However, a solution exists.  

Here, we dig deeper into the importance of addressing data silos, and why a customer engagement platform (CEP) could be the tool you need. 

Why you need to address customer data silos

Data silos can be caused by many factors. Perhaps your marketing and sales platforms don’t share data with each other. Maybe you’re tracking and qualifying prospects manually with a spreadsheet.  

Whatever the reason, data silos can disrupt your sales pipeline, and block teams from delivering customer experiences that hit the mark. Here’s why. 

Data silos waste time 

Gartner found that almost 50% of digital workers struggle to find the data they need to do their jobs effectively, which is unsurprising given they’re using 11 different applications on average.  

Flitting between multiple platforms to get a complete view of your prospects, campaigns, and overall business performance can be incredibly time-consuming, and therefore ineffective. 

Siloed data is inconsistent data

With data scattered across tools, inconsistencies become inevitable. For instance, you might have different email addresses and phone numbers listed for the same person across more than one system.  

This could result in communications being doubled up, which could frustrate leads and customers, or opportunities to engage being missed altogether. 

Silos can fragment the customer experience 

According to Gartner, buying groups for B2B solutions can consist of up to 10 people, with each person finding four or five pieces of information during the research journey. Sales journeys are clearly complex, and when their data is siloed, it’s even more challenging to create a holistic view of them.  

Data silos can also block you from delivering cohesive experiences once prospects have become customers. A lack of visibility between marketing and customer service, for instance, could result in a promotional email being sent to someone who has just cancelled their contract. This could leave them feeling undervalued and misunderstood.

YOU MIGHT LIKE: 4 ways to increase conversion rates in your sales funnel 

How a customer engagement platform (CEP) can help 

Overcoming data silos isn’t just about unifying your data. It’s about unifying it in a way that lets every department uncover insights to inform meaningful customer experiences, and measure each campaign’s performance. This is where a customer engagement platform (CEP) comes in. 

CEPs like HubSpot act as a single source of truth for customer data, and remove the need to enter data manually across multiple systems and platforms. By unifying data and standardising customer engagement processes across departments, they also support better collaboration across marketing, sales, and operations. Here’s how. 

For marketers 

CEPs can help marketing departments deliver connected, personalised engagements, based on the buyer’s journey stage and behaviour. Marketers can publish social media posts, automate lead generation emails with workflows, and A/B test content types (such as landing pages) to continuously optimise campaigns.  

With unified customer data, they can also take advantage of insightful reporting across channels. Streamlining this process should be a priority for marketing teams today, as only 53% of marketing decisions are led by analytics.

RELATED: 4 tips for building a B2B sales funnel with email marketing 

For sales 

CEPs can give sales teams a complete view of the customer’s journey, from their first touchpoint to their latest interaction. Features like lead scoring allow sales to qualify prospects, while deal pipelines make it easier to spot and remove barriers.  

Together, these features enable sales teams to predict when a lead is ready to convert, so that they don’t engage them too early or miss the opportunity altogether. 

For operations 

For operations, CEPs are a valuable tool for delivering great customer service. This is crucial once you’ve converted a prospect, as poor service could be the difference between retaining or losing a customer.  

With full oversight of a customer’s history, cross-channel communications, and any tickets raised, CEPs offer operations the visibility needed to handle queries immediately. SLA management features also empower them to pre-empt and prevent issues from developing, making sure that customers receive the service they expect, every time. 

Turn data silos into unified customer experiences 

Addressing customer data silos and creating a streamlined sales pipeline isn’t a one-and-done task. That’s why we’re writing a series of blogs to help you understand the value of a CEP, such as HubSpot, and your options for using one. 

In the meantime, we recommend downloading our free guide to setting marketing objectives that drive growth. If you’re struggling to get the best from your marketing and sales, then this is a must-read. 

You can download your copy here