Corporate Eye

Companies Failing in Data-Driven Customer Sales and Marketing Intelligence

big data bar chartTwo studies were released this week that tell similar stories about the state of data-driven sales and marketing intelligence. Long story short—enterprises are failing.

First, the Chief Marketing Office (CMO) Council released the results from its survey of 230 North American marketing executives at enterprise organizations of all sizes. Using a Customer Sales Intelligence Scorecard, the CMO Council ranked each organization using 10 measurements of “front-line sales enablement”, and enterprises only received passing grades in three of those factors.

Following are the grades from the CMO Council scorecard along with the number of marketing executives who indicated they are doing each of the things listed well. Take a look and see where enterprises are failing:

  • Effectiveness in accessing key account decision makers: Yes = 52%, Grade = C+
  • Total view of customer, business, and markets: Yes = 22%, Grade = D
  • Real-time delivery of sales intelligence and breaking news: Yes = 9%, Grade = F
  • Customer information accessibility to groups outside of sales: Yes = 37%, Grade = C-
  • Continuous updating of CRM systems by sales teams: Yes = 26%, Grade = C
  • Front line access to the right level of customer intelligence: Yes = 14%, Grade = F
  • Customer data accuracy, depth, and reliability: Yes = 16%, Grade = F
  • Remote, mobile user interface to customer data: Yes = 16%, Grade = F
  • Ability to do opportunistic and strategic contextual selling: Yes = 17%, Grade = D
  • Satisfaction with closure and conversion rates: Yes = 14%, Grade = D

Overall, the CMO Council gave enterprises a D- in customer sales intelligence and offered the following call to action:

Organizations must shift their cultures and platforms to become a market-sensing, alert enterprise, ready to capitalize on moments of opportunistic engagement. These universal customer sales intelligence systems must be at the ready with on-demand, real-time updates on key customer accounts. They should be filled with market news, social intelligence and aggregated customer account, service, and support details to enable all customer touch points to operate in unison and to access intelligence when and where is most opportune and through the right channel.

A second report released by Domo, 2013 Data-Driven Marketing Study, reveals that less than half of marketers believe they have sufficient access to the data they need to be successful, and at least 50% are not able to effectively calculate marketing return on investment.

Domo surveyed more than 300 marketers in management roles across a wide variety of industries and found:

  • 83% of marketers deliver reports via email.
  • 72% of marketers deliver reports during in-person meetings.
  • 87% of marketers rely on data to do their jobs.
  • 45% of marketers do not have access to the data they need to do their jobs.
  • 83% of of marketers are held accountable for ROI
  • 54% of marketers’ compensations are tied directly to ROI.
  • 77% of marketers do not have access to ROI data.
  • 89% of marketers believe it’s important to see all of their data in a single dashboard
  • 81% of marketers do not have access to a single dashboard to see all of their data.

Is your company effectively bridging the gap between collecting data and actually using it to drive ROI? If not, you’re already missing significant opportunities.

Image: Masbro

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.