When trying to get a B2B Company off the ground, every advantage matters. This also true in 2018 where some startups are bigger and have more money available to them. Understandably, many startups are trying to get ahead of the competition by implementing big data into their procedures as efficiently as possible.
The challenges faced by business-to-business startups are different from those that are consumer oriented. B2B interactions involve less emotion.
Instead, they tend to focus on how the product can improve business by increasing income. They are also more data-driven than B2C sales. These markers illustrate the necessity of implementing big data in B2B startups.
However, implementation can be tricky and for new startups, this brings a number of unnecessary headaches. Here are 6 ways to streamline the process.
Know The Industry – Knowing the industry inside out is the first step in winning the battle. Not knowing how the industry functions can leave staff clumsily trying to implement big data and either failing miserably or not realizing the full potential.
Therefore it’s imperative to learn the market first. Know what buyers expect from vendors and learn their idiosyncrasies. Also be aware of how those businesses aim to serve their customers.
In so doing, gain the knowledge of how to help them serve their customers better. Lastly, become aware of competitors’ price points to improve positioning ans competitiveness.
Choose Data Points Wisely – The problem with data is that if the wrong numbers are focused on, it can be just as bad as ignoring data altogether. After identifying the challenges, the next step is to identify the types of data needed to overcome those challenges.
This means involving managers from sales, marketing etc to advise on which data points help them most. For employees, it means using tools such as time card calculators. Having this data allows managers to do their jobs better and delegate key responsibilities more judiciously.
Start Small – Having a number of data points is a powerful feeling. However, keep in mind that everything can’t be done in one day and baby steps are needed. Do not attempt to shoehorn data points into every aspect of the business when starting out.
Building a startup means taking gradual steps, achieving smaller goals that snowball into larger ones. Mastering the smaller things, grows confidence and know-how to build upon those small victories.
Identify the Challenges – Big data attempts to find fixes for problems that pop up in B2B interactions. Understandably, the first step in addressing these issues is identifying the challenges the business must overcome to be profitable.
Attempting to enter an industry ignorant of the challenges competitors face is not only ill-advised, it is downright careless. Knowing the challenges can help weather storms while avoiding the pitfalls many competitors deal with.
Having the data can help beef up existing processes; reduce costs or ramp up productivity.
Properly Compile Data – For data to be actionable, it must be properly analyzed. Data can only be properly analyzed when collected in a manner that lends itself easily to analysis. Big data, by its very nature, can be large, complex and unwieldy.
In addition to this, data is likely to come in a variety of modes. While some will be structured, some will be loosely-organized.
If data collection methods are not standardized, this can mean collecting mountains of dense data that end up confusing anyone who attempts to use it. Therefore it is important that if big data is to make an impact on the business, it must first be logically compiled, to make the data more accessible.
Put Emphasis on Social Data – While social media is more important to business-to-consumer operations than business-to-business, data from social media interactions can still play a significant part in data collection. Therefore it is important that a startup does not neglect the importance of B2B simply because they do not interact as much with the consumer.
Marketing campaigns can yield a surprising amount of data. Likes, clicks, shares, and tweets all relay the impact of marketing efforts to marketing managers. From this data, managers of various departments can observe patterns that can be acted upon.
Secure The Data – With the increasing frequency of data breaches, it is unthinkable to implement big data without paying extra attention to its security. Data breaches can be a messy affair and apart from being costly to clean up, they erode hard-won trust in business-to-business relationships. When implementing big data, decide whether to have it stored in the cloud or on-site in a local server.
Conduct data security training for all employees. Use safer practices such as secure network protocols and being wary of opening email attachments from unknown senders. With these precautions in mind, the value of data comes in its accessibility and use. Therefore it is imperative that employees are able to access the data they require, in a safe manner.
Data is the lifeblood of any up-and-coming business. When properly used, quality data can mean the difference between success and failure. However, having the right data can be tricky. The wrong data points have little to no value.
Choosing data wisely and implementing it gradually can do much more for the business than inundating it with mountains of loosely-organized information. Prospects will reward the company’s preparedness and insight by becoming customers.