Data-driven Sales Approach: How To Implement Analytics For Better Decision-Making in Lead Gen

7 mins

Data is the backbone of any good sales strategy.

If you want to start booking more appointments with qualified leads, fill up your CRM, and overall, boost your sales, you need to combine your sales approach with data.

Being able to predict, observe, or optimize your sales strategy with any level of accuracy can take your strategy to the next level.

For example, if you launched a LinkedIn outreach campaign and got a reply rate of 51% – is that a good thing or a bad thing?

At a surface level, it might not seem bad.

But you need to look at the bigger picture of your sales strategy.

Which is where a data-driven approach comes in and asks questions like:

  • How many people did you contact to get that number?
  • How many of the people who replied booked a meeting?
  • How many of them were interested in doing business with you?

In other words, you need to define the right metrics for your data-driven sales strategy.

What metrics should you be looking at to optimize your sales with data?

Read on to learn:

  • 3 Main outreach and sales metrics you should be tracking in a data-driven sales strategy
  • 3 Experiments to A/B test and optimize your outreach campaigns for better results

PS – Looking to optimize and automate your sales outreach starting today?

Be sure to join our group The LinkedIn Outreach Family for the latest proven sales hacks, templates, and the exact outreach sequences you can use.

3 Outreach And Sales Metrics For Your Data-driven Sales Strategy

Now, the sales metrics you should be looking at will depend on your strategy and outreach plan. 

You also need to consider what your B2B sales funnel looks like, because it’s different for everybody.

But assuming you’re focusing on LinkedIn or omnichannel outreach, here are the 3 main metrics you should consider to optimize your outreach and how:

  • LinkedIn SSI.
  • Connection acceptance rate.
  • Reply rate.

1. Your LinkedIn SSI (Social Selling Index)

SSI (or social selling index) is a unique metric by LinkedIn that determines your overall profile rank when it comes to social selling.

The metric is based on the 4 following “pillars”:

  • Establishing your professional brand.
  • Finding the right people.
  • Engaging with insights.
  • Building relationships.

And you can find your SSI score here.

ssi

To calculate this metric, LinkedIn looks at the following data when assessing your profile:

  • Data about your professional brand – How complete and optimized your LinkedIn profile is, articles you’ve published, and the number of followers resulting from your articles.
  • Data about your connections – Your connections and the acceptance rate of your connection requests (see how to improve this below).
  • Data about your engagement – Your shares, likes, comments, messages sent and reply rate, and overall engagement with other people.
  • Data about your use of LinkedIn to find prospects – People searches, profile views, days active. As a free user, you’re limited to only around 500 profile views per day, before being prompted to upgrade to premium.

Why is this important?

According to LinkedIn, social selling leaders get better results with:

  • Social selling leaders creating 45% more opportunities than peers with lower SSI.
  • Social selling leaders being 51% more likely to reach their sales quota.
  • 78% of sellers outselling peers who don’t use social media.

So, as a rule of thumb, the higher your SSI – the better.

When looking at your social selling index, you also need to consider that creating quality content, engaging with the right people, and building relationships are just as important.

When using LinkedIn SSI as part of your data-driven sales approach, look at it this way:

  • If your SSI is low – Slow down your outreach, focus on other pillars, start creating content and building relationships.
  • If your SSI is high – Double down on what’s working. You can also grow your LinkedIn limits and start reaching more people.

2. LinkedIn outreach acceptance rate

Your LinkedIn acceptance rate simply means how many people accepted your request to connect, out of how many of them you sent in general.

For example, if you sent 171 connection requests and 92 people connected with you, then your acceptance rate is 53.8%.

To calculate your acceptance rate, simply divide your number of accepted requests by the number of sent requests, and multiply by 100. So, that’s:

(Number of accepted requests / number of sent requests) x 100.

As a rule of thumb, if your LinkedIn outreach acceptance rate is under 50%, you should consider switching up your outreach approach.

You can:

With Expandi tracking all of the above sales metrics becomes a breeze, as you gain instant access to how your campaigns are performing with real-time data.

This way, you can make data-driven sales decisions and measure lead generation efforts at a glance.

data driven sales strategy

3. LinkedIn outreach reply rate

Similarly as above, your reply rate means how many people replied against the total number of messages you sent.

So, to calculate the metric, you’d use the following formula:

(Number of replies / number of messages sent) x 100.

Increasing your LinkedIn reply rate is easy. Here are a few tips you could implement today to see results:

  • Increase the number of follow-ups.
  • Add soft “reminder” actions such as visiting your audience’s profile, liking their latest posts, endorsing their skills, and so on (all of which can be fully automated with Expandi).
  • And as a final touch, consider adding one last email or LinkedIn InMail follow-up action.

data driven sales enablement

Alternatively, you can switch up your follow-up strategy to being even more sales-driven.

When it comes to following up, most people annoy their sales leads with the typical follow-up messages, along the lines of “Hey {first_name}, just wanted to follow up on this…”. Instead, consider following up with:

  • Recent client wins and case studies.
  • Answering potential objections they might have.
  • Your most valuable article.
  • Personalized Loom video.
  • And so on.

Looking to take your data-driven sales strategy to the next level?

Here are 3 experiments you can implement to see an increase in sales metrics.

3 Experiments To Enhance Your Data-driven Sales Strategy

1. Test the same campaign on 2 different audience verticals

How your outreach campaign will perform depends entirely on who you’re targeting and with what kind of messages.

For example, if your solution is marketing automation software, you’ll want to target audiences who are already investing in marketing.

Makes sense, right?

So, for this step, you should have your ICP defined well. Then, you need to consider where and how to find them on LinkedIn.

If you’re targeting agency owners, you can:

Which approach will work best?

Hard to say without taking a data-driven sales approach!

With Expandi, you can easily A/B test different campaigns and audience messages.

All you have to do is:

  1. Create outreach campaigns you want to A/B test.
  2. Create a search you want to use for the campaigns (different audience verticals)
  3. Then, you need to evenly split the prospects from your Search. Click on created search, and select Assign filtered contacts.

  4. Select both of the A/B testing campaigns from the drop-down menu and click Add filtered contacts to campaign.
    data driven sales management
  5. Finally, the leads are evenly split and assigned to your outreach campaigns. Now you can activate the campaigns and start testing.
    b2b sales data driven

See our guide on data enrichment if you want to learn how to improve your lead generation results by making sure you’re targeting the right people.

2. Test image and video personalization

Personalization is nothing new.

You find something so unique it applies to each prospect only, and use that information to build rapport and break the ice.

89% of marketers see a positive ROI when using personalization in their campaigns.

But you can take this to the next level by using dynamic personalization that grabs your prospects’ visual information (profile picture, company logo, landing page screenshots, etc.) to stand out in their inbox.

This looks something like this – with the prospect’s logo, first name, and profile picture all automatically used.

image personalization

To set this up, you need Hyperise and under 5 minutes.

  1. Grab a free, 14-day Hyperise trial here
  2. Under Settings, click on API, and create a name for the API token.
  3. Then, create API token.
    image personalisation settings
  4. Then, copy the token ID.
    data-driven sales
  5. Go back to Expandi, Profile Settings, General Settings, and paste the API.
    data driven sales approach

Finally, to start using dynamic personalization, you need to set them up in Hyperise first and then sync to Expandi.

For best results, create something yourself, so your outreach feels more human.

data driven sales enablement

And for real examples, see how we managed to skyrocket our reply rate to under 60% via dynamic GIFs in this LinkedIn outreach campaign and how you can do so as well.

3. Test the Smart Builder campaign to warm up your audience first

The builder campaign is a type of campaign you can set up within Expandi for maximum customization, as you can add custom outreach sequences based on actions and conditions.

data driven sales strategy

In this case, to warm up your audience, you’ll want to add different engagement points with your prospects.

This way, you’re more likely to build rapport first, instead of jumping into sales.

You can even incorporate omnichannel outreach campaigns and engage with your prospects through InMail, email, and other actions, not just LinkedIn.

For example:

data-driven sales

To learn how to set up your own smart outreach campaigns, see our guide on marketing funnel automation so you’re not building them from scratch.

Then, to warm up your audience, you can add the following action steps:

  • Visit profile.
  • Follow profile.
  • Follow LinkedIn company page.
  • Invite to follow your business page.
  • Endorse skills.
  • Open InMail.
  • Email message.
  • Like a post.
  • Like a company page post.

The objective here is to follow up indirectly without sending a message. If you like a prospect’s latest post, for example, they get a notification and get reminded they haven’t replied yet.

According to a study by Brevet, 80% of sales require an average of five follow-ups to close the deal.

If you don’t want to overdo it and come across as spamming, consider adding soft follow-ups such as the above actions as part of your data-driven sales strategy to see its effect on your reply rate.

Conclusion

So, to recap, without data, your sales strategy is meaningless.

While you can start looking at obvious sales outreach metrics, it’s important to take into consideration the bigger picture of your strategy.

For example, a low reply rate might not seem like a good thing on paper, but if those who replied booked a meeting and converted into paying customers – that is likely to be worth the ROI.

One of the best things about using Expandi is that you gain access to instant, real-time analytics and data for your sales outreach campaigns.

This way, you can make better-informed decisions, based on real data, instead of predictions and instinct.

Now, you can grab the free, 7-day Expandi trial, launch your first campaign in under 30 minutes, and start seeing real results, along with its data, in under 24 hours.

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