SBM 089: How to Use Data to Increase Your Sales Conversions with John Ainsworth

Today’s Guest

In this episode you will learn actionable tips that you can take today to increase your sales and conversions.

John Ainsworth is an expert in data driven marketing.

This is the 89th session of Smart Brand Marketing.


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Improving Sales Conversion in Your Business: How Data Analytics Plays a Role in It

It’s no secret that data has always been important to business in a number of ways. From improving efficiency and effectiveness of your services to even preparing for upcoming changes in the market, the applications for the data you will gather from different activities are quite diverse.

One of these applications happens to be in improving sales generation. Now, there are countless other articles out there that will sing the praises of data in business. The question is, how does this do it exactly?

The Three Major Areas

It’s true that data can be used in many ways for business but, as far as sales is considered, the way it is used will matter a lot in three different areas.

  • 1. Lead GenerationThis aspect is where data is at its most well-suited for. Basically, it helps you predict which leads are most likely to close and where you should focus your efforts on. For instance, a quick look at the buying history of your target market will tell you which strategies have worked and what might work in the future. Combine this with external data like news reports or social media trends and you’d have a rather robust system for lead generation.

    Some companies are even taking things further and using data to automate lead generation efforts. For instance, you can use the data you have gathered to identify which target markets have leads that are likelier to close, identify different sales opportunities in each segment you target, and then convert the people there. All of these can be handled by AI-enhanced tools that use analytics to handle common customer questions and other presales concerns.

  • 2. Resource ManagementTraditional sales planning has always been about segmentation. The problem here is that, more often than not, these segments are determined by obsolete data than truly up-to-date information. This is why a lot of sales models become ineffective and inconsistent as time passes. Worst, you might end up wasting a lot of resources trying different sales strategies just to make things work.

    However, when analytics were introduced to the planning process, resources were more effectively allocated as you can now accurately determine which strategy goes to where, what kind of tools to use for now, and how to tap into current consumer behavior. You can even take things a step further by using the data you have gathered to come up with a network of tables and charts which can identify what actions your people down below should take and at what point in time in order to ensure optimum results.

  • 3. Customer ValueIt’s often been a challenge in business to match a solution with the needs of a customer. In fact, many people in sales often rely on simple decisions from customers but this, too, can take time to figure out, time you could have otherwise used to pursue other viable opportunities.

    Fortunately, this is where data analytics has had the most impact in recent years as Ai-guided tools have allowed businesses to predict what a customer might want and shape their buying experience base on how they interacted with the business. Websites like Amazon, for instance, gradually mold your shopping experience at the site by taking note of the kind of products that you regularly browse through and, of course, purchase. Once the Ai has a general idea of what you like, then they can start offering alternatives or supplementary products to enhance your purchase even further. This subtle addition to your business model should help ensure that a customer gets what they needs by adding more value to each of their interactions with you.

Utilizing Data

Now that you’ve known where data makes the biggest impact in your business, the next thing to do is to learn how to use it. Now, making sense of this information you have gathered can overwhelm you at the start but once you discover a way to integrate it to your business model, you might just notice that there are a number of ways that you can use it. Here are some of them:

  • 1. Refining Your OfferingsA bulk of your data is going to be centered on consumer behavior and customer information. Who are these people? What do they buy regularly? What needs do they have? These are just some information that you can gather from your data and you can use that to review the offerings your business has.

    For instance, you noticed that almost every customer in your business has purchased at least one of several products in your business but there is always that product that most avoid. You can use the data you have gathered to figure out what holds your customers from purchasing this product. It is at this point that you either improve that product or remove it altogether from the line.

  • 2. Optimizing PricingThe price can often be the source of a challenge especially if you want to introduce a new product. Set it too high and you’d be making the product unreachable. Set it too low and you’re sacrificing your profitability for availability. It might even poorly affect the perception customers have with your product line.

    With data from customers, you can look at what prices they are most comfortable with by looking at what products they buy and in what quantity. This will tell you how much money they are willing to part with for certain products and services in your business.

    Aside from this, you can use to segment your customers to different pricing points to narrow down the most ideal price range for your upcoming products based on that segment’s buying behaviors, needs, and pricing tolerance.

  • 3. Improving the MessageIn most cases, it’s not the products that turn off potential clients from the business. It’s the way you convey your message that does it. With data analytics, you can find ways to change the way you deliver your message so that it is tailored to meet every specific niche of the market and their needs.

    Do keep in mind that every demographic has their own way of accepting and interpreting messages which means that the way you deliver it must not be uniform for all segments if you want to reach out to all of them. There is data in your business that can tell you how your customers react to different promotions, images, and even the content you put out in your online marketing campaigns.

  • 4. Analyzing Old DataJust because it’s outdated doesn’t mean that you can’t use it to your advantage. Old data can still give you an idea as to what worked in t past by telling you the rate of sales conversion they contributed for the business. Basically, if you can identify what has worked in the past, you are effectively arming your business with a veritable library of tactics that it can use to refine its marketing strategies and improve conversion rates at each time.

    On the flip side, you can use old marketing data to generate better sales forecasts. The way it does is by giving you an idea as to what the high-valued targets are for the business as well as help you allocate new opportunities and leads base on these targets.

    Once your sales team knows who and what to target, they can devote their utmost time and energy in reaching out to these people, saving you a lot of resources while still optimizing results from each marketing strategy.

  • 5. Motivating Your PeopleOf course, the data you can gather can also be used to inspire and motivate your people. After all, nothing can push a team to go beyond their current capabilities than having concrete proof that their current efforts have observable results. Perhaps a new strategy your marketing team came up with caused a massive spike in customer conversions and profit. You need to tell your staff what happened so they can be assured that all of their efforts were for something.

    This also works on the flip side if a strategy did not work. By showing your staff that something is not working or, worse, negatively affecting the business, they can get an impression to course correct to alleviate most of the damage before they get worse. Of course, how you deliver such news will matter too. After all, you only want to inform your people to do better, not demoralize them severely.

So How do You Do Data Analysis Properly?

We’ve been talking about how data analysis can help you improve your business. The question is how exactly do you do this? How do you convert the data you have gathered into something that is easier to understand and convertible into actionable plans? Here’s how:

  • 1. Trim DownThe major complaint that business owners have with data is that it’s overwhelming at times. It’s just a wall of text and numbers, as far as the untrained eye is concerned. Now, you can’t process this data in its raw form because, believe it or not, 70% of what is contained in that report is going to be useless for you.

    What you will have to do is to determine the kind of data that will be relevant to what you are looking for. For instance, if you are looking for consumer behavior, go to the documents that contain such reports and head on to the chart that shows such. The text contained there is just an interpretation of the report to make it easier to digest; which is something you’d do when translating the data yourself, anyway.

  • 2. Don’t Do it on the Master CopyData analysis can often feel like trial and error. With that said, it can be easy to mess up the data you have while running an analysis. As such, it would be prudent of you to not do your analysis on the master copy. This is your original copy, after all and you would still use the data there for other activities in the future. Once the data has been tampered, it’s hard to use it again later on.
  • 3. Look for a Hypothesis, not an AssumptionWhen interpreting your data, it is must that you do so by basing it on a hypothesis. So what separates a hypothesis from a mere assumption? The former can be supported and disputed by statistical and numerical data. Even if you get the analysis wrong, at least it won’t completely ruin the entire process.

    The latter is a far looser application on the former as it relies purely on what you may think is plausible. With a hunch, most of your analysis would be purely confirmation bias (i.e. confirming already what you know) or a wild goose chase as you hop from one assumption to another. This is both a waste of time and a crucially fatal mistake to make on your part for the business.

  • 4. Let the Numbers do the TalkingIt can be far too tempting in analysis to “rationalize” the data to fit your pre-conceived notions of the result or, again, confirm your biases. If possible, just let the results speak for itself. If the data tells of a rather unfavorable situation for the business, don’t try to hide it. If it tells of something good, then share it.

    The point is that the data should be there to help you paint an accurate picture of your business. The more accurate that portrayal is, the more effective that data will be in helping you improve on your services to remain competitive as possible.

    Have you tried analyzing the data you have to improve your business? What other uses do you think data has to keep your business as competitive as possible? Let us know in the comments below!




  • Tools Used
  • Outline Funnel
  • Spreadsheets and percentages
  • How to map it out
  • Model
  • Numbers and benchmark data
  • Common missteps
  • Ungated blog posts


  • Data Driven Marketing


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