Be Bentley, Not Audi

Are you taking advantage of digital customer insights?

April 27, 2021

How can a company leverage data to optimize its sales strategy? With the market flooded with buzzwords like digital transformation, integrated marketing strategies, and automation, many companies aren’t sure where to focus their digital sales efforts. The crux of it is that companies with powerful customer insights derived from accurate, timely, and detailed data seize an advantage over their competitors and become market leaders.  

Bentley Graph

Take Bentley Motors, for example. While the rest of the automobile industry struggled through the pandemic, Bentley Motors gained market share and grew demand through the turbulence. How did an automobile manufacturer reliant on high-priced, discretionary goods rapidly evolve its digital tactics to grow when everyone else was shrinking? It focused on analytical customer targeting. Precisely, Bentley executed three critical initiatives: (1) 360-Degree Customer View, (2) Increased Targeting Granularity, and (3) Propensity-to-Buy Assessments.

1. 360-Degree Customer View

Leveraging Accurate, Up-to-Date Buyer Information Across the Organization

Bentley doesn’t isolate customer information across organizational functions. Instead, customer service and sales reps use Salesforce’s Sales Cloud and Service Cloud to view individualized customer information on one integrated dashboard.  

The housing of detailed customer records, purchasing information, previous inquiries, lead sources, and other consumer details in one place allow Bentley teams to drive real-time sales decisions using data from across the organization. Any time a potential buyer walks in the door, the sales team can quickly access their unique customer data. Take a customer who had recent online inquiries on specific models, such as SUVs – they are immediately assigned a salesperson with a better grasp of SUV models to close the deal quickly and efficiently. 

Understanding your customer from every angle allows you to carry out sales efforts more granularly than ever before. Such information may shift your pitch just enough to convince that customer to make a purchase. 

2. Increased Targeting Granularity

Using Customer Data to Target Consumers When They’re Ready to Buy 

At Bentley, customer interactions aren’t by chance. Through marketing cloud integrations, Bentley tailors customer interactions and delivers personalized customer journeys based on interests and past experiences. These journeys ensure that Bentley contacts its customers when they’re most apt to respond.

Understanding your customer from every angel allows you to carry out sales efforts more granularly than ever before. Such information may shift your pitch just enough to convince that customer to make a purchase.

Bentley also uses lead management processes such as lead scoring and next best action to continuously inform reps on how to engage and maximize conversion. Knowing when and how to engage with customers is a challenge, but companies, like Bentley, can leverage existing customer data to target consumers at the right time and in the right way. It makes a lot more sense to send lease customers communications about new vehicles nearer to the end of their lease term than a few months into their new lease. 

Tracking customer engagements also provides sales teams insight into when and how to make the next move, whether through a custom email or direct phone call. Digital accelerates the systematic collection of detailed market data to profile individual customer needs, assess internal and external influencers, measure customer perceptions of value, and monitor performance. It would be best to document each action taken by a customer and use the data to inform your sales team’s next move. 

3. Propensity-to-Buy Assessments

Leveraging Analytical Tools to Collect Real-Time Customer Information  

Bentley knows that customer targeting doesn’t stop at initial engagement. It understands that recording data and information about a customer’s records, questions, and interests is much more important than the initial pitch. Post-purchase, Bentley uses sales analytics and other platforms such as MuleSoft and Tableau to integrate customer data and inform future marketing campaigns. Using these tools, Bentley determines the perfect moments to trigger campaign outreach based on new promotion and client behavior. 


Leveraging consumer information is critical throughout the consumer life cycle, and if you do it right, you can extend that life cycle indefinitely. You can even create propensity-to-buy assessments where you use client information to determine which customers are predisposed to purchasing. A holistic customer view and granular customer targeting only make these assessments more accurate.  

Digital technologies, including digital service management platforms like the ones Bentley uses, are currently changing how companies market and sell their products. If you, like Bentley, focus on increasing targeting granularity, integrating customer information, and leveraging data to engage with consumers, you too will seize your competitive advantage.