Many executives nowadays often use the term big data as a buzzword. But unlike other empty buzzwords that make people sound smart, this term is actually changing the way people do business. In fact, more and more aspects of business operations are now data-driven, and that specifically includes sales.
After all, advanced big data is all about defining opportunities for improvement based on numbers to make something more efficient and effective. With sales being the main source of cashflow for companies, it only makes sense for them to invest in advanced analytics to make sure that their sales teams are performing at their peak.
But how does big data affect sales? Here are some of the ways:
Coming up with the best price
In a 2014 study, McKinsey found that with all the data available, 30 percent of pricing decisions companies make fail to deliver them the best price. One of the main things stressed in the study is that B2B companies tend to manage data but not use it to drive decisions. Also, automating their products and price analytics should be able to help them identify obvious and non-obvious factors, including product preferences, sales cycle length, and the broader economic situation, to reveal what really drives prices for each customer segment and product. The right price has the potential to drive business revenue upwards drastically so it is something that should not be taken for granted by organizations.
Better customer analysis
Aggregate data or what we know now as big data is not really new. Companies have always wanted to mine more data from consumers to get more insight into their behavior and where their interests lie. It is just that today’s “big data” is so much bigger than what we used to get in the past. In a previous article, I wrote about the possible implications when mobile meets big data. With data from mobile, we are getting more real-time information about consumers than ever before.
And with the rise of cloud communications, even more services are becoming more digitalized, which means more data. Business phone system provider RingCentral, for example, is able to give companies insight to where most of their calls are coming from simply by pulling data from the company’s phone numbers. And if analysts are able to effectively mine mobile data as planned, the implications on how companies will market and sell will be drastic.
More customized selling and marketing
In an article, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Vice President of Predictive and Web Products, Eric Tobias, discussed the possibility of a more hyper-personalized marketing. The idea is that with more data available to define how consumers behave as accurate as possible, companies will be able to deliver more personalized touchpoints not only through the web, but also in physical stores.
In the (near) future, instead of implementing macro marketing and sales strategies aimed towards a broader audience, big data can lead to a world where advertisements, emails, and mobile offers are personalized for each individual and not just a segment of the market.
Better overall product
When the company’s product is good, it makes the sales team’s job easier. If it’s great, it will practically sell itself. But how do you get your product or service from good to great? Easy, you just have to listen to your customers. Customer feedback is also data that you can use. By opening all possible communication channels, you get to know the pain points and other opportunities for improvements. By knowing these, companies can evolve their products.
SaaS providers actually have better opportunities to mine data on customers. These presents them with opportunities to improve more than any other products or services in the market. Being digital in nature, SaaS companies can look at the features of their products and see how customers actually use them. From there, they can get a multitude of information like which features are most used by customers or which features are seldom used, which may mean that customers are having difficulty with this part of their SaaS product.
Data can help you improve your product or service. With these improvements, your company can present a better product or service. This also means you’d have more selling points and less a need to defend the said product or service, which also equates to happier sales teams.
This just shows how big data can drastically improve how companies do things. It is just a matter of finding the right data and using them properly.