Embedding Analytics Into Sales Applications

Over the past two months we have provided an overview of innovative Operational Analytic solutions and discussed the benefits of directly integrating Operational Analytics directly into on Marketing and Service process.  This month, we will dive deeper into the various use cases that we talked about now with a focus on impacts to Sales. Sales AnalyticsArguably, no group is under more pressure than the Sales function. For sales oriented organizations, sales representatives are the key revenue drivers. With constant pressure to meet quarterly and annual numbers that grow each year, sales functions look for every advantage possible. In the past, sales groups hired increased headcount to meet growing quotas. But the reality is that such a small percentage of reps meet their goals, and product learning curves can be so steep, that headcount expansion causes as many problems as it solves.

Sales management is therefore looking for ways to make current reps more productive, increase the effectiveness of new reps, and decrease the ramp up time for new resources. Sales management are looking for answers to the following questions:

>  How can I increase close rates?
>  How can I share best practices across my sales force?
>  How can we prioritize the accounts to focus on the best opportunities?
>  What are the right tactics for the customers in my book of business?
>  Are there any customers I should be worried about?
>  How do outside sales, inside sales, and marketing collaborate to close deals efficiently?

To meet these sophisticated requirements, sales applications must have access to data that allows them to provide a new customer experience with a different set of outcomes.  Models and metrics need to be readily available to the application and displayed to customers and reps in a way that makes it obvious what the right next step should be.  Like marketing, supply chain, and finance, innovative sales organizations are unleashing the power of information and analytics to transform the sales process.  AmberLeaf is helping clients with the next generation sales applications by ensuring that information is provided in a way that sales reps can understand and utilize.  These applications contain the following functionality.

Embedded Models and Scores.  Flooding sales with enormous amounts of information, detailed reports, and complex dashboards has not been successful.  Reps tend to give up understanding the complex metrics or trying to find the pieces of information that can actually help them win a deal.  Instead, simple scores or visual queues can provide reps with very specific information in seconds.  A churn flag can show a rep that they have an at risk customer.  A product propensity score can show a rep which product or service will have the most success with a customer. A value score shows reps which customers are worth time and financial investments.

Priorities and Alerts The scores and information are required to help reps understand the differences within their customer.  One of the first and easiest uses of this information is prioritization.  We have some clients whose reps have over 1,000 accounts.  When you start your day, how do you even begin to understand the right call to make or email to send?  Sales applications must provide reps with an automated way to understand where to spend their time and with which customers.  The rep does not necessarily need to understand the overall strategy or cadence for each individual customer.  But they do need to understand what their call priorities are for each day.  Likewise, reps need to be proactively notified when something changes about their customer.  Are they at risk of churn?  Has their predicted value fallen?  These alerts proactively inform reps of news that they need to know without searching for it.

Take Action What should I sell?  What should the message be?  What tactics in the playbook should I use?  Our most sophisticated clients generate activities and tasks for reps based on the information and predictive models.  So beyond knowing which customer to call, reps are informed of the content to leverage for that conversation that has the best chance of resonating.  The results of these conversations are fed back into the models to refine best practices and increase conversion rates.

These concepts can be difficult to visualize, so please follow this link to see a banking demonstration of how analytics can influence the sales process.

AmberLeaf (www.amberleaf.net) combines strong business and operational planning with innovative technology solutions to ensure our client base serves the right customers in the right ways to generate the greatest return. To learn more about how we can help your company improve customer experience, contact us at 312.474.6120, or info@amberleaf.net.