Using Big Data to Supercharge Your Sales Strategy

Big data analytics keeps getting bigger. The big data and analytics market, which reached $130.1 billion in 2016, is projected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of 11.7 percent a year to reach $203 billion by 2020, according to the International Data Corporation. As more companies use big data business intelligence applications to drive their decisions, business leaders will be more empowered to make strategic choices instead of relying on subjective intuition. One area where big data is improving business strategy is sales. Here are three strategies your sales team can implement to acquire big data, analyze its implications and put data-driven insights into action.

Use Smart Marketing to Optimize Sales

Big data can help sales by harnessing marketing data to optimize sales effectiveness. Failing to establish a market need is the most common reason startup companies fail, a CB Insights analysis of 101 failed companies found. Too often, companies put a product onto the market based on an executive’s optimistic assumptions rather than objective marketing data. This places sales representatives at a disadvantage if they have to sell a product for which there is no sufficient demand.

Using big data to inform market research can help companies optimize their sales process by establishing demand. Big data lets companies acquire real-time marketing information from sources such as mobile phones, social media and even retail scans. This information can be analyzed and correlated with data collected from traditional market research resources to provide a comprehensive view of customer behaviors and motivations, says GfK vice president of consulting Leeza Slessareva. For instance, big data can help you identify large-scale market behaviors, while market research can be used to gain insight into beliefs and values underlying these behaviors. Big data can also be used for purposes such as optimizing demographic targeting, mapping out buying behavior and running pre-launch ad testing.

Identify and Cultivate Hot Sales Prospects

Another way big data can help sales teams is by implementing customer relationship management software to help you identify and cultivate hot prospects. Cutting-edge CRM tools such as Infor CRM provide a mobile platform your sales team can use to pull prospecting data from your company’s internal database as well as external sources. With this data at your fingertips, you can quickly identify the hottest prospects who meet specific criteria and deploy your sales team accordingly. For instance, you can identify all customers who have previously purchased a certain product that qualifies them as being in the market for an upsell.

In addition to identifying hot prospects, CRM can also help you nurture leads by using big data insights. As an example, you can identify which leads are near the closing phase in the sales cycle and then deploy your best closers to seal the deal. You can also match sales presentations to individual buyer preferences. If your CRM data has identified which selling points are most important to a particular customer, you can have a sales script available for your representative that emphasizes the sales benefit that a prospect finds most compelling.

Pick the Right Price Point

Pricing is another area where big data insights can assist sales teams. Finding the right price point is crucial to sales success. Seventy-five percent of a company’s revenue typically comes from its standard products, according to McKinsey experts Walter Baker, Dieter Kiewell and Georg Winkler. A successful 1 percent price increase for these core products can translate into an 8.7 percent increase in operating profits.

Big data analysis can help generate the maximum profit out of your sales efforts by providing you with a historic perspective on price-related data. For example, you can analyze how prices for specific consumer segments and products are driven by factors such as the economy, customer product preferences and sales representative negotiation tactics. This can help equip your representatives with the confidence to sell your products at a given price point based on an understanding of what drives buyer perceptions of price. This in turn can help your representatives better communicate your products’ value when delivering presentations.

Photo Credit: Provided by Social Monsters with permission to use. 

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