Smart businesses are using data analytics to streamline sales processes, improve sales pipelines and make more informed decisions. They are also seeing dollar value returns on investment.
We operate in a world consumed by data, and that is a good thing. Data can be fine-tuned through analytics to improve processes that ultimately prepare a business for peak sales performance. But data alone can only take you part of the way. An understanding of your business processes and your customers’ journey, paired with data analytics tools can turn even greater revenues for your business.
The online travel agent Expedia noticed that their website visitors seemed interested and intent on making a purchase, but inexplicably, 1 in 5 would drop out at the payment stage of the purchase. The company could have easily attributed this issue to window-shopping visitors, but it was happening too often to be the case. The company looked at the complete buyer’s journey and every touch point along the way to determine what was happening. By looking at the back-end data, they were able to pinpoint the moment when potential customers left. After they take every step of the signup and registration process, customers would abandon cart only after entering their credit card details. This told Expedia’s data analysts that something was awry. They found that after the customer entered their name and credit card details, they were then asked for a ‘company name’ and ‘address’. The problem was that not all customers were corporate firms. Confused, most customers entered the name of their bank and the bank’s address, which then caused an error, leading to more confusion and frustration, and ultimately abandonment of their shopping cart. After Expedia removed these two fields, they saw an additional $1 million in revenues per month.
Looking at conversion data alone would not have revealed this problem. It was only through thorough the combination of analysis of the buyer’s journey, and looking at the data points, that Expedia was able to turn this problem into revenues.
Now, let’s look at some specific categories that will help drive improvements in your own business.
Knowledge is power, and data creates knowledge. Data is the evidence that gives confidence to make informed decisions.
Today, advanced analytics engines are designed to become smarter over time. As they absorb more data, they make more accurate predictions based on recurring trends. Management decisions also get absorbed, and become data points themselves, allowing for analytics algorithms to improve their understanding of business preferences. Thus, backed by cutting-edge machine learning capabilities, modern analytics engines are poised to help business people make better predictions.
But that doesn’t mean machines will replace decision makers, rather, machines will aid the decision-making process. Human creativity and understanding of human nuances will always be a crucial element required to make those informed decisions.
With the rise of Internet of Things (IoT), some businesses have taken to analysing the behaviours and patterns of employee movement and overall productivity. A report by global hospitality and logistics firm Sodexho, found that data can:
- Influence decisions that improve productivity of workers
- Improve work flows and office ergonomics based on analysing key predictive and preventive information, which in turn leads to
- Enhanced employee performance, improved quality of life and reduced workplace risks
- Point out opportunities for operational streamlining, helping companies shave costs and pass on their cost savings in the form of lower prices to customers.
Sales pipelines are often just pipe dreams for managers. They know only as much as their sales team tells them, and oftentimes, there is no analysis of these potential clients beyond anecdotes. It doesn’t have to be this way.
By segmenting pipeline data as you would an existing customer database, businesses stand to gain a deeper understanding of potential customers and speed up the overall sales cycle. Equally, correlating those segments with business products or services, or even sales team behaviours, can reveal areas of success and those that require more attention, such as downward trends and bottlenecks.
We live in an exciting world right now, but can you keep up and compete effectively? There are a few immediate and obvious considerations to take into account:
- Staffing and expertise: Do you have the manpower with the right knowledge to implement and maintain analytics capability within your organisation?
- State of your current analytics: You may not know it, but you are likely already using some sort of data analytics within your business. It is important to understand how advanced along the way you are, and how much more potential there is within your current system.
- Analytics partner: Your data might be sacred, but the analytics tools you implement do not need to be unique to your organisation. If you think that data analytics is only within the realms of big budgets and even bigger corporations, then you will be happy to know that affordable analytics solutions are available to businesses of all sizes.
Most business decisions ultimately look to improve revenues and profitability, but are unsure of where to kick-start the growth process. Beyond assumptions, analytics-driven decisions can provide promising outcomes for scaling organisations. For a complimentary assessment of your organisation, DataVLT’s Feasibility Report can help pinpoint areas for optimisation. Join DataVLT’s complimentary Pilot Partner’s Program to help you make data-backed decisions for scaling your company effectively.
DataVLT is an affordable, on-demand analytics platform secured by blockchain technology. It is designed to simplify the complexity of data science. Backed by artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, DataVLT empowers enterprises to make meaningful sense of their big data and scale cost efficiently. Essentially, it is an end-to-end data/information management platform.
Learn more at www.datavlt.com