Computers have gotten smarter and are now capable of reasoning and sorting through big databases like never before. Business intelligence (BI) allows companies to do some advanced forecasting and make adjustments to business practices for better success.
However, having all that data at your fingertips may seem a bit overwhelming at times. There’s a possibility for a report on any topic you might imagine, but how exactly does it benefit your business?
In a survey of 2,865 BI professionals, researchers discovered one of the top trends in BI for 2020 was integrating with the IoT (Internet of Things). As more and more devices and programs connect to the internet, and connections become faster and more reliable, expect your competitors to tap into BI data.
If you want to become or remain a top business in your industry, you must learn to take all the data at your disposal and disperse it in intelligent ways that help your business grow. Increase your own sales and stay competitive in the following five ways.
1. Sell more to customers
A current customer is worth far more spending-wise than a new customer. You’ve already acquired them, so you don’t have that cost, and they’re more likely to buy again and spend more money.
Use data to understand their buying habits and track any issues they might have had. Work hard to resolve problems, and the customer will come to trust you and be willing to give you bigger orders.
Bain & Company did some research and discovered that improving retention rates by only five percent increased profit by as much as 95 percent. Even if your profits aren’t as high, your efforts to keep the customers you have will pay off in some improvement in company profits.
2. Use sales territory mapping
Utilize business mapping software to figure out whether or not current sales categories work for your brand. Start by looking at territories you currently cover, and see what areas you don’t yet cover nearby. A sales territory map will also allow your salespeople to divide up areas and adequately cover all sections of a market.
You can also use mapping software to see the coverage of your competitors and either figure out the best ways of competing or gain an edge in areas where they don’t have one.
3. Determine the best new products
One use you might not have thought of for big data is looking at sales patterns over time and making more accurate predictions about future popular products. For example, if you sell massive amounts of an item every spring, it stands to reason that a new release in the category would also sell well.
On the flip side of new products, you’ll also see what doesn’t perform well. Avoid buying too many products in categories that move slowly.
4. Manage inventory
Big data can help you manage your inventory in smarter ways, which will help your sales force. Whatever their customers want will always be in stock. Wait times will go away, and no more loads of inventory will be just sitting in a warehouse and creating cash flow issues. Watch the patterns in company sales data over time, and compare it to the inventory you have on hand.
Salespeople can access the database and make notes about upcoming orders, which helps trigger automated ordering when inventory gets low.
Some of the more advanced systems integrate with apps, so your field team can take an order and input it for an immediate update to what’s available in the warehouse. You can also see company revenue data and which customers are your top buyers so that you can cater to their needs.
5. Personalize Offers
BI will allow you to track customer buying habits and past sales. Over time, you’ll get a better picture of each client’s specific needs, which will enable you to personalize sales offers as well as stay in touch at just the right time. Some of your processes can easily be automated, such as an email or text reminder to each customer asking if they need to order a particular item.
That said, the personal touch still creates a better customer experience (CX), which can gain you loyal clients. Analyze the data and touch base with the customer if you’re notified that they missed a regular order or haven’t ordered in a while.
With all the reports in front of you, you can say something like, “I see you typically order 100 gizmos every three months but haven’t ordered in a while. I wanted to touch base and see if you’d like to place an order or if I can address any concerns.”
Big Data Sales Tips
When it comes to enhancing your sales department, big data turned into intelligent reports will give you an edge.
Embrace the changes in technology and access to more detailed reports. As computers learn how to reason like humans and more data becomes available, expect even more automation and capabilities for business intelligence in the next few years.