Guest Post: How Cloud-Based Predictive Analytics Gives Companies a Competitive Marketing Advantage

Monitoring and fine-tuning analytics are becoming essential to stay competitive in today’s marketplace. Case in point: Business intelligence analytics software sales will reach $18.3 billion in 2017, a 7.3 percent increase from last year, Gartner projects.

By 2020, the market will be worth $22.8 billion and analytics will be mainstream, Gartner forecasts. This means your competitors will be using analytics. Here’s how getting on board with cloud-based predictive analytics now can help you gain a lead on the competition and increase your bottom line.

Optimize Your Marketing

A great advantage of analytics software is that it gives you the ability to objectively measure the effectiveness of your marketing by tracking key performance indicators, explains Silvon Software director Pat Hennel. Some KPIs you can easily track include:

  • Sales revenue
  • Cost per lead acquisition
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Online marketing ROI

Tracking KPIs enables you to see which of your marketing campaigns are generating the best return on investment so that you can reallocate resources to those efforts rather than non-performing ones.

Similarly, you can identify which marketing channels are yielding the best results so you can focus on those media. You can also see which demographics represent your best customers to emphasize those target markets and gear your sales themes toward benefits that will appeal to them.

Refocus Your Sales Efforts

Another benefit of cloud-based analytics tools is the ability to combine them with customer relationship software to better leverage your sales efforts. By analyzing your organization’s lead database, you can better identify which prospects are qualified leads in order to deploy your sales reps accordingly. From there, you can identify which prospects are furthest along in the sales cycle and more likely to convert into a sale.

You can also analyze customer sales history to identify which customers represent your biggest revenue sources and best repeat buyers. You can then prioritize these customers and develop sales strategies specifically geared toward them.

Personalize Your Sales Presentations

Combining cloud-based predictive analytics with CRM tools can also help you personalize your sales presentations to make them more persuasive to individual customers. In fact, you can review a customer’s history of past purchases to see what types of products and services they prefer.

For example, Amazon displays offers based on what the customer has previously browsed or purchased and what types of products have been purchased by other people who browsed or purchased the same items.

You can also study individual purchase patterns to identify their shopping style and what types of factors influenced their previous buying decisions. For instance, one customer might be more likely to respond to a certain type of added-value benefit, while another might be more likely to respond to a lower price. You can then supply this information to your sales representatives so they have a better idea how to appeal to that particular customer.

Increase Customer Satisfaction with Superior Service

Cloud-based analytics can also enhance your sales and marketing efforts by allowing you to track the performance of your customer service teams, which is key in achieving repeat business and referrals. Cloud-based contact center platforms, including Aspect Zipwire, let you track your customer service performance across multiple channels (e.g., phone, email, online chat and more), giving you a comprehensive perspective so you can make any necessary adjustments and improvements.

To track your customer service performance, you can then set up KPIs. Customer performance KPIs you can track include overall satisfaction, the number of resolved issues, average resolution time and complaint escalation rate.

 

About the Author

Roy Rasmussen, coauthor of Publishing for Publicity, is a freelance writer who helps select clients write quality content to reach business and technology audiences. His clients have included Fortune 500 companies and bestselling authors. His most recent projects include books on cloud computing, small business management, sales, business coaching, social media marketing, and career planning.

 

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Innovations in Performance Management: Verint’s Workforce Optimization

Why is this announcement so important? Verint® Systems Inc.  announced substantial enhancements to its Verint Workforce Optimization software designed to help contact center, back-office and branch operations better manage the performance of employees and operations.Armed with a brand new user experience and analytics, this latest release includes innovations in performance management to help organizations gain even greater insight into how employees are performing, how well goals are being met and how to better engage and take action on these insights.

This technology release comes at a time when market adoption for performance management software is projected to rise, according to research conducted by Saddletree Research. In a recent survey 22 percent of respondents identified performance management as the “most likely” solutions to be replaced in 2016.  

Why Is It Important to Balance Cost, Quality and Customer Service? Managing performance and productivity in a typical enterprise is no easy task, given disparate systems, complex processes and the differences in performance metrics between roles and functions. Performance management is a practice and culture that applies to individuals, teams and departments. It requires organizational buy-in, transparency, regular measurement and a focus on business-oriented goals. To help companies master these dynamics, Verint Performance Management features a unified set of dashboards, scorecards, coaching, e-learning and gamification capabilities that enable a closed-loop cycle and advanced approach to performance management.

What Does This Latest Release Feature? This latest release features a new state-of-the-art user interface that supports advanced visualization, data exploration, and analysis of employee and company-wide performance, providing critical executive insights that support time-sensitive decision making and actions. The enhancements also enable managers to work more effectively with the addition of new flexible scorecard widgets and dashboards. Likewise, employees benefit from a more intuitive performance scorecard and greater visibility into their individual metrics and achievement of goals. 

What Does the Scorecard Include? The solution also features scorecard workspaces that offer performance summaries and overviews, heat mapping, performance comparisons and multiple views of key performance indicators (KPIs). Using these scorecard workspaces, users can visually and automatically identify answers to employee engagement questions, such as: Which employees are meeting and exceeding goals and which areas need improvement? Is the performance of employees consistent across time? Where is performance improving and declining? How do peer comparisons map and trend? And how does the performance of individual employees change over time?

How Can Companies Benefit from Advanced Analytics? In addition, a new improvement opportunities widget has been added to Verint Performance Management, enabling organizations to automatically surface KPIs that represent opportunity and improvement areas based on user-definable criteria and data analysis. With this capability, managers can quickly identify the employees and KPIs that need attention based on their scores or recent trends.

What Does Gamification Have To Do With Performance? Also embedded in this latest release is the ability to leverage Verint Gamification, a solution that applies game mechanics and behavioral science “game thinking” in a business setting. Using gamification, organizations can engage employees, motivate them to improve skills and knowledge and solve problems, as well as enable them to take action and immediate control over their performance. The latest version of Verint Performance Management became generally available in November 2015.

For more information about Verint Workforce Optimization solutions, click here.

@DrNatalie Petouhoff, VP and Principal Analyst, Constellation Research

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