Leveraging Data for Improving Sales and Marketing by Understanding the Customers
Data-driven decision-making means to put actions based on real metrics and analytics derived from real-world data. In contrast to opinionated, anecdote-driven decision-making, data-driven decision-making is superior since it is based on facts rather than opinions. Numbers and facts represent reality, whereas opinion is highly subjective and susceptible to bias.
Furthermore, with the advent of the internet and technology, we are now bombarded with an abundance of data that is accessible from anywhere. This abundance of data can be an advantage for your organization, but it can also be a threat if you are unable to use it and your competitors are better at it. This article highlights the Sales and Marketing (S&M); area since profitability is the objective of all companies, the main force that drives it is in S&M.
Before going into a data-driven approach, the essential concept of the S&M strategy needs to be discussed. Understanding this concept is important to know what the objective is and ultimately influence the process in a good way. The following are two main components of S&M strategy:
- Customer Experience
The customer experience is what your customers want. It is about speed, convenience, consistency, and friendliness. Understanding the consumer extends beyond customer profiling. Because each product or service offered by a business has a unique target demographic, companies must approach the customer experience for each. A company will be able to organize its involvement with the consumer or potential customer if it has a thorough understanding of the buying cycle: pre-purchase, purchase, and post-purchase. The effort to engage customers nowadays relies heavily on technology and data analytics.
- Customer-centric Business
A customer-centric company is a method of conducting business with your customers that provides a positive customer experience – both before and after the sale – to drive repeat orders and customer loyalty. Being customer-centric goes beyond just providing a good service. For that purpose, companies should utilize technologies that can help companies to be more attentive to the customers.
The two components explained above have similarities. They both require an understanding of the customer: the “who”, “what”, “when”, “why”, and “where”. Years ago, companies relied on surveys to obtain information about customers. But now, a myriad of ways to learn about your customers are available.
Start by collecting customers’ feedback. Not only directly (i.e., emails, phone calls) but also indirectly through statistics and analytics. For example, by using web analytics, you can gather information such as customers’ demographics, where they are from, what is their favorite part of the website, what they do before buying your product, and so on. It is only an example of how a data-driven approach can be used to improve customer experience.
Keep in mind that technologies such as data analytics are only enablers, not problem solvers. Its design and implementation must be aligned for both S&M. Marketing should provide Sales with metrics that delve deep into customer data. If the data is of poor quality, the Salesperson cannot convert prospects into buyers effectively. This is where the data-driven approach comes into play. When the S&M processes are in sync, data and analytics perform best. To learn more about data visualization and how it can be utilized to serve your processes better, join The KPI Institute’s Certified Data Visualization Professional Certification.