How Distributors Improve Customer Retention A common rule of thumb in distribution is that it…
How to Read Your Customers’ Minds
A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be. — Wayne Gretzky
Today’s sales research is increasingly focused on the area of predictive sales insights. How do you help your distribution sales reps create the exact experiences that your customers need and desire, make meaningful and custom-tailored offers and build those insights into an already busy day-to-day sales routine.
You have undoubtedly already been targeted by predictive analytics in your own life with some degree of success.
Starbucks customers are targeted with specific offers for the exact type of coffee they drink on a particular day at a particular time. Do you drink a hot Americano every Friday morning? Then maybe you’d like an offer for an Americano plus a breakfast sandwich for more loyalty program stars. Do you pick up an iced coffee on Wednesday afternoons on your way to a sales meeting? Starbucks will send you a reminder around noon next Wednesday. Examples of predictive insights are everywhere. How does Spotify make such perfect suggestions for music you’ve never heard of and yet matches your tastes, moods and preferences? How does your bank know when it’s time to pitch a refi offer or a new car loan?
It may seem like mind reading, but it’s really as simple as connecting a few dots to see what offers and behaviors are the most probable given a set of previous behaviors.
Does It Work For Distribution Sales?
But I’m a distributor, you say, not a giant retailer. I don’t have massive amounts of customer data, large teams of PhDs or budgets for sophisticated data science platforms. And my sales reps certainly don’t have the time or inclination to dive deeply into what data I do have to predict what my customers want next week, let alone in the coming months. Furthermore, none of my customers are the same so how can I even use data to be more successful.
The truth is, you do have the data available to you. You just don’t have a fast and convenient way to access and analyze it. SMP changes all of that. With a simple, visual, drag-and-drop interface, your entire team can compare and analyze any customer sales data you have in your system.
Imagine the power of being able to answer the following types of questions with a few clicks of the mouse:
- Which are the most likely upsell and complimentary products to offer whenever I sell particular product or line?
- What customers usually answer the phone and which calls usually go to voicemail?
- Which customers are increasing orders over time? Who is decreasing?
- Which customers would be most likely to increase their volume with me?
- Which products seem to elicit the most calls and can I answer questions proactively?
- Which sales behaviors seem to shorten close times?
- Which companies increased their volume the previous summer so I can contact them this season?
- Whose purchase history indicates they might be ready for a new unit, an upgrade, a service call or a new toolset?
Three Reasons You Should Start Today
While the questions you could answer are only limited by your sales history and your imagination, the benefits of predictive sales insights are clear:
- Increased sales and marketing ROI. You’re already investing in marketing and sales. Analytic insights give you the information to target the right offer to the right customer at the right time. You can better understand behavior and buying signals so that your sales and marketing teams can prioritize certain customers and prospects over others for particular offers. When your offers are better timed and focused and the data shows you who would have the highest purchasing probability, you sales and marketing ROI instantly increases.
- Constant improvement. SMP gives you the perfect combination of CRM, business intelligence and distribution best practices in a single platform. That allows your team to learn from the data and constantly improve. Most CRM systems only allow you to see the big picture of wins and losses. With SMP, you can truly understand the trends and patterns in your data to anticipate new successes.
- No more guessing. Uninformed cold calls are a drag for both you and your customers. SMP helps you take the guesswork about of what you should offer to each customer, when you should make the offer and why. You can even share the data insights with each customer through mobile, graphical data visualizations. Imagine the power of being able to say, “I’ve looked at your purchasing history and I think I could save you money here, help your customers with this new product and increase your services business here. I know, because I’ve done it with twelve other customers this quarter.”
Is Your Team Ready?
We’d love to have a discussion with you about your CRM and business intelligence strategy. Using SMP can bring immediate results from sales analysis, such as:
- Identifying the right prospects long before your competition can get involved
- Identifying which customers and contacts are the best opportunities right now
- Determining how to best personalize each offer for better customer engagement and sales success
- Uncovering ways you can really help your customers as a trusted business partner and demonstrate the value you can bring
- Stay relevant to your customers’ needs and engage them with the appropriate products, services and conversations