Big Data is the Key to Growth for SMEs
Big Data, and the insight garnered from analyzing this data, is becoming increasingly important for SMEs. Despite the fact that 65% of organizations believe that if they do not embrace big data they risk becoming irrelevant, only half of all U.S businesses have a Big Data strategy implemented.
Big data insight begins with data collation. CRMs are making data collation a simple, automatic process, but if you don’t delve into the data, and gain insight from this data — the data is worthless. A report from Experian Data Quality found that “Understanding what consumers want through the data collected and knowing how to apply that data is what will differentiate laggards from leaders.”
Without the right systems and reporting tools in place, your CRM is basically a big expensive electronic address book. This is why you need to harness the power of reporting so you can integrate, analyze and put to work all the data you have collected.
Businesses with large banks of data with in-depth customer profiles should apply the three steps to putting data to work; collect, analyze and develop insight.
Some benefits for in-depth data analysis include:
- Customer acquisition and retention.
- Understanding customer needs by gaining a 360° view of your customer base through in-depth data collection and synthesis.
- Increasing the value of each customer — by implementing efficient working practices and targeting customers based on their preferences and purchase history.
- Evaluating employee performance. You can identify your employee’s strengths and weaknesses and know when an employee needs some coaching. This means you can efficiently delegate tasks to the reps who are most suited to the job.
- Optimize your sales pipeline. You’ll be able to pinpoint leaks in the pipeline, and the stages that leads get bottlenecked. You can either focus on moving your leads along or assessing if this stage is necessary for your pipeline.
The best way to analyze results is to use your CRMs reporting functions. Every CRM differs slightly with their terminology and what they offer Out Of The Box (OOTB), but there are some general reporting features that most CRMs offer OOTB.
One obvious feature that shouldn’t be ignored is your CRM dashboard. The dashboard functions as a quick overview of all the activity that is going on. Generally, you will be able to view the following;
- Team Productivity — get an overview of your team’s productivity, it will look something like this: (note: obviously my team was lazy this month).
- Meetings held — this takes into account the meetings booked through the Google Calendar integration (if your CRM has a Google Apps integration) and manually logged meetings.
- Emails sent — this is calculated based on the number of emails sent from your CRM, BCC’d to the CRM or manually logged in by your team.
- Tasks completed based on the tasks created in the CRM.
- Call Log Reports — The number of calls placed per rep, calculated by the number of calls placed from the CRM or calls manually logged into your CRM.
These dashboard metrics are designed to help you monitor team activity, quickly identify problems, keep an eye on progress, and measure goals and successes.
OOTB Report Templates
Every CRM will give you the choice between using one of their template reports or creating a custom report. Below are some OOTB reports that most CRMs have, that you can use to help analyze your collected data:
- Pipeline or Deal Regression — this report provides a detailed view of all your leads that have moved from one customer stage in the pipeline to another. This helps salespeople to seize opportunities and develop tactics for regressed leads. It also helps marketing to set quotas and launch campaigns such as email drip campaigns.
- High-Value Customers — this report is invaluable if you want to invest your time in customer retention, which you should. You can then decide to check-in with these customers to see if they need anything, or send them special offers and discounts. It’s a great way to turn a high-value customer into a brand advocate.
- Sales Cycle Reports — this tracks the average number of days it takes for your leads to get to a particular stage in the pipeline. Because sales and marketing are involved in the Sales Cycle at different stages, it’s important to know the effects on the sales cycle.
- Lead Status Report — a very useful CRM report for organizations can lead status reports. Lead status reports track and update where you are with each of your leads. This can be very useful to monitor progress and make sure to stay up to date so you can win deals from these leads. Additionally, you can find out which sources are most successful to translating these leads into deals and you can track the total amount of deals your organization locks up.
- Goal Progress Reports — tells you if your campaigns are meeting your pre-defined goals. This could be a report about total revenue or deals won, or if it’s for marketing the total ROI per campaign. They can help you determine the effectiveness of your campaigns which is suitable for helping decision-makers make a call on business tactics, and are great for keeping your teams on the same page.
Big Data vs Fast Data
The next question you may want to address is if your company needs to embrace big and fast data.
With the half-life of social media and many companies using instantaneous data analysis systems, such as apps that offer customers real-time in-store promotions, the speed at which big data is processed is becoming increasingly important.
A recent report found that more than 54% of companies surveyed stated that they consider fast data to be more important than leveraging big data. But in order to leverage fast data, companies need to embrace digital channels.
Experian Data Quality has found that organizations plan to dramatically increase their digital activity over the next five years, with organizations planning to leverage more digital channels such as websites, social media channels, and mobile apps.
Uber is an excellent example of a company that uses Big and Fast Data. Uber takes a user request from anywhere in the world and maps that request to available drivers in the user’s vicinity. It then calculates the route and the cost and links it back to the customer. Businesses are starting to pay attention. A recent report found that more than 54% of companies surveyed stated that they consider fast data to be more important than leveraging big data.
One Capgemini survey respondent said “The world of supermarket token offers and promotions is almost dead. It is being replaced by real-time in-store mobile offers, to be redeemed instantly. To run something like that you need to match up customer segmentation, the stock, the discounting policy, the offer in a digital context and the ability to then redeem via mobile in real time. That is a heavy data and analytics play. This is the way the world is going, and fast data is everything.”
With the exponential growth of technology and the likelihood that drones will one day deliver our groceries to our door, it’s imperative that businesses latch onto big and fast data and be able to garner a deep insight that puts that data to work.
If you’d like to read more about business innovation check out our blog post on Design Thinking for Business Innovation.
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Originally published at blog.piesync.com on May 19, 2016.