Be it the right online platform for marketing campaigns or how to target online customers with the right promotional message, data continues to influence decision making in sales and marketing strategies. Now with the evolution of business intelligence in sales and marketing disciplines, marketing professionals are in a better position to use actionable intelligence in tracking customer purchases, the best-selling (or least-selling) products, along with which marketing channels are driving most conversions.
Modern-day marketers are increasingly relying on business data to determine the best channel for promoting their latest product campaign or where to spend their budget and resources. Business adoption of cloud-based business intelligence tools in 2018 has doubled from its 2016 levels, with 90% of the marketing teams depending on cloud-based business intelligence (or BI) to complete their work in 2018.
Why is Business Intelligence so important for business?
In the first place, what is business intelligence and why is it so important for business corporations? By definition, business intelligence or BI is a set of processes and technologies that can derive relevant and meaningful information from raw business data. This meaningful information can be used by various organizational functions (including marketing and sales) to improve business decisions and actions.
With regards to the importance of business intelligence for organizations, here are the business benefits of business intelligence:
- Analyse consumer buying patterns in order to develop products or services that match current consumption trends.
- Provide visibility into which products are selling the most in the market or to identify areas of improvement for low-selling products.
- Use meaningful data to manage your sales/marketing processes and identify potential selling opportunities.
- Improves overall organizational efficiency through shared information that can improve productivity and save time.
- Increase sales performance and conversions by analysing customer interaction data with your business through the Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) tool.
- Acquire competitive intelligence through marketing insights used by your competitors and plan future actions.
Companies that use business intelligence technologies have an organized source of data that can derive maximum knowledge from an ocean of business data. This can include customer-centric information taken from varied data sources like the CRM tool, social media platforms, online customer interactions, and email marketing. Too often, business leaders often confuse BI benefits with the benefits of business analytics, which is all about process management. On the other hand, business intelligence is a powerful reporting tool that can potentially transform organizations of any size.
In the following section, we shall talk about successful uses of business intelligence in marketing/ sales with real-world examples.
How Business Intelligence has transformed marketing and sales?
Here are some industry examples of how business intelligence for sales and marketing has benefited companies – Fresh food company, HelloFresh succeeded in saving around 10 to 20 working hours each day with its Tableau-powered automated reporting tool along with increasing conversions with its optimized marketing content. In another case study, a major retail company was able to grow its sales by 24% and reduce the attrition of sales reps by 90% through the use of data and business intelligence in marketing.
Business intelligence software tools like Tableau and Microsoft Power BI are not limited to be used by data analytics expert but by any non-technical user. BI tools like the SAP Business Intelligence provide real time business intelligence through predictive analytics and machine learning.
Business Intelligence in Marketing
How does business intelligence play an important role in all marketing activities? Here are a few of its capabilities:
Pose the right marketing question
With the massive data volumes being generated by businesses, sifting through the data and finding actionable insights can be a major challenge. BI tools can help in posing the right questions to the enormous dataset and define the BI metrics and KPIs that are most relevant to your business goal. Here’s a case study of the mobile entertainment company, Crowd Media that successfully used business intelligence in sales and marketing to improve its overall marketing efficiency through faster reactions to industry changes and efficient tracking through the right metrics.
Define and target the right demographics
The success of any marketing campaign depends on the ability to send the right message at the right time to the right consumer. Among the major benefits of business intelligence, effective BI solutions can collect demographic information about consumers from a variety of online platforms and present a unified view about their age group, buying patterns, preferred product lines, and more.
Food delivery company, Deliveroo was successful in implementing business intelligence to provide valuable customer data to every business user in the company and make smarter decisions with deeper insights.
Simplify marketing and business reports
Business enterprises that depend on real-time data collected from varied sources need to generate real-time actionable insights to gain value from the data. Marketing teams spending days going through non-standardized business reports are likely to lose business to their more-efficient competitors. This was a challenge for online gaming company, NetBet that was spending more time deriving business sense from disparate data formats collected from incompatible sources. By implementing business intelligence in sales and marketing, this company reduced report generation time from days to a matter of hours, thus increasing their customer retention rate.
Business Intelligence in Sales
In today’s competitive business world, BI-powered sales data can help companies acquire a larger market share and revenues. With over 3,500 food products, Miller Food Service faced a real challenge keeping track of each of its customer’s sales data and making timely deliveries. By providing the latest data to its on-field sales reps using business intelligence, this service company was able to provide timely support to its sales reps and better service to its customers.
Here are some examples of using a good business intelligence strategy for the sales function:
To make more sales to existing customers
In the online world, customer retention (or selling to existing customers) is more profitable and cost-effective as compared to new customer acquisition (or selling to new customers). Business intelligence tools can help sales professionals to keep track of what their existing customers are buying (or not). Based on this information, you can target them with specific sales campaigns and opportunities.
Through business intelligence for sales and marketing, a leading insurance company facing the challenge of lapsed policies from 60% of their previous year clients were able to improve their customer care, resulting in an 8% increase in monthly premium revenues.
Make your sales forecasts more accurate
Accurate sales forecasts still hold high business value with a range of benefits like order fills, low inventory costs, and higher profits. Business intelligence can improve the speed and accuracy of sales forecasts after accommodating information based on seasonal product demands, promotional campaigns, and other key factors. As an example, the availability of sales history data can improve accuracy levels in forecasting, leading to other benefits like timely procurements, revenue forecasting, and efficient inventory management.
As an example of the value chain that business intelligence provides, fitness equipment company, Fitness-Mad can now generate sales forecasting reports in under 40 seconds to drive more informed decisions.
Measure the success of your sales promotional campaign
With the use of BI, product companies can now maximise their revenue generated from every dollar spent on advertising or marketing campaigns. Business intelligence tools (for sales and marketing) can be used to measure how customers are responding to your sales campaigns and allocate more budget (or resources) to the more successful campaigns.
For example, a “Top Performing Campaigns Report” can be used to measure key metrics such as user clicks, ad impressions, and conversion rate for each launched campaign.
As discussed in this article, effective business intelligence for sales and marketing can go a long way in analysing customer behaviour, determining the right sales and marketing channels, and in making accurate sales forecasts.
As a global data analytics and BI company, Countants is innovating and bringing the best of BI technologies to their customers. With customized dashboards like the Top Performing Campaigns Report or the “Sales performance report,” your sales/ marketing teams can leverage and benefit from our deep analytical capabilities.
Want to boost your business intelligence-powered sales and marketing initiatives with the right business insights? Contact us now!