As part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series—a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories—Bill Skelly, the CEO of Causeway Solutions, shares insights on how humanized data analytics can be the key to reinforcing your CRM system.
We live in an unpredictable world. The stark realities of inflation, political entanglements, and ongoing global health crises create tremendous uncertainty. Facing a volatile economy, people and businesses seek more data to support decision-making, and, accordingly, many organizations have installed Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. CRM is valuable for understanding your customers’ and prospects’ buying habits and preferences. An effective CRM will integrate your marketing, sales, and customer service functions, helping your teams share critical information and work better together.
Growth of CRM
CRM systems are designed to help improve an organization’s relationship with its clients and nurture prospective customers along the buying journey. Through CRM software, business leaders can track client relationships, personalize interactions, and collect insights.
For this reason, CRM adoption is widespread.
- Gartner says by the end of 2022, CRM technology will represent the largest area of enterprise software investment—from small brands to large banks and consulting agencies.
- Salesforce research shows CRM software can increase sales by as much as 29 percent while improving sales forecasting accuracy by up to 32 percent and improving sales productivity by 39 percent.
- 47 percent of users polled in a Capterra study said customer satisfaction significantly improved, along with customer retention when using a CRM system. CRM users also saw a 45 percent increase in sales revenue and a 39 percent improvement in cross-selling and upselling success.
Reach Beyond The CRM
The CRM is valuable because the tool provides information on past behavior, helping organizations strengthen customer loyalty and trigger prospects to make purchase decisions. Don’t get me wrong; this is valuable data. But there’s no denying that acquiring new customers is a top priority for most organizations. Businesses are looking for new audiences likely to need their services, buy their products, join, or support their cause.
In our hyper-competitive business environment and an unstable economy, you need to attract customers beyond look-alike consumers. You must access new prospects and expand outside your CRM. Data and acquisition analytics are the keys to gaining new clients. In many cases, working with a data consultant will help you access your organization’s business intelligence. Your data, coupled with proprietary algorithms, plus predictive and prescriptive modeling, will help you uncover unique contacts beyond look-alike consumers.
Here are four tips for working with humanized data analytics partners to focus on acquiring new customers.
Predictive and Prescriptive Modeling
Typical consumer insight marketing firms find target audiences by zip codes. A better option is to work with an audience analytics partner that uses innovative data analytics, consumer insights, and predictive and prescriptive modeling.
Leading data consultants have access to emerging technologies, share best practices from brands across industries, and have experience in the newest techniques in customer behavior prediction models. These data management experts will help you build scalable machine learning pipelines using optimization methods to improve dataset performance. They will help you understand the phases of product life cycles, run an analysis for each stage, and contribute to data-informed decisions.
The audience analytics partner can support you in harnessing predictive and prescriptive analytics, demographics, and consumer behavior data to create highly targeted custom audiences. Next, using the right messages, a data consultant will help you reach this refined target audience one-to-one. At the heart of acquisition—gaining new customers, patients, members, voters, and more—is connecting people and creating relationships.
Humanizing Data through the Democratization of Data
Humanizing data or the “Democratization of Data” is critical to organizations because marketers, business development, and campaign managers need help organizing and deciphering the data from CRM, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems, and other applications.
Today, businesses invest in data democratization and literacy to enhance informed decision-making. When team members across the organization are comfortable asking data-related questions, they can reach a consensus more quickly and work together more collaboratively. Partner with an audience analytics expert to help you accommodate how your teams use data. For example:
- Executives require stats to understand business performance and forecast future investments.
- Marketing needs datasets to develop engaging content and campaigns that convert.
- Sales want data to identify prospects who are most likely to buy.
- Product development seeks information to understand customer experience and build features that drive customer value.
- Customer support needs data to deliver a faster resolution to issues.
Data Science and Sociology
Leading data consultants combine data science with sociology because they know consumers often make decisions based on emotion rather than logic. Humanizing data means reinforcing the fact that people are not just numbers. Work with data analytics professionals who will design qualitative research that supplements quantitative information to provide a complete picture of your customers and prospects, their preferences, willingness to change behaviors, etc.
Data Visualization and Storytelling
Finally, partner with a data management firm that can simplify the often-complex datasets into easy-to-understand information with visualizations that bring the data to life. You can make the data digestible for your internal teams, customers, and prospects using pictures, graphs, and diagrams.
Data becomes more relevant and can be communicated in terms of customer outcomes using charts and infographics. Through illustrations, the data can be part of a story-telling process. Spotlight your customers as the hero of the story with your services as the solution to their problems and your products helping them to achieve their goals.
Human intervention is required to uncover the value of data. Otherwise, big data often remains untouched, wasting opportunities to harness the information to achieve your business objectives. Beyond the CRM and analytics reports, ensure you work with data consultants who understand the value of humanized data analytics. They can help you process the information and uncover patterns, correlations, and trends. Together, you can develop strategies for successful marketing and outreach programs, acquire new customers, and stay competitive.