Scientists have yet to discover a crystal ball that can foretell the future of consumer demands. But some say data analytics is coming closer every day.

By parsing vast volumes of information into bite-size pieces for analysis, data analytics tools can provide sales and service teams with in-depth insights into consumer behavior, predict future outcomes of campaigns, even help reps manage their personal pipelines or show clients up-to-date data. What follows are three key ways for sales and service teams to reap the benefits of data analytics.

1. Reconnect with customers

Data silos, outdated information, and legacy systems can prevent sales and service teams from gleaning the insights they need to deliver superior customer experiences. Just ask Jason Lumsden, Director of IT for the Boston Red Sox. In the past, Lumsden says poor data often resulted in multiple calls to the same customer, often with the same product offer. “It wasn’t a good customer experience,” he says.

However, since deploying a CRM system and using data analytics, the Boston Red Sox has significantly enhanced customer experience and service delivery with data-driven personalization – benefits that are particularly relevant today.

Lumsden stresses a key take-away: data hygiene practices. This includes continuously purging a CRM system of bad data, automating data cleansing to scrub databases of duplicate records, and properly integrating data across departments, from marketing to sales to service, to create a single view of customers.

2. Spot trends and predict outcomes

In the current economic situation, some organizations are charting unfamiliar territory. For example, how should a sales team sell to a historically brick-and-mortar company that’s now online-only? How are customer attitudes towards in-store shopping changing?

Data analytics can help by spotting trends and identifying new customer behavior patterns. Example: Many organizations are experiencing a significant increase in online sales. Armed with this information, an organization can reallocate resources to its ecommerce unit and provide sales and service teams with revenue-generating opportunities such as online-only promotional offers for select customers.

And the more detailed the data, the more accurate the analysis of emerging trends and potential outcomes. For this reason, sales, marketing, and service teams should meticulously log customer interactions and share real-time insights via collaboration and messaging capabilities for a unified view of customers across segments.

3. Strengthen customer relationships

The good news: data analytics can parse all available customer data, including goals and important life events, to provide customers with a highly personalized journey. With complete customer journey maps and customer tracking capabilities, sales and service teams can ensure customers are always being guided along the path to superior experiences and personalized interactions.

The result is an opportunity for both sales and service to personalize experiences for customers and engage with them individually, especially in uncertain times-and that one-on-one interaction strengthens their relationship. When organizations can demonstrate how important their customers really are, sales are likely to follow.

The bottom line

Clearly data analytics can’t provide all the answers – but the right tools can go a long way in helping sales and service teams connect more closely with customers and better predict outcomes for success across the organization.

Unite your departments around your customer with the Salesforce Customer 360 Playbook. Or, visit the Salesforce Resource Center to get what you need to drive a customer-first digital transformation.

Copyright © 2020 IDG Communications, Inc.

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