Calling Customers: It's About Time to Stop Guessing


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Find out how predictive analytics can advise when sales reps should contact a customer for a sale. Predictive analytics can predict when a customer is ready to buy. As presented at AA-ISP May 2011 Leadership Summit.

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Calling Customers: It's About Time to Stop Guessing

  1. 1. Calling Customers: It’s About Timeto Stop Guessing<br />Parth R. Srinivasa<br />President, Valgen<br />
  2. 2. Session Overview<br />
  3. 3. McKinsey & Co. study finds that:<br />72%<br />“destructive”<br />35%… calling too often<br />8% call too little/ignore; 29% lack knowledge<br />Customers can tell calling for calling’s sake!<br />Timing, Relevance , Sequence critical to each touch<br />
  4. 4. Why Get Timing Right?<br />
  5. 5. Where do you fit in your existing customer’s buying cycle?<br />Call<br />Share/ Learn<br />Aware<br />Discuss<br />
  6. 6. Timing pattern… think traffic pattern<br />Traffic lights have their own “algorithm”… number of vehicles, elapsed time, rate of vehicles etc.<br /> Wait until customer is ready (nurture)<br />Prioritize, merge (engage)<br />Move, align message + channel (sell)<br />Likewise, timing “algorithm” takes into account elapsed time, and buying rate compared to other customers etc.<br />
  7. 7. So what is nurturing all about?<br />Reps don’t always have <br />to CALL – can be service, <br />marketing, management; <br />Receptive to hi-touch<br />Top of mind relevance:<br /><ul><li>“Customers like you” trends
  8. 8. New products and services
  9. 9. Timely industry info
  10. 10. Follow-up service </li></li></ul><li>How is timing the call paradigm shift?<br />Go from reactive to proactive the way customers see it<br />Give consistent calling guidance to reps, realign their thought process<br />Benefit from social and mobile trends, plus analytics and technology<br />
  11. 11. Define proactive from the customer’s perspective<br />What is being proactive? <br />What we think is proactive <br />is actually not.<br />From customer viewpoint:<br />-- Calling everyone is not proactive.<br />-- Calling when they’re not ready is not proactive.<br />Making the call is not necessarily proactive!<br />
  12. 12. Accurate predictions bridge the gap between knowledge and action<br />Imagine preparing now <br />for customers with predicted <br />likelihood of buying need <br />next week.<br />That’s proactive.<br />-- Sort customers to call next week.<br />-- Learn about their predicted needs.<br />-- Think and plan what to contact them about.<br />
  13. 13. Shifting focus to stage of buying cycle drives cohesiveness of purpose<br />Not:<br />How many calls did you make?<br />Instead:<br />Whom did you call this week?<br />Different purpose for each call<br />Calling Guidance: Shift denominator to whether customer is within or outside buying cycle<br />Too Late<br />Missed<br />Call now<br />Not Ready<br />
  14. 14. Re-prioritizing accounts allows new growth to emerge<br />Prune portfolios<br />Keeping gravy accounts can hurt your sales. Give up to get more.<br />- Remove low probability customers who haven’t ordered in a while<br />- Move them from inside sales to web, other cost-effective sales methods<br />- Helps inside sales reps get better experience with better customers<br />
  15. 15. Replace “person to call” with “purpose to call”<br />Variety is the spice of… sales<br />- Mix different types of calls<br />- Wards off boredom, builds experience<br />- Blend service, warranty, other call purposes<br />Common theme: call based on predicted buying<br />
  16. 16. Prioritize within sales reps’ hours by improving quality of time spent<br />Dealing with trade-offs: <br />Make this call or make that call?<br />When you can predict average <br />order size, reps can call for <br />the $1,000 order first<br />before the $200 order<br />
  17. 17. Customers receive less of what they consider “destructive behavior”<br />Sales 2.0, Customer 2.0 and inside sales<br />Think about your customers and analyze their history and buying cycle before you call<br />Use buying cycle to your advantage<br />Call customer precisely when they are needing your call<br />
  18. 18. Sustained profitability gains can come from “the other 80%”<br />Reps can focus beyond their best customers on demonstrated evidence of future growth<br />Best created by applying statistical algorithms<br />typically these customers are top of mind<br />other customers are under-served, resulting in lower future value<br />
  19. 19. Predictive Analytics as part of the technology suite of enablers<br />Each building block weaves together a story from customer’s perspective<br />Predictive Analytics<br />Technology & CRM Platforms<br />Marketing Automation<br />
  20. 20. Predictive analytics provides accurate, tested, scalable content<br />Large volume of data not easy to analyze by reps, and could be redundant/erroneous<br />Feed predictive algorithms to CRM system<br />Push recommendation to sales rep level<br /> (versus reports for management)<br />Actions, actions, actions… backed by science<br />
  21. 21. Done right, predictive analytics helps support paradigm shift<br />Integrate<br />… with tools and systems already in place; focus on a pressing goal<br />Involve<br />Don’t try it in isolation; involve sales from the beginning<br /> Iterate<br />Set baseline and forecast, test, measure, adjust, test, measure...<br />
  22. 22. What you can take away<br />Timing calls is not a nice to have; it is critical in the “customer 2.0 buying cycle”<br />Demonstrate value and benefit of shifting to new paradigm and the power of collaboration to gain sales<br />Build a data-driven guidance system for inside sales, using/embedding in CRM; start small and grow<br />
  23. 23. Thank You!<br />More at<br />