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Why lead prioritisation should be a priority in your organisation

As the race to digital transformation accelerates, organisations are spending millions of dollars on implementing digital ecosystems and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to help convert leads into real business.

However, the reality is that many of those projects fail to deliver what was promised in the business case. This is not necessarily because the project was executed poorly, because organisations chose the wrong technology or because people did a bad job. In my experience, it’s more related to the absolute, often blinkered, focus on the product and the core system itself, and not how the information that is captured within it can be used for high value business. To do this properly, customer analytics and lead prioritisation are both critical.

Often, we look at the opportunities in CRM in the context of what we can close this month or this quarter – opportunities further out than this are placeholders in many industries. While most businesses stop here, imagine being able use historical and current data to segment and profile the opportunities in your CRM so you can focus on the ones that really matter to your business.

With lead prioritisation you can delve deeper and look further afield to target the right types of opportunities with the right types of customers, at the right time, through the right channel, with the right value proposition. You can do this using the intuition of your sales team, or you can complement that intuition with insights that come from the data.

Let’s take an example. Some organisations we are working with were relatively small only a few years ago. One organisation in particular has had tremendous success and has tripled in size. The owners are now faced with an entirely new set of challenges and they can’t necessarily rely on intuition alone to answer the following types of questions:

  1. Which opportunities are ‘stuck’ in the pipeline and need intervention? i.e. Keep being pushed out and delayed
  2. Which customers are higher value than others, which ones should we focus on?
  3. Why are we losing deals? Is there a particular location, segment, product/ service mix that is growing or declining?
  4. At which sales stage are certain sales people struggling and in what times of segments? 

With lead prioritisation the data can also be used to help prioritise the sales teams time so they can focus on the deals that really matter. It is also being used to predict which customers are more likely to stay with you based on the synergies between your organisation and its value propositions and their behaviours.

But we can take it even one step further. Lead prioritisation can also help you intervene in cases where you might lose a sale or an opportunity would fade away. The way it does that is by looking at exceptions. In a sea of data it can be hard to really know what is going on, and be across every customer in the sales pipeline. Being able to find individuals stuck in the pipe can be just as important as filling the pipe with more leads.

Lead prioritisation is a way of getting more from your market research. Today, most market research is focused on segmenting leads by using personas. But the reality is that often, these personas don’t actually match your real customers. They can be useful in conceptual terms, but the data that you have on your customers is often insufficient to properly segment them. Even worse, we are seeing that market research and the persona-driven segmentation approach is also missing the detail on how some segments of your customers are actually interacting with you.

Using the data trail that customers are leaving behind, we have also been successful in using data to uncover new customer segments that these more traditional methods of marketing segmentation have missed altogether.

With lead segmentation you can profile your customers in a much more personal way based on their individual behaviours tracked through engagement, referrals, purchases, membership and more.

Lastly, lead prioritisation can be used for better lead sourcing. Lead sourcing is under-rated and under-measured in many organisations. With lead prioritisation you can use analytics to better profile and source leads based on segmentation but also on the exceptions.

So how do you get there? The important thing is not to wait until digital ecosystem and CRM projects are complete before looking at ways to get additional value from these implementations. Consider how these investments can add value from the outset because clawing back return on investment is much harder once a project is complete.

Despite all of this, if you have already completed a transformation or CRM project it is not too late. The path to value will be different but it is still possible with the right advice.

In today’s business environment analytics is the key accelerator for business growth, and should be part of the fabric of every organisation. Talk to Empired’s customer engagement analytics team on how you can make analytics part of your organisation.

Posted by: Ben Johnson, National Business Manager, Data Insights  | 04 September 2017

Tags: CRM, Data Analytics, Data Insights, Customer and Member Analytics, Customer insights

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