By Alan S. Horowitz, Software Advice Contributor
“Moneyball,” written by Michael Lewis and published in 2003, recounted how the Oakland Athletics baseball team used statistics and sophisticated analytical techniques to decide which players to sign—something no other team was doing at the time. These decisions, which were previously made by baseball scouts who relied on experience and intuition, allowed a small team with limited resources to compete against organizations with far deeper pockets.
The opportunities for Moneyball equivalents in the business world are enormous. More and more organizations are collecting data in unprecedented quantities (often called “big data”). By analyzing it using algorithms and statistical techniques, smaller companies can reveal previously undiscovered patterns and insights to help level the playing field between themselves and larger organizations.
We interviewed several business intelligence experts to get their opinion on which industries are ripe to be “Moneyballed,” or have the most to gain from the application of data analysis.
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Companies are constantly on the lookout for ways to improve employee sales skills, and analyzing data surrounding these skills can help managers understand which ones have the greatest effect on revenue.
Continue reading Let’s Play Moneyball: 5 Industries That Should Bet on Data Analytics
By Kevin Steffey
Earlier this week, Kathleen Steffey discussed 4 Steps to Accelerate Your Sales Growth Now. One suggestion in that post was to increase investment in lead generation tactics. I felt it was important to expand on aligning marketing efforts to achieve this goal. A few tactics that can have immediate impact include:
- Get creative with your current clients.
Often our assumptions about how we are doing business with our current clients can cloud our perspective on new and unique ways to engage them. For instance, we might assume our customers like to hear from us via our regular newsletter and will call if they have new business. Or, our sales reps may believe their customers only like to buy specific products from us and other products from a competitor.I encourage you to take a step back and test the waters to see if you could offer a special promotion to your current customers that bundles additional products. Or, test out new communications options such as a direct call from executive management to engage in a strategic discussion about their business direction. You may find opportunities for a deeper relationship and increased sales potential. Sometimes thinking out of the box on your customer approach could be just what the doctor ordered.
- Increase Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising.
If you are already doing PPC advertising, you have a wealth of information about what campaigns are working from your analytics tools from Google or Bing. Use these tools to quantify your cost per lead and invest where you are getting a good return. In my experience using Google Adwords, there is a direct relationship between ad budget and leads. If I wanted to double leads, double your budget and you could predict fairly well the results (assuming there is unfulfilled demand for your product). If your return is favorable at one level of investment, increase it for predictable results.If you are not using PPC, I would highly encourage getting started. The great thing about PPC is you can start with a budget you feel comfortable with and start testing it out. There are lots of resources to help you (although a little trial and error in small steps is a very effective way to get started). However, it is not as daunting as many will have you believe. So, give it a chance.
- Capitalize on Word of Mouth, Referrals, and Recommendations.
Studies show that over 90% of purchases involve some form of checking with trusted peers. It is critical that you are leveraging outstanding performance with your current clients to drive new business. A few examples of how to leverage positive word of mouth include:
- incorporate requesting recommendations on LinkedIn directly on the heels of completing a successful transaction with a client. Apply those recommendations in your prospecting activity with companies in the same industry.
- Put a profile or case study of your recent success right on your website and your social network pages and reference it in your email communications. Those success stories and materials on your websites and social networks become immediately searchable and you will be surprised at how often that you will get calls from similar companies after posting something on your site.
- Finally, get comfortable asking for referrals – if you don’t ask, you won’t get one.
There are obviously many other tactics that you could employ to impact your second-half results. These 3 items though are proven to drive both short-term and long-term success if done well and I believe have the best chance to help you beat your year-end goals.
Kevin Steffey is President of Naviga Recruiting & Executive Search, a national Sales and Marketing Recruitment firm. Kevin and Naviga have a passion for sales and marketing positions due to their direct impact on the growth of their customers. Check out www.navigarecruiting.com to engage a partner in growing and developing your team.