Believe it or not, we are nearly halfway through the year already. Summer is looming, and sales and marketing departments are beginning to seriously assess if they need to take any immediate actions to ensure they meet their numbers for the year. There is nothing like the halfway point to evaluate earlier predictions and change course if necessary. It’s also the time when reality sinks in and wistful statements start with “if only.”
June is also when many of the good intentions heralded in January, like the vision and mission for the new year, are questioned. Moreover, because none of us have a crystal ball, there is no way to achieve success based on the way most companies use data — which is to say that little to no data is used to predict success. Much of what we do is reliant on gut or the results from the previous year. However, because a company’s trust in these past results is often low, many marketing and sales organizations begin to take action in the name of thwarting disaster or, at the very least, ensuring success six months out.
The fact is companies need to put away their Ouija boards and tarot cards and move to using the predictive tools for today. Insights from customer analytics can give companies data about the best customers, and this data can arm sales people with a better strategy regarding whom to approach about more sales. Companies know that all customers are not equal when it comes to their overall value and loyalty, yet most companies never invest in trying to understand their current buyers.
According to the Loyalty Research Center, “A five percent increase in customer loyalty can lead to between a 25 percent and 85 percent increase in profitability.” Understanding who these most loyal customers are could have a huge impact on marketing and sales results. Now that is a prediction relevant to any business-to-business company.
At the front end of the marketing funnel there is also a better way to predict success. According to a recent Forrester Research report, From Priming the Pipeline to Engaging Buyers: The B2B CMO’s New Role in Sales Enablement, “CMOs who enjoy the most collaborative working relationships and push the automation envelope also develop 50 percent or more of the opportunities that sales accepts and forecasts.” Again, here is success you can count on.
So, leave your Magic 8 Ball at home with the kids and begin using analytics and marketing automation to ensure your sales and marketing success. Your company’s future may depend on it.
Carolyn Ladd – Vice President of Account Planning, gyro Cincinnati
As an account planner, Carolyn is responsible conducting research projects, developing strategic insights, facilitating ideation sessions and workshops related to process improvement, new product development, campaign strategy, defining analytics and metrics for clients, and working with agency teams to develop campaign strategies and tactics that resonate with customers.
Carolyn’s first foray in business was with Thoughtware Inc., a pioneer in interactive learning and integrated support systems. The job at Thoughtware led Carolyn to realize that she thrives as a strategic planner and consultant. Her strong sense of curiosity, superb listening skills, solid facilitation acumen and the innate ability to distill complex ideas into simple messages were crucial to her role. As she says, “I’m always at my best when working with the unknown. I enjoy taking all the pieces of the puzzle and putting it together.”
Carolyn has been working with the world’s top brands for over 20 years. She has conducted complex research that drives brand messaging and tactical planning. She has developed segmentation programs for B-to-B companies that rely on brokers, deals and/or distributors to sell their products and solutions. Carolyn is passionate about leveraging digital strategy and tactics to drive results. At gyro, she is one of the leaders in digital marketing communications.