March 25, 2015
The economy has changed and it’s fundamentally transforming the buyer/seller dynamic. According to a new survey conducted by SDL, channels have become transparent to both businesses and consumers. 60% of millennials surveyed expect a consistent experience from brands whether online, in store or on the phone. Businesses are also following this trend. 60-90% of the B2B buying process is complete before a buyer even contacts a vendor. This means that the prospect has already conducted significant research online prior to having an engaged discussion with a vendor. Both businesses and consumers expect to transact business from anywhere at any time in any way they choose. Omni-channel is now the new normal.
This shift has opened up a huge gap between sales strategy and sales execution. The changing business environment and growing execution gap is creating a new level of complexity never seen before. To close this gap, businesses need management tools that provide visibility into the revenue generated, profitability, and the potential profitability of each channel.
Revenue and profitability are metrics that are readily available however potential profitability is a key metric that is not well understood. It identifies what could have been sold rather what was sold. If organizations were able to identify what could have been sold at the point of sale versus what was sold, they would be able to take steps such as individual coaching to maximize profitability.
The only way to determine what could have been sold is to automate the needs assessment and resulting product recommendation process across all channels. This would provide a consistent sales process across all channels and eliminate the human factor when making product recommendations based on the customer needs. This does not mean replacing a human with a machine, nothing can replace the human experience however it means giving customer-facing employees tools they need to help create a a productive high-touch experience; the first step in developing a loyal and long term relationship experience.
For the first time, companies would have the insights and tools they need to manage channel sales effectiveness, close the gap on untapped profitability, and improve efficiency ratios.
Here is an example of a dashboard that was developed for a banking application.
The Dashboards reveal what was previously unknown. For example, lost opportunities, sales process gaps, marketing opportunities - by geography, by customer segment, and campaign. From a financial standpoint, the Dashboards break down analyses in various ways including potential and actual profits in terms of interest vs. fee income per channel. In the past, bank executives, including the CFO, have had no way of knowing what products were recommended to customers and prospects at the point-of-sale in terms of potential profitability (broken down by fee income compared with interest income), or how much income is available per channel.
The Dashboards provide banks the ability to measure ROI almost immediately. For example this bank proved an increase in business account openings of 50% within 90 days of implementing Ignite’s Recommendation Guides and Dashboards. The statistical evidence that they were able to prove from the Dashboards enabled them to implement immediate channel adjustments with high confidence.
Improving and measuring omni-channel profitability is one of the most pressing issues in business today. Automating needs assessment and resulting product recommendations can answer the following questions:
- Where are our customers and prospects?
- What do they look like? How big is their business? What is there revenue? Where are they located geographically?
- What is the potential opportunity for business with these customers?
- Where are the biggest opportunities we are missing?
- Where should we focus our efforts? Where can we realize the best marketing ROI? Sales ROI? What enhancements to products would provide the best ROI?
- Where are our sales gaps? How should we best prioritize reducing these gaps?
- What are we not doing today what we should be doing? As far as product offerings? Marketing? Channel initiatives?
With this information organizations are now armed with the data to optimize their business in today’s omni-channel world.
Share this post: