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.