Throw away the crystal ball, and start incorporating predictive analytics into your sales strategy. If we all knew what the future holds, life would be much easier, especially for all of you sales professionals. Knowing which of your current contacts, leads, etc are most likely to convert is like hitting the jackpot of sales. Cha-ching!

So, what exactly is predictive analytics? Predictive Analytics (PA) is information that has been extracted from existing data for the purpose of determining/ predicting future sales and results. Access to this data allows the user to better understand their customers and how they are reacting to your products, marketing campaigns, websites, and more. Predictive analytics makes your business smarter, while simultaneously increasing efficiency, productivity, and ultimately revenue.

Far too often, businesses spend too much time trying to collect data that has either been lost, unorganized, or just simply not tracked in the first place. This puts a business at a severe disadvantage when placed next to one utilizing a CRM with tracking, email marketing, lead scoring, predictive analytics, and more. Data mining lets a business look to the future rather than study the past, putting it leaps ahead in the sales game.

PA turns possibility into probability by providing a detailed look at your customers/clients and their behaviors, actions, engagements, demographics, etc.

Predictive analytics achieve the following:

  • Analyze and associates conversions with activities, behavior, demographics, campaigns, and referrers of current clients to that of prospective clients
  • Predict which leads are ready to close, which makes sales and marketing more efficient and cost-effective
  • Determine marketing effectiveness with specific/ detailed information for more targeted nurturing

Once this data has been extrapolated, businesses can use it to make more intelligent operational business decisions.

Of course, software is the foundation in acquiring reliable and timely data, and it’s necessary if you wish to stop guessing and start acting. There are many predictive analytics software companies out there including IBM, Alpine Miner, and SAS; however, these are third-party software solutions that require the user to pull data stored elsewhere and upload it into their platforms. This is inefficient, in my opinion. The key, as I always advocate, is integration. Predictive analytics should be integrated into the same software that houses your CRM, website tracking, campaign management, social media monitoring, etc. An all-in-one platform like this makes accessing these predictions a one-step process, as well as highly reliable, since all the data needed to produce the analytics is already stored in the system.

As of now, there is only one CRM out there that offers users a predictive analytics package. GreenRope is leading the charge in this space, and it will be interesting to see who can catch up. I was surprised and glad to see that it was not one of the bigger players, but one of the newer and smaller CRM software providers that brought forth such innovation.

Regardless of whether you choose an integrated platform, or third-party software, predictive analytics is the future of sales. Access to such enhanced business intelligence will ultimately determine a company’s success.