Customer data platforms: adding intelligence to CRM
May 14, 2018
The transition to a data-driven society has led customer expectations – and the ways companies manage customers – to evolve. Businesses must capture, use and process vast quantities of data to understand customer behavior and meet customer objectives and sales goals more efficiently. The game-changer? Combining a high-performing tool, meaningful data and data intelligence in order to achieve relevant insights at the right moment, through the right channel, for the right customer.
The birth of the customer data platform (CDP)
The 21st century has marked the emergence of the first CRM system with the power to consolidate data and unify processes in multi-channel suites. Today, we’re observing the introduction of the customer data platform (CDP) into the CRM landscape.
In a CDP, data from different sources is gathered, combined and reinforced with intelligence (machine learning approaches, advanced algorithms, etc.). The outcome: more meaningful insights, clearer contexts and more detailed perspectives that lead to smarter decision-making.
Many vendors support this new evolution, and Gartner has picked up on the importance of CDPs in their 2016 Hype Cycle.
Boost the performance of your sales team
Companies store customer data in CRM and ERP systems, marketing databases, manually captured data sheets, market reports and the like. To increase the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team, combine all customer and market data and then use intelligence to transform this bulk into meaningful information.
Adding a customer data platform (CDP) to your CRM landscape takes this a step further by providing a central hub in which meaningful customer data is accessible within the context of the customer, ready to be transformed into real measures at the perfect moment.
4 ways that a CDP can boost the effectiveness of your sales team:
- Enabling smart visits to ‘in the market’ customers. The CDP recommends the ideal moment to visit a customer based on insights derived from their activity and interactions. Your sales rep can visit the customer armed with the knowledge that they are ‘in the market’ for a specific new product.
- More precise lead and opportunity qualification. Lead and opportunity history analysis combined with historical data makes lead qualification much more precise. Support sales with benchmarks and patterns, helping them anticipate future evolutions in leads and opportunities.
- Cross-selling probability. Use the CDP to calculate the likelihood a customer will make a purchase based on their buying history in combination with a recommendation engine. Enable your sales rep to contact only those customers poised to benefit the most from a product, and design targeted, value-based sales pitches for increased margins.
- Predictive pricing and the ability to win assessment. Intelligent pricing algorithms based on historical data and win/loss analysis can predict the ability to deal at a certain sales price or margin point, calculating the price at which your chances of converting the deal are the highest. This reduces stress, increases the likelihood of success and leads to better preparation.
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Embrace your data
Your data is worth gold. By introducing a CDP into your organization and combining it with your CRM, your sales department receives an invaluable output from the CRM system. The CDP is poised to become the sales team’s greatest ally, as it increases their performance and provides key information to help them win the battle for the right customer at the right moment with the right offering.
Stay tuned for upcoming blog posts on how CDPs change the responsibilities of sales reps and the nature of supporting organizations and processes, and explore how to boost adoption.