• What is the sales lag for introducing a new product?
Make the Data Actionable
Once you have the data, put what you’ve learned into action by adjusting processes and tools for implementing the initiative. You need to think through—as a result of the data—what you should be doing differently, and develop a plan to execute.
For example: Data shows that a company’s top 10 percent of accounts represented 90 percent of its revenue, and there was a significant gap in average order sizes between the top 10 percent and the next 10 percent of accounts. The data showed that the top accounts were purchasing, on average, 12 different products per year, while the next tier were purchasing 2.7 products per year.
Business Objective: Increase product penetration and increase revenue/profit.
Measurement: Increase the number of products tier-two customers purchased by 100 percent.
Solution: The company built a “Playbook” for the sales reps (see p. 54), delivered via e-mail, that showed what products customers were purchasing, and using a predictive model, brought up suggestions of other products they should be buying.
This initiative increased the average number of products purchased by 179 percent, and spurred 26 percent incremental revenue growth.
All implementations should be deployed in a phased approach; concentrate on impacting one business objective at a time. Standardize one program at a time until the team can measure results and effectively deploy the process.
You must be able to tie the actions to measurable desired results, and the desired results (measurements) must tie directly to the business objectives you are trying to achieve. Data can be used at every point of your business process to drive revenue, either through increasing revenue, reducing cost or increasing efficiency.
Cindy Stuckey is vice president, consulting, and Jeff Pelzel is senior program manager for Hunter Business Group LLC, a B-to-B marketing firm in Milwaukee. They can be reached at (414) 203-8060 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.