Ten Ways the Channel Can Get Real with Big Data
Filed under: News and Trends
Access to source of Big Data could be the best thing to happen to the channel since the development of customer relationship management (CRM) software. Here are ten tips from MaintenanceNet, a provider of sales automation tools for the channel, about how to leverage Big Data to increase sales.
See the Opportunity
Recognize the value of investing in Big Data systems that drive increased sales through complete and accurate customer contact details, histories of products and services purchased, and suggestions for related follow-on sales.
Chart the Course
Make use of Big Data internally to gain better customer insight to increase sales and improve service.
Offer Big Data analytics and services to clients to help them more intelligently reach out to their customers.
Do Your Homework
Discover how you can build upon the expertise of your distributors and vendors and take advantage of their existing offerings. Most of the major distributors, for example, have implemented cloud-based platforms that bring together data from throughout the supply chain.
Invest in Skills
Clients often don't have the in-house capabilities to leverage big data, so they'll turn to outside IT channel partners for expertise. Solution providers should get familiar with technologies such as NoSQL and Hadoop along with related algorithms and data structures as needed.
Partner for More Power:
If you don't have the skills in house, partner with other resellers who do.
Build Your Tool Box
Start with small data sets and gradually include multiple data sources, and begin by leveraging your current ERP systems to analyze your customers' buying history.
Take advantage of the data driven-analytics and sales automation platforms that distributors offer today: many of these are free of charge.
Make It Official
Communicate to your vendors, customers and employees that your Big Data analytics practice is a key part of your business.
An internal "data czar" can interact directly with sales and marketing to ensure that the analytics are prepared and delivered in a manner that can be easily translated into business gains.
Effective initiatives can lead to an ongoing annuity stream for your business. In the maintenance contract business, depending on the size of your customer base, tens of thousands of dollars in add-on sales each month is a possibility when it comes to taking action on new service renewal opportunities that Big Data can uncover.
Benchmark Your Success
Big Data is an investment that must be monitored and measured, for your sake as well as the sake of your customers. The results an effective Big Data practice can bring to your business are sure to be measurable in terms of dollars as well as customer satisfaction.
Look for New Uses of Big Data
Don't limit yourself to the ways in which you can apply Big Data knowledge. In maintenance contracts alone, it can be used to track product and service lifecycles; identify service expiration and renewal dates; find uncovered assets – IT products that were sold without a service agreement, and improve product and service registration rates so that follow-on opportunities are easier to identify.