It’s been three and a half month’s since we launched our tech hub in Nigeria delivering hands on training and practical work experience in digital business transformation, project management, business analysis, data driven decision making and so far, digital technology has been the business enabler for us as a start up and more importantly an avenue for cost optimisation and revenue generation.
What’s everyone saying about data?
You would have heard every major digitally inclined thought leader in the industry constantly banging on the phrase: “ Data is the new oil” or “Data is King” or “ Data is the lifeblood of your business”. Well I can confidently tell you based on my experience as a digital solutions consultant and founder of Digital Bananas Technology, a digital solutions provider and work experience platform, they are 100% accurate and to add my little piece, “Data may be King but the intelligence behind that data is Queen”.
Let me explain with a recent case study. Last year December 2017, after 2 months of a successful ad campaign, loads of new customers with active subscriptions and subscriptions coming to an end, we made a decision to pause all forms of advertising and dig deep into our customer data as a result of the successful implementation of our digital transformation strategy earlier in the year, which involved the digitisation of all our channels, the integration of all digital channels using APIs as we focused on a centralised customer data centre with our CRM fully interconnected to all internal and external channels creating a unified system.
It was time to give this newly created digital beast a try and put it to test. Have we been wasting our time and our money? The era of truth of is here. We have the data, now let’s identify candidates with opportunities, track their activities on the platform and based on their progress match possible up sells, cross sells and next sells.
Within minutes, we were able to identify over 500 candidates with subscriptions due to expire and subscription that had expired the month before, candidates that had completed their initial training ready for the next stage and candidates who had secured jobs looking to up their skillsets and expertise. Immediately I tasked my after sales support team to focus on nurturing these candidates, identify issues or problems they may be experiencing and make sure the support team had resolved all issues, updating them on our salesforce CRM platform, rating the customer satisfactory level and then tasking the sales team to call them reminding them to renew their subscription as it’s expired or expiring soon etc. The sales conversions were a monumental success.
It was the start of a new year 2018 and we needed to kick start our marketing campaign, creating awareness and exposure using a marketing mix of offline and online advertising. The leads started to roll in and it was important to take stock before we ventured out again. Once again we made that crucial decision to look within and seek wisdom from our almighty data using Salesforce and Wave Analytics for Business Intelligence.
What’s the point going out there to go look for new business when you have not even converted the potential new business sitting in your own living room. Birds of the same feather flock together (through customer advocacy you can get referrals) and a bird at hand is better than a million in the forest (what of the prospects you spoke to last year who are very interested and have not yet been converted.
The first thing we did was to analyse our customer data, visualised the data, gain valuable insights and from there it was pretty easy to make decisions. At this point my head of sales was complaining that she did not have new leads and she had no idea where to get business from. This is normally the case for sales professionals after having an amazing month, they tend to become complacent and a little bit lazy. Without wasting time, I called a meeting, got my business intelligence team in, made sure our Head of Digital was in the room and went to town on the entire sales team.
From the data above, we could clearly see they were getting leads and creating opportunities on those leads, the question really was how far had they gotten with those leads.
With a few digging around within minutes it didn’t take too long realise that they were too busy focused on nurturing instead of closing. Ok!
We have finally found the actual problem. “My sales people have gotten too confident to close!” . They think the sales are going to come in without having to work for it because they had a fantastic previous month. At that moment of realisation, came crumbling down an avalanche of threats and then rewards. That woke them up and so far so good.
Now we know what our average conversion rate is based on the entire sales team and if they focus on closing, hitting target shouldn’t be a problem however I saw the need for a new direction. A new breed of account managers, client relations managers and what I call ‘ My Evil Debt Collectors’. Why? The data informed us of something I didn’t know was even there. We were sitting on a pot of gold and we didn’t even know it. Let me explain once again:
We realised that our sales team sometimes take part payment and forget to collect full payments because they have so many sales coming in. We were able to pull data of all amounts owed to date and the sales team were shocked to realise this. Immediately I requested an automated alert for each sales team so they don’t need to remember on their own (HUMAN ERROR), but the CRM system will remind them instead and keep reminding them until they get the funds owed in (AUTOMATION).
Now thank goodness we had already integrated our CRM system with our eWorkexperience platform and even better, the entire system was centralised and feeding into one giant database. Through automation we could restrict accounts, send reminders to customers via email and sms however you still need that human interaction. This is where CRM, data intelligence and marketing automation gets to help the sales team.
Taking care of your customers
Now you have heard me talk about the amazing CRM platform, the power of data, data intelligence and how it can help you generate sales while keeping your advertising cost down but what about keeping your customers satisfied and eventually them becoming ambassadors for your business.
With a fully integrated and unified system we are now investing heavily in Salesforce service cloud which comes with case management for organising and coordination our support operations and a quick solutions functionality quickly address and resolve frequently recurring customer issues. We are confident that a happy customer is a not just a paying customer but an advocate for the brand.
Think about this for a second, we will be considered an SME working towards becoming a large enterprise and by being digitally inclined we are able to make informed business decisions based on data giving us a massive competitive advantage over our competitors, delivering extreme value to our customers and increasing our market share. Imagine how larger corporations are using business intelligence, CRM, automation, mobile, cloud, social and big data. Now think about your career and how as a Digital Project Manager or Digital Business Analyst with these key digital expertise can add value to these corporations using the training and work experience you get from Career Insights and Digital Bananas Technology.
Let’s have a look at the contract rates for these roles:
Think of the value it’s added to an SME like Digital Bananas Technology and imagine the value it will add to larger corporations who now need the right digital PMs and BAs with competent domain knowledge, application and experience to help them either implement, optimising or expand the capabilities of their digital platform and services. We are living in a digital world, driven by a digital economy and digital technology is now the business enabler. Do you have the right digital skills to compete in today’s digital age?