19th March 2019 5 minute read
How else can data segmentation enhance the sales process? In his second blog James Ratcliffe, Director of Data Strategy at Capita Divisional Trading, looks at reaction speed and the customer feedback accurate segmentation can give clients on their products and services.
Previously I talked about how better data segmentation can lead to more tightly focussed and relevant sales campaigns. Something else it can help support is the optimisation of those campaigns, in real time, throughout their lifecycles.
To do that we’ll be constantly looking at outputs, whether that’s a dialler output from outbound telemarketing, or what’s happening with email or direct mail. When we see we are we having success, we then adjust our data and segmentation strategies to take the greatest advantage of that.
Importantly, the technology and platform we use enable us to see and do that in real time. We have data visualisation that tells us, from one day to the next, how sales are trending, or the objections that are surfacing most frequently in the conversations our people are having. There will be occasions when that real time analysis reveals a campaign isn’t working or hasn’t been successful. Then it’s about how quickly we can work with the client to overcome whatever the challenge is.
So if we are getting objections based on price, for example, or an element of the service, or an issue around the product itself, the segmentation work we will have done lends those arguments real weight.
We are able to say, look, we know we have an audience that is receptive and interested, but they’re the ones telling us that something about the product or offering is not right, so how dynamic can you be to help us improve that element and get further gains on the conversion rate?
What has helped data segmentation to improve and become more effective is the degree to which it can be blended, and the number of sources we can call on. It was only a couple of years ago that some clients might have been trying to do this job with a single tool, such as Acorn. We know from experience that such an approach can result in insight that is not only narrow, but frequently biased as well. For example, the data might have originated from just one specific channel or source, leading you towards a set of assumptions that later turn out to be false.
Because we combine so many sources with our own factual, behavioural and model data, we find we can achieve a segmentation accuracy that is much higher than it has been before.
Where we see the marketplace going – especially as GDPR settles down – is partly down to consumers gaining, or regaining, confidence in brands and being willing to share more of their specific preferences.
So for example, some customers might be prepared to share their intent to purchase. They might say to a mobile phone brand, ‘ok, I’m out of contract in June, so call me in May as that would be a good time to discuss what happens next.’ Then you can programme in reminders, and send an SMS or email saying, are you ready to schedule an appointment and how would you like to do it?
That will never become the norm for everybody, for obvious reasons, but it would give some consumers an almost on-demand option, as well as reducing intrusion and the effort required for customers to get to the end result they want.
There’s no doubt that post-GDPR, the power of data is returning to the consumer, and they expect that data to be used more appropriately than it perhaps has been in the past. That appropriateness is key to all of this. If you can get that right – and use better data segmentation to do it – then your interactions with customers can be more relevant, more timely and less intrusive. That’s a very positive way to build data confidence among consumers – and consequently sales - when so many recent data scare stories have started to strain that trust.
To find out more about the use of data in today's business world, see our latest edition of Intelligence, 'The Power of Data'.