Selling the abstract concept of big data is vastly different than selling a physical product or a more concrete service despite the immense value...
Selling the abstract concept of big data is vastly different than selling a physical product or a more concrete service despite the immense value big data offers. Traditional sales experience doesn’t always translate well into the world of big data sales. However, there are some similar skills that remain consistent across the field, such as networking. The art of selling big data relies on fully understanding the magic behind the buzzword to paint the most vibrant picture for your potential client.
“With all things, every day we learn something new,” said Julie Chiappe, director of sales and marketing for Ironbridge Software. “Ironbridge Software will continue to network and do what our CEO Mike Dickenson set out to do 30 years ago. We strive to be the best in our field on a daily basis.“
Networking Is Critical
Big data is a niche market, and traditional networking groups aren’t always as relevant as they are for selling houses. In the realm of big data, conferences are a gold mine networking opportunity. Events such as the Category Management Association Conference are ripe with potential clients and networking opportunities. Connections that are built at conferences should be maintained to create lasting rapport and future opportunities.
Patience is a Virtue
The lead up time for when a prospect becomes a client is significantly longer in big data sales and can last anywhere from six to 18 months. However, this lengthy ramp up period provides a useful window to scout the client, find their pain points, start building solutions, write the contract and ultimately implement the products. Finding clients all leads back to networking and spending days researching new, potential clients and how to initiate the first contact to establish a strong connection.
Working as a sales professional for big data presents new, unique challenges. Unfortunately, because the field is so unique, prior knowledge doesn’t always translate into the skills needed to sell big data to companies. However, big data offers such an advantage to companies that once you master the selling point it can be a very attractive service to sell.
Big data’s next step towards providing deeper business insights is real-time data analytics. Companies that have access to daily sets of big data can...
Big data’s next step towards providing deeper business insights is real-time data analytics. Companies that have access to daily sets of big data can identify problems and find a remedy before additional sales are lost. While analyzing gathered data is the first step towards a more efficient business, taking it one step further into near real-time analysis can reduce the lag time between the rise of a problem and the implementation of a solution.
Instant Insights Leads to Instant Solutions
Through real-time insights, companies can establish alerts to quickly investigate potential problems when metrics fall below a predetermined threshold. Knowing there is a problem is the first step towards a solution, and problems can take on many forms. For example, real-time data can provide a simple fix such as a competitor’s sign being placed in front of a competing products shelf facings to an out-of-stock. Thankfully, analyzing daily data sets opens the door to being able to adjust strategies on-the-fly and implement immediate solutions.
Out-of-Stock and Out-of-Luck
Avoiding out-of-stock situations is critical to increasing sales and efficiency. Proper demand forecasting can help foresee periods of increased demand, but that is only one piece of the solution. A reduction of sales may be the result of the dreaded out-of-stock situation. These issues may arise from a period of high demand such as cold remedies selling out during an unexpected outbreak, or sudden spikes in media attention. Real-time big data can give a first alert of when and where increases in demand are occurring.
New Product and Promotion Rollouts
When introducing a new product to the market, it is essential to track and assess the success of the introduction. Obtaining and analyzing daily data is the best way to determine if a product rollout is happening according to plan. Any number of reasons can cause a product to fall short of its expected demand, however, realizing there is a problem is the first step towards fixing it. If for some reason, the pricing, display or advertisement was not executed as agreed, it is crucial to understand where the link is broken. Analyzing the daily data of individual sale points during a product rollout period can help pinpoint where the systematic problem lies, whether it’s at the retailer or supply chain.
Running a detailed analysis and tracking the results of a promotion are essential to maximizing efforts and sales strategies. Data gathered from individual transactions can help gauge success of various promotions and how it helped increase profits, customers or brand loyalty.
Big data insights in real time is the next step for the ever-improving world of big data. Analyzing data as it's collected allows a business to reach solutions to problems immediately rather than weeks or months later when sales opportunities have already been missed. Reducing the frequency of out-of-stocks and other forms of sales losses will directly improve the bottom line of a business. Analyzing data sets in real time is the key to preventing a leak in sales.
Ironbridge Software was featured in the American Marketing Association as a data scientist in their big data article. Michael Dickenson, CEO of Ironbridge Software,...
Ironbridge Software was featured in the American Marketing Association as a data scientist in their big data article. Michael Dickenson, CEO of Ironbridge Software, was interviewed for the story about his tenure in the ever-evolving data scientist career. Click here to read the article.