Predicting Offline Sales from Online Behavior with AI and Predictive Analytics

Merging insight from online activities to in-person sales processes is not going well at most companies. In a lot of companies, the problem traces back to the old, old problem of marketing and sales not sharing data meaningfully.

Even with direction and commitment to work together the biggest problem is often the inability to share data in ways that enhance understanding. More descriptively, those in sales do not know how to interpret marketing’s website traffic data and marketing does not know how to relate CRM sales and contact records to website activity.

While companies may never fully solve this problem, here is one way to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the form of predictive analytics to help improve online to offline sales conversion.

Marketing departments might already analyze website traffic using services which monitor the browser and flow of individual visitors. Aggregating that information into groups and trends shows website analysts where people are spending time and what is spurring clicks on calls to action.

That is a great start but it does not involve any CRM data. Specifically, there is no link from the website to the phone call.

Predictive analytics can take data from both sides, marketing and sales, link activities and actions by individual or customer type, and predict future behavior.

Just because someone clicks on a call to action on the website does not necessarily mean they are a great prospect. They may already be a customer. Or, they may be a long-time prospect never ready to close. Sales will know this. Using AI to analyze the history of clicks and contacts supplies a better prediction on the value of the respondent for any call to action.

As messages and behaviors change over time, AI processes more quickly to identify trends and deviations from targets. Alerts and insights on behavior happen much faster than if someone simply looks at a dashboard.

For the marketing side, seeing how the trend in actual sales relates back to groups of visited pages lets web designers create special messages based on individual behavior. For example, knowing visitors to a certain set of pages yields a new sale from a phone call 30% of the time, highlights both for sales and for marketing to do something right NOW.

That is the just one example of AI driven analysis available today which integrates online and CRM behavior.

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