For thirty years or more I sold systems that generated reports.
Not just one or two reports but dozens and dozens of reports. Each report had many variations that allowed you to sort them how you wanted, total them with averages, minimums and maximums and sort them from high to low or low to high. You could compare fields and total columns giving you even more unique reports.
With the advent of report writers, you could literally generate thousands of unique reports and still might not be able to manage all that is going on in your business. Why? Reviewing these massive tree killers and enormous spreadsheets took people. Smart people who had lots of time and were paid money to do so. Sure, we highlighted those things that we thought important. The top 10 or, if we were super ambitious, the top 50 of something to focus on.
Now we have ways to make the data work for us. We can use the machine to augment our review of the data, we can have it predict what will happen. Now that we make predictions on all our data, we can have the machine take actions based upon our instructions. Perhaps you can send an email to a customer who shows signs of not buying as much from you anymore? Or your machine can offer another client an incentive to purchase product Q because, although they have a history of buying a different but similar product, they were researching other related products on your website?
Oh, and your machine doesn’t get paid for their coffee break either. Your machine can do this for all your customers and not just the top few.
Something else we can help your machine do is work with data from two or more of your systems. That too is very difficult for your people to do, but we can do it for all your customers.
For example, we can link the data between web activity data and your sales force data. Why do you want to do this you ask? To make sure your salespeople know your customer was looking at your most profitable items online but never purchasing them from you! Wonder who is getting that business?
Looking at reports from either your weblog or from your CRM data won’t prompt targeted, small actions that result in increased sales. Instead, the reports simply tell the person viewing what happened. Often the report is so old that, even if someone was motivated enough to call the customer, they are too late to capture the order.
These are just a couple of examples of why reports are going the way of old technology. We need to have machines do more work for us. We can use the data we have amassed and with creative and logical planning use it to help us increase sales, profits and protect our valued customers and support our desirable vendors. Want to know more?