How to harness sales intelligence and insight to stay relevant in an oversaturated market
With each passing day, new businesses emerge, making the marketplace more crowded than it already was. As such, staying competitive and staying relevant may seem borderline impossible and businesses must fight harder to claim their slice of the pie.
The key to staying relevant in an oversaturated market is being adaptable, creative, and jumping on technological advances that help you find new opportunities, differentiate your service and most importantly of all add value to your customers.
Here are six ways you can harness intelligence and insight to stay ahead:
1. Differentiate from the competition
Businesses that can differentiate themselves are most likely to thrive in an oversaturated marketplace.
When a market is oversaturated all too often customers come to regard service providers as “all the same”, this obviously presents a significant challenge. Artificial Intelligence in the form of machine learning can help you turn the lack of differentiation challenge to your advantage.
If your competitors are offering similar products and services then harnessing the ability to intuitively analyse usage data from existing products and services, purchasing trends, buyer personas and sentiments, market demographics, pain points, and competitor successes and failures can help you reimagine your business strategy and differentiate your service by:
- Innovating in terms of product and service development
- Staying in tune and ahead of customer needs
- Defining your strengths and what makes you different
- Establishing and communicating your unique value proposition
- Staying one step ahead of the competition.
Whether you’re launching a new product, entering a new market or improving your sales processes, harnessing intelligence and insight to differentiate yourself is one of the most effective ways to thrive in an oversaturated market.
2. Be adaptable
The most successful and relevant sellers are those who accept and adapt to constant change, they know that doing things the way they have always done them is not necessarily the way to get business done in today.
As Stephen Hawking once famously said “intelligence is the ability to adapt to change”. When a market becomes saturated adaptability delivers competitive advantage, but I would change the late, great Sir Hawking’s statement to read “change is the ability to adapt to intelligence”.
Adaptable sellers embrace technologies that look for smarter and deeper insights to win sales, and synthesise a data driven understanding of customer wants, needs and preferences in order to personalise customer experiences and connect with them in more meaningful, value-driven ways.
To give you an example of a traditional business that has adapted successfully let’s look at one of our customers BT Local Business:
Despite using a market leading CRM solution, BT Local Businesses were finding that their ability to uncover new opportunities was being hampered by highly manual sales processes (i.e. trawling the internet to uncover potential new opportunities and gain a deeper understanding of customers).
They were keen to do things better – realise greater potential from their customer base, and have more meaningful, value-driven conversations.
Integrating Artesian gave them the ability to augment opportunities with real-time news, social media and people insights to gain an in-depth understanding of their pipeline, act quickly on opportunities, anticipate needs, and engage proactively in more sophisticated ways based on a real understanding of trends, sentiments and needs.
In just 12 months they had uncovered over 1,000 new opportunities and closed 793 of them, resulting in £6.4million of new revenue.
In 2017 the Boston Consulting Group found that 85 percent of executives believed AI will allow their companies to obtain or sustain competitive advantage. Being an adaptable seller and embracing the brave new world of artificial intelligence will help you remain relevant.
3. Solve problems
Businesses that proactively investigate customer pain, and work to creatively and proactively solve problems will always stand out from the crowd and stay relevant.
With the rise of artificial intelligence – predictive analytics, machine learning and natural language processing, the ability to differentiate by solving problems has never been more optimised.
By furnishing your business with rich customer data you are better placed to:
- Uncover customer and prospect pain and the underlying causes
- Position yourself to respond with creative solutions
- Proactively reach out with pin point relevance, timing, contextual awareness, empathy and personalisation.
Perhaps even more importantly for differentiation and competitive advantage, you can become better predictors of pain, highlighting pain-points customers and prospects could experience in the future, ones that they are not already aware of, and providing proactive solutions.
4. Stay on top and ahead of trends
Saturation simply means high demand, and demand is never stagnant. Staying relevant means that you cannot be stagnant either – you must keep your finger on the pulse of trends, understand how they will affect your customers, and the services and products you provide to them.
When competition is fierce however, simply staying on top of trends and responding to them is not enough. If you really want that all important first mover advantage then you need to start predicting trends.
Predictive analytics open up the opportunity understand where the customer journey will go next, and machine learning enables the construction of predictive models from data insight.
Harness this and you’ll know the actions to take in order to influence buying decisions now, next week and in the months to come, and from this build more sophisticated long-term sales and customer success strategies.
According to a recent study by Aberdeen Asset Management entitled Optimise the Customer Journey with Data-Driven Insight, best in class businesses are:
- Using analytics to convert data into insight in order to generate more opportunities to engage
- Understanding how customer behaviours are evolving in real-time in order to be more dynamic and deliver the right engagement approach at the right time
- Using predictive analytics to map sentiments and behaviours
- Creating models of customer buying behaviour
- Building customer playbooks to support sales efforts – predicting the next steps in the customer journey in order to move it along
Dedicate a little time to understanding the trends affecting your customers and the services you provide them, and forecasting the trends that will impact them in the future, and you will have a better chance of staying relevant, staying ahead of the curve, staying alive to new opportunities, and staying ahead of the competition.
5. Add value
In a saturated market with B2B customer expectations rising to B2C levels, it’s never been more important for you to position yourself as a valuable resource, and your ability to add value at every pass is vital to staying relevant.
Data technology and artificial intelligence are rapidly becoming critical tools for delivering value added customer experiences – translating data into insight, and enabling insight to be turned into actions that deliver improved customer experiences.
By delving into insights and sentiments, and by leveraging intelligence on your customers, their customers, stakeholders, and their market, you can better understand what they are looking for, what good service looks like to them, and importantly, what they are lacking.
Once you know this, you are perfectly positioned to know where, how and when you can create opportunities to demonstrate additional value:
- How you can evolve your service or product proposition to offer something better
- The best, most relevant and timely ways to engage
- How you can go the extra mile in terms of support to help them achieve better outcomes
- How you can deliver relevant, personalised content and engagements that drive value throughout the customer journey and whatever the touchpoint.
To give you a real world example from our own customer base. Metrobank, the UK’s fastest-growing high street bank, has grown to over a million customers since launching in 2010 by ‘creating fans not customers’.
They use Artesian to consistently uncover commercially valuable insights and turn them to deliver great customer experience opportunities.
The most successful and relevant sellers today are those that capitalise on every business moment in a way that is customer-centric, contextually aware, personalised, and value driven.
By harnessing intelligence and insight you are furnishing yourself with the rich customer data you need to not only add value, but do it in the most appropriate attention-grabbing ways.
6. Align your strategy
In every walk of life, we choose to spend our time and invest our efforts in those that are interested in the same things, and have shared goals and similar values to us. The business world is no different. Aligning what you’re doing with what your customers are doing will make you more relevant.
Everyday your customers and prospects are talking about their business, asking questions and reaching out in plain view.
Harnessing technologies that help you uncover this intelligence, filter and transform it into commercially valuable insights in the most efficient and fastest way possible will allow you to:
- Uncover synergies between you and the customer
- Understand how your products and services can best be directed towards solving their problems, and realising their opportunities, and provide recommendations
- Learn the metrics that matter most to them, and how you can have an impact
- Recognise how they like to engage and do business,
- Align content and engagement to the customer agenda
- Understand how your brand positioning can better peak their curiosity, and how you can create a consistent, meaningful and impactful experiences at every stage of the customer journey.
Aligning your strategy also means aligning your sales behaviours. Aberdeen Asset Management believes that the best sellers also use analytics to track their own performance.
AI and MBL concepts provide an ideal set of techniques with which to analyse and model the actions and outcomes of your behaviours with each customer, in order to pinpoint those which are most successful.
Likewise, the same approach can identify the opposite actions or inactions that typically correlate with failure. This information can then be used to improve behaviours, correct mistakes, adapt your style for each customer and develop your ability to better align yourself with customer needs.
Seeking the AI Advantage?
Obtaining success in an oversaturated market can be very frustrating but with the right intelligence and insight strategies you can set your business apart from the competition.
Here at Artesian we have lots of clever tricks to help you remain relevant in an oversaturated market, and many use cases from across a wide variety of sectors that you can draw inspiration from.
By applying complex natural language algorithms to millions of online data sources, Artesian provides the intelligence, real-time insight and context needed to find customers, uncover new opportunities, create meaningful engagements, add value, sell more, differentiate from the competition, and create long-lasting business relationships even in the most oversaturated of market places.
In line with statistics generated by the likes of Aberdeen, Gartner, McKinsey, when it comes to the benefits of embracing intelligence and insight, our customers are achieving 38% more prospects and opportunities, 24% uplift in accelerated sales results, 40% improvement in productivity, 34% improvement in relevance and credibility – all vital ingredients in your businesses ability to stay relevant and stay ahead.
If you’re seeing the AI advantage then check out our demo options.