Imagine that you’re settling in for the evening to enjoy a movie. You fire up Netflix. Now you face the modern dilemma of all movie streamers: how to choose a movie based on a single freeze-frame. Now imagine the stakes were higher; you’re responsible for making strategic sales and marketing decisions that can cost your company millions of dollars. The unfortunate reality of the industry is that only having a view into the current status, or at best, periodic snapshots in time, are so commonplace in sales software that we’ve accepted it as the best we can get. Then we expect sales leaders and representatives to make informed decisions. This Frankensteinian approach to sales operations is similar to looking at a thumbnail of a Netflix movie and choosing if it is worth your time. Similarly, sales leadership has one glimpse at sales metrics and are asked to do the same thing—decipher and take action.
Right now, the industry is buzzing over the ideal Customer Experience (CX) approach. There’s a heightened focus on adopting a CX strategy—and proving business results. In fact, according to Forrester, companies are investing in at least 25% more CX executives despite a one-in-four layoff rate for CX professionals. While the leadership team grows, the CX professionals that can’t prove value are being eliminated from the ranks in this cutthroat venture toward achieving the supreme CX.
But having a CX approach means nothing without two things:
- Fully shared database – An integrated tech stack that provides users with shared data across all platforms, thus eliminating the need to cross-reference multiple channels and providing a full picture to the sales and marketing teams
- Time coefficient – The ability to go backward and forward in time to access data throughout the customer lifecycle, allowing users to track, analyze, and note anomalies
SugarCRM is the only company not only talking about these two things but actually implementing them into our products (and it’s not escaping the notice of industry analysts).
“It took SugarCRM’s Connection event in late September to introduce a concept that both makes a bunch of sense and makes you wonder why I hadn’t heard any other companies talking about it and incorporating it into their platform.” – Brent Leary, Top 3 CRM Innovations and Themes for 2020: Time, Microservices and Good Intentions, MarTech Advisor
Sugar Premier’s Enhanced Forecasting capabilities for time-aware analytics allows sales leadership to go backward and forward in time to track and analyze data, detect anomalies, and make more accurate predictions using the power of machine learning.
So what’s the benefit of the time dimension in a CX platform?
Time travel may not seem all that enticing when it comes to sales pipeline and reporting, but trust us; this is one thing you’ll want in your toolbelt when analyzing sales analytics. Enhanced Forecasting bridges the gap and unlocks the power of your stored data, allowing you to move beyond standard KPIs as you track your lead generation and sales funnel efforts. By rewinding history, you can compare current performance to any point in the past to better understand the performance of long-duration processes and identify when current performance is outside of historical norms.
More so, the time coefficient of Sugar Premier’s Enhanced Forecasting allows for predictive insights, recommended best actions, and predictions of the future by analyzing historical data using machine learning. This model is intelligent and filterable to assist you in making business decisions and adjustments in an easy-to-use instance.
Technology, customer behavior, and the economy are always changing—it’s probably the one constant throughout the sales cycle. What makes Enhanced Forecasting different is 1) that it’s backed by machine learning, which will continually adapt as your sales cycle, product, and target customer change and 2) that it thrives on the large data sets that confound human beings. The machine learning algorithm is based on the principle that once you set the parameters of a situation, the system learns what patterns are within normal range versus outside of it. With Enhanced Forecasting based on this ever-evolving technology, you not only have a hands-off process but also the ability to adapt quickly and efficiently.
What can sales do with Enhanced Forecasting?
A better question is, “What can’t you do with this?” But rather than splitting hairs, Enhanced Forecasting answers the questions that were previously unanswerable and provides answers to questions you didn’t know you should be asking. It unlocks accurate and predictive insights for sales leadership, allowing for more accurate business decisions.
Ultimately, the time coefficient ability relates back to understanding your customers—in other words, the heart of your business. Experience the power of machine learning via having insightful data at your fingertips derived from the entire history of your customer base. This data can reveal hidden opportunities or threats and give you the visibility to address them. Sales teams using this CX platform have the ability to understand the entire sales cycle from the first interaction with an account to the last, providing a holistic view and improved understanding of motivations, intentions, and sentiments. This means your team can foster closer, more informed relationships with customers, ultimately creating an exceptional CX.
Great Scott! Do you mean to say, Doc, you’ve made a time machine out of a CX platform? Yes, that’s right. Not any platform, though: SugarCRM.