Predictive Analytics: Changing the “One and Done” Campaign Mentality

Dara Schulenberg

Sales has a reputation for having the ‘one and done’ mentality. You pursue and work the deals that are most likely to close. And once you close them, it’s on to the next deal … and the deal before is just a distant memory.

We get it. You have sales goals, and the pressure is always on to hit – and even exceed – them. The faster you can get leads, close them, and move on, the better.

We’ve asked the Riverbed Reach concierge team at MRP to dive deeper into how you can leverage the comprehensive value of predictive analytics beyond ‘just’ the delivery of BANT qualified leads.

As your business moves away from transactional relationships and deeper into a subscription services model, minimizing churn to maximizing ARR becomes a critical success factor. And a powerful – and often overlooked – value of predictive analytics is how it can help you prevent customer defections post-sale.

Given it costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to keep an existing one1 you need to be thinking about how to prevent churn. Predictive analytics can be a powerful tool in your mission to stop loyalty leakages in the funnel.

More Fully Tap Into the Power of Predictive

You may be familiar with marketing use cases for predictive analytics, such as MRP Prelytix. Predictive analytics play a key role in getting highly qualified leads quickly, with prospects who are in an active buying cycle helping deliver insights on specific pain points or solutions they are researching.

This is great news for your marketing efforts. No more casting a wide net and hoping for the best. No more wasting time talking to a prospect who isn’t ready to buy. For our clients, MRP-informed opportunities are 197% more likely to convert, and deal sizes are 208% larger!

But what happens once you close a deal? Time to move on to the next opportunity, right? Not exactly. Because of the sophistication and fickleness of today’s buyer, sales is no longer a ‘one and done’ deal. A smart sales person is in it for the long haul, through the entire customer lifecycle.

The Dynamic Nature of the Buyer JourneyTeam discussing the project

We are living in the age of the customer. Technology has forever changed the buying landscape and the relationships we have with our customers. According to SiriusDecisions, 67% of the buyer’s journey occurs online – before they ever talk to a sales person2.

With so much information available digitally, buyers don’t need sales people like they did in the past. This abundance of digital information also creates confusion, as well as the risk of prospects moving back and forth between buying stages as new information is consumed.

Even when buyers have identified their short list of preferred vendors, 70% of them will return to Google at least two or three more times for more research3. This means several things:

  • The buying journey is much more dynamic now. Today’s early stage prospect could be tomorrow’s late-stage buyer … and vice versa
  • The buyer journey is much more complex and harder to control because buyers are interacting with content that you may not have created.

Today successful sales people keep a pulse on their customers because they understand that buying activity can change in an instant. You don’t want to lose the chance to get on – and stay on – their vendor short list.

The Customer Lifecycle: Retention, Growth, and Defection

The customer lifecycle describes the phases that your customers go through during the course of their relationship with your company. The acquisition phase of customer lifecycle gets a lot of attention. But are you thinking (enough) about what happens post-sale?

Things may be going along just fine and dandy … until an internal or external business disruption triggers the need to make a change. Some business disruptions are good news for your company – and some are not.

One of your key accounts might acquire a company, and they suddenly have a need for products or services that they haven’t purchased before. They start researching your solutions, and this activity is detected by the streaming intent data from MRP Prelytix.

You’ll be able to see what your customers are researching and where they are in the buying stage, allowing you to proactively address their needs with messaging and content, exactly when they need it.

Unfortunately, some business disruptions are bad news for your company. Your customer may have a business need they don’t think you can fill, and is researching a competitor’s product. Without predictive analytics, you may not know this is happening until you find out they aren’t renewing their contract or refreshing their hardware.

Having insight into when your customers are showing signs of defection is critical. For example, you can – and should – develop outreach programs designed to revive and renew loyalty among your customers before it’s too late.

Continuous Improvement

There is a lot of wisdom in abandoning the ‘one and done’ mentality and embracing the ‘in it for the long haul’ mentality. If a customer slips through your fingers because you weren’t paying attention to their buying activities, you can end up sacrificing as much as a third of your sales year just getting even to where your numbers were the previous year4. Ouch!

And the good news is, it (predictive analytics) only gets better with time. Every tactic you deliver to a customer or prospect produces some sort of response. As these responses are input into the platform, the algorithm gets smarter and the next round of predictions will be that much better.

Value Above & Beyond the MQL

Looking to retain and deepen your customer loyalty? Then it’s time to put predictive analytics to work in your business. Join Riverbed Reach and get started leveraging Prelytix data in your sales efforts as well as your marketing campaigns.

And, be on the lookout for an upcoming piece on “What to Do with All of My Campaign QFFs” where we will discuss how to translate Qualified For Future Leads into future pipeline post-campaign. It is another compelling way that predictive can power your pipeline.