Business intelligence: selling data to sell information

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Although often associated with data visualization software, Business Intelligence is made up of organizations that offer a combination of data and analysis related information, services and tools. At their core, these vendors not only seek to collect, cleanse, and publish data, but also provide advanced analytics and advisory/advisory services that build on this asset. From credit and financial data to business and consumer data, the diversity and pace of data captured, coupled with advances in AI and data science, has enabled providers to develop insights faster than ever before. . This has proven true for legacy data providers, but has also fueled an influx of tech-savvy niche players to enter the market and address previously underserved needs. But in this increasingly competitive space, how do organizations manage to differentiate themselves?

Organizations that successfully transition from selling data to selling information gain a competitive advantage and a greater likelihood of sustainable revenue growth. Keep reading to learn more about the most pressing go-to-market challenges, opportunities, and imperatives for players in this space.

Prioritize recurring revenue

Recurring revenue growth is highly valued by public and private investors across industries, and business intelligence providers are no exception. Many of the largest data providers have operated a Data-as-a-Service (DaaS) model for years (e.g. offering license subscriptions or metered/usage-based contracts), but there has also been an increase in the number of analytics providers moving from one-time project-based work to permanent, retainer-based contracts to create more predictable recurring revenue streams.

Although the recurring revenue model is not a new concept, there has been a rapid evolution in terms of go-to-market (GTM) investment in these business models. Organizations have shown their desire to generate recurring revenue, focusing on maximizing customer lifetime value (LTV). This mindset has forced organizations to think way beyond their customer acquisition strategies, focusing more on delivering information and value to maximize retention and build a strong foundation for future opportunities. up-selling and cross-selling.. GTM executives are increasing investment in new logo acquisition and demand generation programs through digital marketing programs as well as digitally enabled lead generation and sales development reps. Tactics once reserved for B2C are now being adopted and deployed in the B2B space.

Invest in customer success

For many, customer success is all about helping address key customer challenges or questions, and always having solutions and answers. But it’s more than that. Customer success is about maximizing customer lifetime value (LTV) with high adoption and value delivery. As soon as Customer Success Managers (CSMs) are tasked with more active involvement in cross-selling, the line between roles within the sales department becomes blurred. Many organizations that strive to have CSMs actively identify and qualify opportunities for expansion will find this a fine line to walk and maintain role integrity.

Overall, there are a few best practices that can help maximize value. Having strong collaboration and rules of engagement between vendor and CSM, developing a formal and customizable Customer Success Plan (CSP for each customer, using metrics and automation to track and analyze value realization are all key elements to generate sales information). invest in customer success, it’s important to realign with CSM initiatives to reflect their level of influence on sales, whether it’s adoption metrics, renewals and beyond.

Adopt customer use cases for business intelligence

Selling information can only become a reality when you move from communicating what are you selling at what problems you can solve. For example, a consumer data flat file can be used for a myriad of applications by a marketing manager. Any number of Business Intelligence vendors can meet the immediate need, set up a subscription and complete the onboarding process, but this data can easily be wasted and leave a customer questioning the accuracy and ROI of the data. Vendors who can speak to the marketer’s goals, offer best practices and consulting services (e.g. successful execution of a digital ABM campaign), and provide reliable, well-integrated data and analytics – which can even enter a new paradigm – will achieve success in selling information. .

In an ever-changing competitive landscape, companies need to find a path that will allow them to further differentiate themselves from their current and future competitors. Looking ahead, it is important to keep a close eye on the challenges, opportunities and go-to-market imperatives. This will not only help to successfully transition from selling data to selling information to gain a competitive advantage, but also increase the likelihood of sustainable revenue growth.

Mike Burnett and John Drosos are the directors of The Alexander group.

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