Michael Dell, the founder of Dell Computers, recently said, ‘Data is the key competitive differentiator in today’s business environment.’ I believe he is right. Data is the star of the 2015 sales and marketing show; enterprises will generate new business, optimize their current state of data, and close more deals as a result of the improvement in data quality.
According to Aberdeen, nearly 91% of B2B Enterprises have not properly optimized their lead flow process. Proper data is a key ingredient in that optimization. Despite data not being a ‘balance sheet’ item historically was overlooked by non-marketing executives, executives will begin to assign company initiatives to improve data as they realize the direct correlation of the effectiveness of the inquiry to close conversion process to that of the quality of data in their customer relationship management and marketing automation databases. CMO’s career credibility relies heavily on the data quality when reporting on their impact to the business and they, too, will invest more cycles in improving the current state of their data.
From this point, companies will begin to experiment with data predictability models. SaaS based enterprises with large volumes of inquiries and with client usage data will continue to be earlier adopters of such predictive data technology. SaaS companies will sort out the most probable to deal close or most probable to upgrade, with other companies eventually following suit. The overall predictive market in 2015 for marketers using data will still be very nascent (<$100M for all companies in the sales and marketing use case) but will be the fastest growth as a percentage quarter over quarter of any marketing technology in 2015.
Lastly, the term ‘Big Data’ will become increasingly meaningless in 2015 as the executive question will pivot from ‘what are we doing in Big Data?’ to ‘how can our data be used to increase productivity…increase sales…decrease customer churn…etc.?’
What do you think will happen in 2015?