• analytics capabilities

15 Analytics Capabilities to Consider When Choosing Your Next Big Data Solution

One of the more unpleasant and disappointing aspects of big data is how often it’s rendered completely useless.

You know it could be powerful, but you just can’t figure out how to make it work for you. Wrangling everything in one place and in a way you can understand just seems like a massive undertaking. If you managed to do it once, it would feel like a major achievement. But how could you possibly do it repeatedly?

The truth is that big data is useless without value-driving applications. You need analytics to make sense of everything.

By |April 4, 2017|
  • stop customers from fixating on pricing

How to Stop Your Customers From Fixating on Price

You know what your products are worth, but do your customers agree? I’m willing to bet a fair amount of them think they should be paying less. And with so many other options available, they’re willing to go elsewhere and find a competitor who will sell something similar for less.

Making this even more complicated is the rise of the availability of public pricing. There’s no bluffing when a customer can access an entire list of your and your competitors’ prices with a couple of keystrokes.

Despite all of these factors working against you, giving your customers the pricing they want is never a good solution to this problem. It ends up whittling down your margins until there’s nothing left on the table for you at the end of the day.

And that’s just in the short term. In the long term, customers fixate on price more than ever and completely disregard product value. They fail to only see price in the equation and ignore all other value elements, such as quality, delivery, and customer service.

You need to find another way around the problem. And really, there’s only one way.

By |March 28, 2017|
  • product mix pricing

5 Product Mix Enhancement Strategies for Margin Improvement

Almost no product exists in a vacuum. It’s a part of both a broader product category and a part of a complicated network of transactions that lead to what is known as “product mix.”

This product mix refers to all the products within your business and how they interact with one another to drive profitability.

As a result, you need to price each single product for maximum profit. However, you must also price each transaction in a way that promotes profitable product combinations.

This optimizes each transaction to help customers feel as if they’re getting a good deal on at least one of the products. However, it protects you from sacrificing margin over an entire order.

This also saves you money on marketing. By marketing and pricing products together, you save money while pursuing other goals.

The benefits are indisputable, but how do you do it?

By |March 21, 2017|
  • the importance of data visualization

The Importance of Data Visualization In Your Business and 10 Ways to Pull it Off Easily

Before the formal written language, there were pictures. Primitive drawings shared ideas, plans, and history.

When something gets too difficult to understand, sometimes resorting to this uncomplicated language of data visualization simplifies everything to a concept you can grasp. Data visualization puts complex data into a graphical format, allowing you to more easily understand the state of your business and identify patterns to bolster your successful strategies.

In the early days of data visualization, the best and only way to visualize your data existed within Excel’s capabilities. You’d start with a handy spreadsheet and slowly and painstakingly create a simplified graphic to help convey a message or understand a business trend.

It used to be the best tool out there until data evolved to a point that Excel couldn’t handle its size, and professionals needed more complex visualizations than a pie, line, or bar graph.

By |March 14, 2017|
  • importance of pricing

Creativity Meets Data Science: The Importance of Pricing for Marketing Professionals

Okay, marketers, I get it. Pricing isn’t the most fun part of your job.

Pricing is, however, one of your most important responsibilities. While crafting the perfect campaign headline is always much more interesting, it’s pricing that impacts your company’s bottom line fastest and most effectively.

Yes, some companies have entire pricing departments, but most delegate the task of setting prices to the marketing team. Lucky you.

Unfortunately, many marketers are ill-prepared for this responsibility. Most can easily access the creative side of their brain for their jobs. The analytical side, on the other hand, isn’t as easy to tap into.

To make things worse, most marketing education fails to serve the data science side of the profession. And that’s the side you need for profitable pricing.

With all of this standing in their way, many marketers fail to price strategy the attention it deserves. But it’s time for you to get on board.

By |March 7, 2017|
  • predictive analytics

Predictive Analytics: Your Gateway to the Future of Your Business

Nothing is scarier for businesses than the unknown. You can plan for a handful of catastrophes and situations, but in reality, you never know what’s down the road.

Fortunately, most companies do have one valuable resource at their disposal – their sales transaction data. With the rise in data collection methods and storage solutions, this amount of available data and computing power is increasing exponentially every year.

And this data can help them keep the unknown under control. They do this through the use of predictive analytics.

By |February 28, 2017|
  • sales effectiveness

4 Low-Cost Ways to Boost Sales Effectiveness

My team and I tell customers all the time: If your sales professionals aren’t achieving their goals, neither is your business. An ineffective sales team can cause major revenue loss for your company. In other words, the health and success of a business depends on productive and efficient sales strategies.

And here’s the deal: most businesses are struggling in this arena. Don’t worry if you’re one of them. You’re not alone.

In fact, 40% of companies have defined increasing sales effectiveness as a top sales priority [CSO Insights].

So where do you start?

Sales effectiveness is measured by a sales team’s ability to entice prospective customers, win deals, and keep customers engaged and constantly in the buying cycle.

By |February 21, 2017|
  • sales rebate strategy

How to Transform Your Sales Rebate Strategy From Problematic to Profitable

In today’s climate, salespeople are constantly pressured to give things away to customers and prospects to get deals closed. If they can’t sweeten the deal with a little something extra, sales reps risk the entire transaction. At least that’s how it feels in the moment.

As a result, the sales culture has been flooded with all kinds of allowances for customers. Many reps don’t even try to close a deal without offering some kind of price concession. Not only do customers find them irresistible, but they also expect them. And they’re negotiating harder than ever for that something extra.

Unfortunately, these allowances eat into your bottom line. It’s simple math – you give more away, you make less.

By |February 13, 2017|
  • margin analysis

Back to Basics: Margin Analysis 101

Okay, everything in your business seems to be going well. Sales are up, prices seem solid, and customers seem happy. This is the perfect business climate, right? So why are your margins all over the place?

Is there any way to get a real read on what’s going on with your bottom line? Even when you keep all controllable elements the same, your gross margins have their highs and lows. What’s behind the fluctuations?

All financial teams have their ways of approaching the problem. They employ many types of analysis, and their efforts do often illuminate some parts of the puzzle. This includes sales performance analysis, pricing analysis, market analysis, and more.

However, there’s one that’s repeatedly left behind, even though it puts all of these moving parts together – gross margin variance analysis.

By |February 7, 2017|
  • competitor price increases

Your Competitor Just Announced a Price Increase. What’s Your Next Move?

You’re going about your workday when you come across a piece of interesting information from a team member – your competitor just announced a price increase.

You probably have a few immediate reactions in this order:

  1. “Why are they increasing prices?”
  2. “Does this mean we’ll get more market share?”
  3. “Do they have something we don’t?”
  4. “Wait, should we be increasing prices?”

This last reaction is on point. You should go with it immediately.

By |January 31, 2017|