Using Cloud and Big Data to Augment Your Sales Numbers

February 18, 2015
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The cloud means different things to different people. For IT, it is a pretty effective way to outsource the core infrastructure to capable third party so that your team could focus on things that matter. For the CXO, it is a great way to scale up without having to worry about the handling the growth pains. For your sales team, it can only mean one thing – increasing your sales.

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The cloud means different things to different people. For IT, it is a pretty effective way to outsource the core infrastructure to capable third party so that your team could focus on things that matter. For the CXO, it is a great way to scale up without having to worry about the handling the growth pains. For your sales team, it can only mean one thing – increasing your sales.

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The benefits of cloud and cloud computing for sales teams is not immediately apparent. One of the most common benefit of cloud to the company’s sales team is in the enhanced collaboration that it offers. Using a CRM or task management service hosted on a third party server for instance, gives you the ability to collaborate, access data and modify them from anywhere. For a distributed sales team, this is immensely helpful.

But this is barely scratching the surface of what cloud and big data can do for sales. Brian Holland is the CFO of Fleet Advantage, a truck leasing company based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In 2010, the company was doing close to $40 million in revenues per year. When Brian joined the company in 2011, he introduced big data analytics into the system that allowed his clients to optimize their logistics and routes and in turn opt for lease terms that worked. It was a huge win-win whereby clients saved lots of money by optimizing their lease terms and Fleet Advantage, grew from being a $40 million company to $240 million in 2014. 

Fleet Advantage is an example of a company overhauling its business model completely to incorporate big data into a pure-play logistics company. But there are several smaller, incremental value additions that cloud or big data can bring to your organization.

Content Creation : Marketing teams across boards have come to realize the value of original content. But creating unique content is not easy. What cloud services do is they make it possible to create content where none existed. For example, taking a prospect through a product demo is a routine sales process that is done both online as well as via face-to-face meetings. Now, a webinar hosting site like ClickWebinar will let you host these demos on the cloud. This is marketable content that did not exist before. 

Automation : A lot of sales processes are pretty routine and mechanical in nature – making a follow up call if a prospect has not responded, assigning a sales exec depending on the nature of an inbound request, or moving contact information from the prospects list to the customers list after a sales is done. A lot of these things can be automated using the cloud based tools like Sales Cloud. These tools drastically enhance the productivity of a sales team and helps to keep the team focused on what they do best – contact leads and generate sales.

Driving Repeat Sales : It’s commonly known that it costs less money to drive repeat sales than acquiring a new customer. For most businesses, driving repeat sales are a hit or miss. They mostly bombard a customer with new sales materials and promos hoping one sticks. Recommendation engines primarily aggregate millions of sales data points to identify products, seasons and budgets that a specific individual customer might be interested in. Amazon has made a great use of such big data driven recommendation engines on their website – according to one estimate, nearly 35% of Amazon’s sales comes from the recommendation engine. 

The objective of a sales team, as opposed to a marketing team, is to close a prospect and bring money to the table. The use of cloud and big data in this aspect are still in the nascent stage and like Fleet Advantage, have the ability to revolutionize industries in future.