There’s a lot of talk about Big Data and the economy these days, but very few companies have gotten around to applying that data they collect in any way that helps their channel partners.
An exception to that rule is Sage Software, which recently put in place a Product and Company Scoring Initiative that leverages Big Data analytics to identify customers that have the highest probability of acquiring additional Sage products.
According to Joe Langner, executive vice president for midmarket solutions for Sage North America, while individual channel partners have a lot of information about their customers, they don’t have access to the amount of customer data Sage has. That puts Sage in a better position to apply advanced analytics in a way that allows it to compare the buying patterns of similar classes of customers. Langner says that information is then passed on to the channel partner that already has a relationship with that customer.
What Sage is getting at is that nature of selling in general and lead generation in particular is getting more scientific. In fact, many organizations are slowly moving towards a model where customer service representatives do the majority of selling to existing customers, while the sales staff focuses primarily on landing new accounts. The reason this can occur is because advanced analytics are making possible to better anticipate what products a customer is most like to buy next based on what they already have installed.
To shore up this Big Data analytics effort Sage is also putting in place market development funds (MDF) for the first time in addition to the coop dollars it has made available in the past. At the same time, the company has launched a series of local events to help drum up interest in its products on behalf of local partners.
Langer says now is an ideal time for local partners to be having those conversations because the advent of mobile and cloud computing has made customers interested in how to apply those technologies to their business applications. And if any partners are having trouble identifying any likely prospects for application upgrades that can help address those issues, Sage has an algorithm than can help.