How to use business intelligence to make decisions that are based on facts

Since the important information is not always accessible when crucial decisions need to be made, many managers must resort to using their instinct.

Having access to quality data helps make better decisions. Paired up with artificial intelligence, business intelligence will even allow you to choose the best candidates by reducing biases. Of course, the nifty skill of an experienced manager remains essential for good decision making. But the accuracy of the information on which the manager makes these decisions is just as important in order to get a full picture of the situation.

Following our article on the top 5 CRM obstacles that can be solved using business intelligence, we now present you with how business intelligence (BI) can help you make decisions that are founded on facts:

A very widespread problem

In 2015, a Forrester survey asked the following question; “What are the biggest obstacles encountered by your company when wanting to improve your customer management skills?”. This survey was answered by over 250 professionals who had worked on a CRM project over the last 3 years. Among the various CRM obstacles mentioned in the response choices, 42% of companies selected the difficulty of accessing accurate data that would guide them in their decision making.

Estimated reports

For many companies, financial statements represent, the only official documented report. These reports are extremely important to the CEO and CFO. Contrary to the CEO and CFO, sales and marketing managers often see these reports as being almost useless.

Why? Because producing these reports is often tedious. As a result, the information usually arrives too late for us to react with agility. These reports focus on the past and provide a financial perspective, making it hard for a sales or marketing manager to base themselves on these reports when making decisions for their teams.

3 benefits of business intelligence

Modern business intelligence tools facilitate decision-making. They help your decision making by providing you with the full picture of the situation faced by your company:

  1. Your data and information can be updated effortlessly several times a day
  2. It is easier for you to focus on projections and predict the future
  3. You can gather data of all kinds to get a complete perspective and visualize them with simple charts depending on the decisions you need to make.

Improving marketing decisions

But what can be the benefits for your reality? Let’s say, you’re the head of a manufacturing company X. Your marketing team wants to know which prospect to contact first. How do you prioritize them?

With business intelligence tools, you can also assign points to all of the interactions your prospects have with your business: website visits, emails, phone calls, social media clicks, etc. Tallying these points per prospect will show you which ones to prioritize:

Prioritizing prospects

In this example, you would start by contacting Lucky Minerals.

Making better decisions for your sales

Equivalent benefits are also available for your sales team. How do you decide the amount of effort to put into developing new prospects? Do you already have prospects that surpass what your sales team can accomplish in terms of follow-up? Should you hire new salespeople? With business intelligence tools, the CMO can check the overall health of its opportunity pipeline.

For example, this chart shows weekly opportunities, categorized by the sales phase.

Weekly opportunities – categorized by the sales phase

In this case, looking at the chart will reassure and give the CMO confidence regarding the short-term sales. There are many prospects in the “solution” and “proof of concept” phases. The CMO however, will be more concerned about the medium-term sales since few prospects are currently qualified and still in the development phase.

There are many other CRM obstacles which can be resolved by using good business intelligence tools. This will be the topic of our next article!

Want to know more about business intelligence? A free caption of our webinar on overcoming 5 major CRM obstacles with business intelligence is now available online. Click here to watch!

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