Why do companies fail to harvest the sales potential found in their existing data sources?

Eeva Vuorinen, Head of Diagnostics Operations

Based on our experience, industrial companies fail to identify aftersales and service sales potential found in their existing data sources. This concerns not only spare parts and maintenance sales potential but also agreement sales, for example. Sales people we have talked to have a lot of questions:

”How could I proactively approach my customers before the RFQ lands on my table?”

”Our spare parts sales budget is based on guesstimates, should it not be based on facts?”

”Why is my service agreement customer not buying spare parts as planned?”

”What are the differences in buying behavior in different countries or our customer segments?”

How can the above questions from sales be answered?

Understanding the data that you already have is the first step – and not only your but your whole organization’s available data; the facts. Second, combining and integrating the different existing data sources is a step that requires a lot of knowledge on your business data. Data sources usually include databases on installed base, SAP (or other ERP) data, historic sales data, and different types of data relating to service contracts and agreements. 

Next up is the actual analysis of the combined and integrated data. The analysis consists of building an understanding on customer optimal buying behavior, current market shares, and areas of potential sales growth. One of the key topics to analyze is which parts and/or services could be proactively sold to the customers. How much should and could you know before your next sales meeting with your customer and how much sales potential your existing customers actually have? A thorough analysis of existing data sources can tell you this and a lot more about your customers’ buying behavior in different geographical regions and business segments.

There is a possibility to increase order intake by identifying areas of potential sales growth. In addition, analysis of existing data sources can provide useful information for proactive sales on the frontline. Finally, the reliability of your sales budgeting improves when it is based on facts, not estimates – not to mention guesstimates.

Eeva Vuorinen is the Head of Business Diagnostics at PBI Research Institute.

Wolf Virkki