What Shakespeare Can Teach You About Predictive Analytics

Predictive analytics and Shakespeare have more in common than you think. At least, according to Brian Kardon they do. Brian, CMO of Lattice Engines, recently presented a session on predictive analytics at the Inside Sales Virtual Summit. And he invoked some help from Shakespeare.

The main takeaway? “The past is prologue.”

This quotation from Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” adequately sums up a point Brian wants his audience to remember:  if you know what has happened in the past, you can predict what will happen in the future.

Brian’s session focused on why it’s important for companies to use predictive analytics, and why now it’s easier than ever to do so.

Predictive Analytics Boost Conversion Rates

According to Sirius Decisions, 94 percent of marketing qualified leads never close. And, according to CSO Insights, about half of the reps in the U.S. did not meet their quota last year. Buyers today are 60 percent to 70 percent through the sales journey before they enlist a salesperson. Because of this, 68 percent of sales reps’ time is spent on administrative preparations and not on speaking to customers. About 24 percent of their time is devoted to research.

However, there is no human being who can predict what buyers are looking for as intuitively as a machine can. The leading companies are moving to data science to predict who is most likely to buy. Selling and marketing are moving from arts to sciences.

Across the companies that Lattice Engines tracks, there is about a 2 percent conversion from marketing qualified to close. Companies that use lead scoring where they’re looking at the ideal customer profile together with what the person has done on the website can get that conversion rate up to about 8 percent. With predictive analytics, you can get that conversion rate up to about 20 percent and sometimes a little higher.

3 Kinds of Big Data

What kind of big data is out there? Here are a few examples of what data is easily discoverable about potential leads:

  • Historical transactions: Have they bought something in the past from you? Where are they located? How many employees do they have? What about news about the company?
  • Website profile: What technologies are on their website? Are they using Eloqua, Marketo or Salesforce? Have they just been awarded a government contract? Did they receive funding from a private equity firm? What’s going on with their patent activity? What about their hardware and network environment? All of this is discoverable.
  • Marketing automation: Who’s clicked on what? What pages have they visited? What have they downloaded? What videos have they watched? How about social media? Are they active socially?

To Sum Up

  • We’re in an era of big data. There are lots of sources besides a CRM and social media.
  • There’s more information to discover about a prospect than ever before. If you’re not discovering it using predictive analytics, your competitors will.
  • Marketing needs to do a lot more than it is now. That means using predictive analytics to improve the lead scoring process.
  • Find your trigger. Find the qualities that make a lead more likely to convert, and focus on those leads.

For more tips on using predictive analytics, check out the full video above. Register for the Inside Sales Virtual Summit below to see more sessions like Brian’s.

How do you use predictive analytics in your lead scoring process? Share your thoughts in the comments below.


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