Big data or smart data?
One of the world’s largest automakers wanted to examine the data from its massive global supply network of 100,000 different partners. There was just one problem: the company didn’t know what it wanted to learn from the data. So the automaker identified a handful of specific questions it wanted to answer—and only then did the company begin building a data ecosystem capable of delivering the desired insights.
It’s a lesson worth emulating, applicable to every sector. After all, Front Office leaders expect their companies to experience significant growth over the next three years. Achieving this, however, will require having a future-ready Front Office in which data silos between marketing, sales and customer service are removed. The end goal? Enhance the customer lifecycle.
It’s critical to keep in mind, however, that this isn’t synonymous with accumulating more data or widening the funnel. Instead, data should be seen as the lever for driving a holistic Front Office transformation. Sharing and acting on the right data, instead of gathering more of it, will create real-time, relevant interactions across all customer touchpoints—and keep customers coming back for new and better product and service advancements over the long haul.
Operations maturity & transforming a business
Banks market new services that might not fit customers’ financial goals. Auto dealers send service reminders to people who no longer own cars purchased on those lots. These are just two examples of an enterprise failing to share and act on insights generated across Front Office teams. Similar occurrences are common in a wide array of sectors and B2B interactions.
Having a future-ready Front Office is not a nice-to-have; it’s essential. What’s more, taking certain strategic steps toward future-readiness results in a Multiplier Effect that not only accelerates the journey to operations maturity, but brings with it enhanced efficiency and profitability.
Our previous research Fast-track to Future-Ready explored the critical steps organizations must take to achieve future-readiness, including collaborating across business and technology, using automation to augment human talent and building ecosystem partnerships.
The key, however, is becoming more client-centric by creating a Front Office that’s capable of using, reading, translating and acting on the right data across marketing, sales and service. Data, in fact, is the most important multiplier force when it comes to accelerating into the future-ready tier of operational maturity.
Achieve the art of the possible
Organizations with future-ready Front Offices that effectively pull the data lever do a few key things exceptionally well. They:
- Accelerate the aggregation of internal and external data and use the cloud to power analytics, data science and AI.
- Scale analytics, on-demand, to drive insights and support decision making.
- Have an AI roadmap with a talent and tech strategy to help scale AI deployments broadly across the organization.
Client Case study
An industry leader in IT, network and cybersecurity realized that to be truly customer-centric, marketing and sales needed to be aligned, and sales agents had to be inspired and empowered. Accenture helped this client reinvent its global demand generation strategy to enable modern, customer-centric buying experiences by creating a unified view of all customer and prospect interactions for the sellers. Proprietary AI and machine learning were integrated into the platform to provide buyer propensity modeling and next-best offer recommendations to the sellers. The client has since achieved extraordinary growth in interactions and revenue, particularly with its key accounts.
However, the journey doesn’t begin with adding predictive tools and the right tech talent. Instead, Front Office leaders should start by working backwards, taking two key steps.
The first is to determine what you want the data to tell you about your customers. Narrow it down to 10 to 20 basic questions regarding who wants or needs to buy what and when. Only then can you undertake the second step, which is to create a new data ecosystem—which may even incorporate external data. That new ecosystem will enable all Front Office teams to understand their markets in real-time—and respond accordingly. A data ecosystem will allow you to make five impactful progressions, all hallmarks of a data-driven Front Office transformation:
Front Office leaders understand the destination; the challenge is getting there. This means resisting temptation to accumulate more data in lieu of the right data, and then using it to accelerate the transformation journey. While data, talent, technology and processes all are important, data is the most powerful component of the Value Multiplier.
Sharing data and collaborating across teams is a turning point that Front Office leaders should embrace. Most importantly, pressing the data lever and becoming future-ready effectively leads to knowing your customers better, knowing your portfolio better and serving your customers through the right channels at the right times. All this ensures an exceptional customer experience—and makes success frictionless.