In his latest book, Business Analytics for Sales and Marketing Managers: How to Compete in the Information Age , Gert Laursen asserts that if information is to be used as a strategic asset, then the activities in a sales and marketing department must be aligned with the overall organizational strategy, which, of course, includes analytical efforts (i.e. customer intelligence). In his chapter on knowledge management, Laursen discusses how to make customer intelligence a driver of your business strategy.
The alternative, he says, is what too many organizations are experiencing today: analysts and customer intelligence departments selecting analytical projects based on what’s always been done, what they know how to do, what seems to get attention or what happens to be the flavor of the month among the most visible stakeholders.
Four value disciplines
The central model in the book is called “the whale” (see Figure 1), which describes four ways that you can increase customer lifetime value:
- Optimizing your acquisition processes.
- Optimizing the ways you sell to your existing customer base.
- Optimizing your retention processes.
- Prioritizing which customers to focus on.
After introducing the whale, the book provides guidelines for selecting which of the four methods your organization should focus on and a detailed chapter describing how to implement each method.
Laursen provides concrete guidance every step of the way, including a set of questions at the beginning of each chapter that allows the maturity of existing information and systems to be taken into account before embarking on a project. Each section provides a description of data needed, how to apply analytics, how to implement the results and how to run the project.
The book not only provides guidance in regard to how analytics can take your sales and marketing processes to the next level , it also delivers sound advice on measuring the progress of the new business process, including how to turn lessons learned into sustainable knowledge of your organization.
Laursen uses the final chapter to illustrate his point, presenting a case study showing how implementing business analytics made a full company turnaround for a Scandinavian telecommunication provider.
Learn more and order the book: Business Analytics for Sales and Marketing Managers