Increased investment in predictive analytics for sales teams in 2015: The sales role has never been more complex, and the coming year will bring even more challenges. Procurement organisations will increase their negotiation tactics and continue ever harder to hammer sales teams to lower prices. In 2015, companies that invest in predictive and prescriptive analytics will arm their sales teams with better selling data, enabling them to negotiate with greater confidence and drive wins with increased revenue and higher profitability. According to the annual PwC survey, CEOs continue to be unhappy with sales growth prospects and are investing in growing their customer base is the #1 priority for investments in the coming year.
Big data will evolve in 2015 as companies look for new levers to eliminate data complexity: Companies have invested hundreds of billions of dollars in ERP systems to drive both manufacturing and financial performance. They’re sitting on petabytes of structured data and are looking to harness insights that produce real revenue value. In 2015, they’ll finally view data as an undervalued asset – not unlike an under-utilised plant – and will invest in predictive and prescriptive analytics as levers to drive profitability. With these analytics, they’ll be able to understand true customer economics, the cost to serve each customer and new opportunities to segment customers, enabling them to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities for each customer in their portfolio.
Industries with products that rely on oil and oil-based derivatives will experience increased pricing pressure, creating selling opportunities for astute companies and challenges for those who aren’t paying attention: Companies that rely on oil-based derivatives or polymers for manufacturing their products are looking to take advantage of today’s new market dynamics to increase profitability. But for many industries, such as chemicals and transportation, volatility is a common theme of doing business, and there are challenges and consequences that come with the dramatic decline. In 2015, we’ll see even greater pricing volatility. Suppliers should be prepared for increasing pressure from their customers demanding lower prices when they know input costs for suppliers have gone down. Now is the time for suppliers to understand each customer’s profitability and know where they can lower prices – not margins. Smart suppliers in these industries will take advantage of the opportunity to selectively maintain price points with customers, while still keeping them profitable and competitive with other companies in their segments.
By Craig Zawada, Chief Visionary Officer at PROS