Avaya streamlines complex data sets

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Two years ago, the services division of Avaya Inc. had no shortage of customer data. Sales representatives at the global communications company could sit down and sift through customer information spread across about six databases, tapping into everything from the types of systems that customers ran to contract renewal dates and shipments of spare parts. But the disparate data sets lacked organization and did little to help the sales team navigate complex, multipronged opportunities. Marketers could target campaigns around customers who shared one data point, but could not target segments within that group, said Pat Patterson, director of services marketing. “We weren't able to correlate things,” he said. “Even though we had access to data and could run campaigns, they were blunt instruments. We were driving campaigns, but they were more broad than targeted in nature.” The company implemented a sales enablement tool—a Microsoft Access database—that served two purposes. It aggregated data and presented the sales team with an easy-to-use, color-coded interface that made it easy to search customer information and then drill down to identify any number of opportunities with one customer, said Troy Behrends, sales operations leader. The tool also allowed marketers to identify trends and segment its customers based on service needs. Customers who needed to renew three service contracts, for example, would get an email about those extension offers near the end of the contract. “The language that we use can be very targeted, and you get a much higher return rate,” Patterson said. Marketing began to use the tool to send targeted emails. Sales followed up with the customers identified in those campaigns, using the database to easily understand the complexities of a customer account and to identify additional opportunities to upsell, renew contracts or add services. The shift contributed to customer satisfaction, Behrends said. “Combining the data allowed us to service the customer in a much better and more efficient way, because we had the full picture of what they have and what they do not [have].” Within the first three months of implementation, the system catalyzed a more than 86% increase in the number of both qualified and also committed opportunities. Closed deals more than doubled. The performance has not wavered, Patterson said, and the company, which had launched the system only in the United States, rolled the practice out globally.
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