Stop Chasing Opportunities You Can’t Win: Using Advanced Analytics for Microsoft Dynamics

Article originally published on MSDynamicsWorld September 27, 2015

Organizations are always on the lookout for ways to improve operations and drive growth. Sales teams want to be more effective in closing new business, manufacturing organizations are focused on balancing inventory with demand, and marketing teams work to identify the right combination of product and pricing.

Businesses incur both direct and opportunity costs when people, even entire departments, spend time on activities that do not produce the expected results. For example, the majority of resources in many sales departments are spent on opportunities that are eventually lost. Most will say 30-35 percent is a good win ratio – less than half. You would have better odds of winning in Las Vegas. So if 70 percent of time and resources spent do not result in wins and provide minimal value, most people would tell you they'd want to change that outcome. The solution? Stop chasing opportunities that you can't win. It's similar to a patient saying to the doctor, "It hurts when I do this." The doctor replies, "Well, don't do that."

There's Hidden Information in Your Microsoft Dynamics Platform

Business and technology decision-makers struggle to improve results every day. What if your organization was focused on activities that increase your sales win rate, improve the usage of assets and increase inventory turns rather than spending time and money on opportunities you can't win, investing in assets that aren't a good fit or tying up financial resources? Fortunately there is a much easier way than manually browsing and exploring the data to find those patterns.

Your Microsoft Dynamics platforms hold a wealth of information that you have been accumulating for years. This might include customer data and demographics, claims-related information and production or purchase data. You may have data within departments and groups stored in different locations. This intelligence can be very powerful. However, aggregating it and turning it into useful actionable data has been an obstacle, which created a gap between the availability of data and the usefulness of it.

Data mining and advanced visualization tools can provide excellent insight into your data but cannot offer the type of deep, targeted predictive analytics needed by today's growing companies. Nor can they identify and quickly react to changing market conditions or provide real-time scoring and feedback on the business. To fully maximize your data's potential, you need to be able to capture better insights by automatically identifying trends, exceptions, correlations and patterns in the data. The good news is that using data to increase profitability and decrease costs across any organization is not the big hurdle it once was.

Predict Sales Wins with Remarkable Precision

It is imperative that a company has the ability to understand its customers' behaviors and the nature and speed of how those behaviors evolve over time. Microsoft Dynamics data with business intelligence (BI) and advanced analytics helps organizations discover these hidden business patterns and trends that individual systems often do not uncover. You can extract crucial facts from a large amount of data at a rapid speed and enable instant decision-making in scenarios that previously may have taken hours or even days to process then analyze. These models are within reach and can be used today to increase performance and improve your company's bottom line.

Take that sales win rate of 30-35 percent. With an advanced analytics model, Microsoft Dynamics customers can predict with remarkable precision which sales deals will be won versus lost based on data captured regarding the opportunity itself, the product mix, customer demographics, the sales team involved and a multitude of other identified data points.

Data points from your CRM or ERP systems can be used in combination with this advanced analytics model to predict the "winnability score" of an opportunity, enabling sales managers to direct efforts to the right opportunities. This results in not only a more accurately forecasted pipeline but also a higher win rate and more sales generated, without an increased headcount or costs.

By integrating advanced analytics with operational systems and data, companies can put themselves in a better position to identify new opportunities for increased revenues and decreased costs. These powerful insights allow you to:

  1. Use more of your CRM or ERP data to improve the velocity and quality of your decision-making through timely, accurate and relevant visualizations and analytics.
  2. Utilize your Dynamics platform to automate the detection of anomalies and trends in your data rather than trying to find the time to do this manually.
  3. Enable your team to spend more time taking action on issues and less time identifying the issues to take action on.

When companies embed advanced analytics into business intelligence they can revolutionize their ability to adapt and respond. Industry reports have determined companies with the best advanced analytic capabilities are over five times more likely to make decisions more quickly than the competition and three times more likely to be highly effective at executing those decisions.

With improved customer experience and service, and more efficient operations leading to increased customer acquisition and retention, companies are realizing what advanced analytics can do for their operations. And as these data-driven strategies take hold, they will become an increasingly important point of competitive differentiation.

If you would like to learn more about how to stop chasing opportunities you can't win, join our webinar, Get Ready to Win – Accelerate Success with Advanced Analytics on October 7th @ 1pm ET. OnDemand Webinar


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