Predictive Analytics: the Key to Selling to Millennials

Millennials are a tough audience to reach. They often don’t like being sold to (especially if the offer is unsolicited or irrelevant) and are suspicious of brands that seem too desperate for their attention. As far as generations go, this one is very commercially-savvy and isn’t fooled by inauthentic advertising. Naturally, this makes it difficult, as a salesperson, to engage with them. Try too hard and you’ll be sneered at. Don’t try hard enough and you could miss out on this incredibly lucrative demographic.

While you might not know how to sell to millennials, there are brands that most certainly do. Make no mistake, this target audience knows how to buy and spends money fast. So what are these companies doing that you aren’t? They are employing predictive technologies to enhance their sales team’s understanding of millennial buying patterns, habits and preferences – and ultimately, their ability to create a more responsive and trusted connection with the customer.

Millennials are predominately online buyers and, as such, they generate huge amounts of customer data every day. Netflix, Amazon, and many other global brands have capitalized on this, using predictive analytics to capture their audiences with enticing, highly targeted offers before they know it’s even happening. Regardless of the size of your company, this technology can significantly improve your sales performance. Here’s how.

Related: Don’t Call, Just Text: How to Sell to Millennials

1. It can interpret big data

Predictive analytics turns inert data into actionable insights. It can condense huge quantities of customer information into quality data, prioritizing only the most relevant results to guide your marketing and selling efforts. Salespeople are subsequently empowered to identify specific buying patterns and track them according to a variety of external factors such as seasonal customer demand.

This intelligence enables your sales team to pursue the big business opportunities and stops them wasting their time chasing dead-ends.

2. It knows what millennials want

According to Jon Miller, former VP of Marketo, 60 to 90 percent of millennials have already decided on their purchase before they even engage with your company’s sales team. Predictive analytics can help you get your product front and center with a compelling and highly personalized offer – before the customer has made a decision.

It doesn’t just predict a customer’s next move: it can help salespeople give them exactly what they want before they even know they want it. With useful content offered via relevant channels like social media, email or text, and sent at the right time, millennials will very likely respond favorably.

Once you have them interested, you could push the interaction with your customer a little further. Your data will reveal some valuable cross and up-selling opportunities that, with the right combination of tools, techniques and timing, can result in a successful sale.

3. It can build a long-term campaign

Predictive technologies help you place millennials in their wider environment. In other words, these tools can paint the macro-level buying picture of this target group over the long-term. Using the collective purchase history of your customers, analytics tools will reveal important influential factors that may not be so obvious to the naked eye.

What this means is that your sales strategy can be adjusted in response to seasonal factors and you can prepare for periods of peak shopping before they hit. Certain consumer behaviors are triggered by sudden trends, others by routine events. Either way, with predictive technologies on-side, your sales team will be able to spot both well in advance of your competitors, and stay one step ahead of the millennial market with an informed and relevant pitch.

4. It can convert data into real world benefits

The overarching benefit of predictive technologies is that they can help your company make far better use of the masses of data it has on file. Ultimately, it can make sense of your stores of information and convert it all into real business opportunities. This could mean a hyper-targeted, on-trend marketing campaign or an individually driven sales offer that is tailored to specific customer interests and actions.

It’s not quite a crystal ball, but predictive analytics is delivering some magic results. In a world that is driven more and more by consumers, it can give your brand more power in the market. Millennials won’t stand a chance.

Paul Black is CEO and Co-Founder of sales intelligence software provider, sales-i. Paul was an early adopter of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, and during his near 20 year career has helped a number of businesses adopt and improve their sales strategies.

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