The business intelligence market is getting more and more attention in the past couple of years as businesses demand more and better access to data analytics tools. In fact, a recent study revealed that Business Intelligence (BI), analytics and performance management have received more investment from venture capital funding is the SaaS industry than any other market. Apparently, the BI segment in the IT industry is creating a bubble. If you are a BI Software provider, you cannot afford to let this trend pass without cashing in. Sure, there’s more than enough market for the product. The question is, how do you get them to engage and buy yours?
The general answer: know the market like the back of your hand.
Assuming you did your research and came up with the same conclusion as we did, then here’s how you get customers for your BI software.
There are two kinds of BI software customers:
- those who are trying to move towards the use of data analytics in their business, and
- those who are already using data analytics but aren’t satisfied with what they are getting.
Those in the first group are first-time BI software buyers whose business is growing, the amount of data they collect is increasing and they want to invest in tools that will help them optimize their use of that data. Their decision to invest in business intelligence software is proactive. Frankly, this is the easier group to target because the expectations are relatively low. You don’t have to bring out the big guns, so to speak, yet.
Tip: Offer a modest, functional and practical model that’s packed with value rather than high-end features.
These days, when “freemium” offers are a dime a dozen, you can’t afford not to be competitive.
The second group is the more tricky lot to navigate. I categorized them in three sub-groups based on their pain points. That’s how we are going to proceed with our marketing strategy.
Roughly three out of 10 businesses have utilized a business intelligence software, but are in search of a new system. Here the sense is not so much that the company is growing, but that it has already grown to a level where the amount of data has become unmanageable. It is safe to say these businesses experience internal chaos and the decision-makers want to flee from the scenario as soon possible. The only viable solution is the utilization of a BI tool.
In such scenarios, if you are the supplier, package your business as the only one with a targeted approach. Identify on one very specific business metric—employee turnover rate, for example—and focus analytics on that first. While it may seem wise to offer a blanket solution to the client’s woes, the more logical way is to proceed slowly from one pain point to another until they are all addressed.
- Among those who already have a BI software in use, a recent study revealed that 33 percent want better visualizations. Meaning, their existing solutions may be usable, but they’d appreciate an upgrade so decision-makers can better see and understand how the business works numbers-wise, and thus improve decision-making. As per www.searchbusinessanalytics .techtarget .com, today’s data visualization tools go beyond the standard charts and graphs used in Excel spreadsheets, displaying data in more sophisticated ways such as infographics, dials and gauges, geographic maps, sparklines, heat maps, and detailed bar, pie and fever charts. The images may include interactive capabilities, enabling users to manipulate them or drill into the data for querying and analysis. Indicators designed to alert users when data has been updated or predefined conditions occur can also be included.
So if you’re a BI software vendor, you would want to embed a cool and easy to understand (because not all decision-makers are geeks) data visualization into your product. Your standard sales pitch should sound like this: A picture is worth a thousand words – especially when you’re trying to find relationships and understand your data, which could include thousands or even millions of variables.
- The last demographic to target is the group that has a huge demand for dashboards, which makes sense in today’s era of user-driven BI. A business intelligence dashboard is a data visualization tool that displays the current status of metrics and key performance indicators for an enterprise. Dashboards consolidate and arrange numbers, metrics and sometimes performance scorecards on a single screen. Now, instead of waiting for the trusty IT department to prepare reports, today’s savvy BI user demands more autonomy, and wants tools that will allow them to produce their own analyses. If you’re the provider, show off your dashboard’s simplified, intuitive interfaces that are both aesthetically and functionally cool. But make sure your prospect isn’t lost in the idea that your product isn’t just a tool of beauty but also one you can trust with your data.
To fully take advantage of visual analytics, organizations need to address several challenges – from finding and analyzing data quickly, to displaying information in a meaningful way. If you got these all covered, you’re bound to sell software faster than the cash register can say “ka-shing”.
This article was originally posted at The Savy Marketer.