Win the Sales and Marketing Battle Before It’s Even Fought: Acquire Autonomous Data Modeling Technology

Originally posted on LinkedIn by Kevin McDonnell

The Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu had a lot to say about war strategy. For instance, he said, “The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.” An equally powerful quote from the man whose work is studied by generals from around the globe, from generation to generation is this one: “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.”

Sales and marketing is, in fact, a battle and a war. There are missions, strategies, tactics, battles, dealing with unforeseen circumstances, casualties, defeats, logistical challenges, adversaries, and the need to acquire and use various forms of intelligence (e.g. reconnaissance). Same case with the typical sales scenario, especially in the case of a complex sales processes.

You may need more information to see the comparison. Missions could be compared to sales teams going out to develop new leads. Strategies are the sales plans that business development pro’s put together, sometimes with great angst. Tactics are the calls, emails, meetings, and other things that describe the day-to-day blocking and tackling. Battles are the filling out of RFP’s, beating the competitors (companies with the same solutions or different solutions to the same problem), the fights with the sales managers, or contending with sometimes the biggest battle of all, convincing a customer to depart from the status quo.

Unforeseen circumstances are things like the changes to the marketplace or the customer buying processes with which you aren’t familiar. They are things like you don’t know how your competitors are pricing their solutions. Casualties, well, these are sales people who get let go. Or the customers that can’t make up their mind and fail to innovate. It could even be the sales manager that’s unable to rally the sales team around his or her strategy to achieve sales success. Lost deals and poorly utilized sales and marketing resources further illustrate the point.

But failing to gather and use intelligence is what that wise man who lived in the Spring and Autumn period of ancient China would have said. It is the reason army generals lose (or the Sales & Marketing SVP in this case). Tzu claimed, “Every battle is won before it is fought.” Therefore, I’d like to share a new technology called “autonomous data modeling” and a company called Modern Analytics who are helping companies win their sales battles and revenue wars with fast access to great amounts of strategically important, actionable data.

Modern Analytics has developed, over twenty-five years, proprietary methods and machine learning technology to automate the process of generating data models. The status quo of data modeling at the time that this article was written is such: Data modeling is time consuming, expensive, capital intensive, data intensive, and difficult to achieve great model integrity. So much so that companies use this capability sparingly, solely for the most important business needs and not much more. Sometimes one or two models and in some cases, none at all.

Enter “The Model Factory”. And no, I’m not talking about “The Model Factory” of the UK which is “a fashion photography studio specializing in magazine style shoots for everyone.” This Model Factory takes away all the aforementioned barriers to doing lots of data modeling. If you have one product and one market, this isn’t of much use. But if you have multiple products and several markets (e.g. customer types, geographic locations, industries, consumers from more than one generation, etc.) then this will be of vital interest. It will help you win the battles before they even begin.

Modern Analytics’ SVP of Business Development, Christopher Geiger, explains it like this – “With the Model Factory you can be more precise. You can learn the people or businesses that are 10, 20, 30, or even 50 times more likely to take action on something. This could be buying a product, buying a service, reading a white paper, attending a webinar, taking a sales meeting, attriting, or not paying a bill.” To me, that’s fascinating. It’s the way to turn the tide of the battle.

He went on to tell me that, “With this technology integrated into your sales and marketing processes, you’ll have a distinct competitive advantage over time that get’s better over time.” You see, it’s the machine learning that enables the models to get better, automatically, as more data is added to the models. As you update or add data the data models automatically re-calculate. For example it could update your lead scoring.

Companies can now use not only their sales and marketing resources more wisely, they can also afford to have their data scientists work on more exciting projects that will lead to incremental revenue generation, smarter strategies, and greater overall business success. And that’s the battle that we’re all fighting…

What are you going to do with this information? My suggestion: Get access to actionable business intelligence from as many data models as you can imagine so that you can win the battle before it’s fought.