The common industry thinking around lead management is of a traditional, old-school practice that’s quickly being replaced by next generation digitalization. Lead generation is often the result of extensive data mining during which a wide range of CRM applications validate, grade, distribute, contact and nurture leads. And, at the end of that costly and time-consuming process, the lead to close ratio can be disappointing. Traditional lead management is complex, unpredictable and highly unreliable because of the rule-based assumptions only focusing on static, historical data during a customer’s journey. With such limited visibility, it’s at best, like having a car with rear view mirrors only.
The world we live and do business in is changing quickly; hyper-connectivity, on the back of new applications, social media engagements, digital transformation and even artificial intelligence, is turning next generation lead management into a thriving profit center. Social media and customer analytic developments are driving monetization opportunities around lead management, making a renewed focus on lead management an imperative for competition and long-term growth.
According to Gartner Research, automating lead management creates a 10% increase in revenue in six- to nine-months. And Hubspot research shows that “74% of marketers say converting leads is their top priority.” Given that emphasis, telcos need to pivot away from traditional operational lead management and look to contextual lead management, which focuses on numerous sources of insightful data including social media analytics, predictive analysis, and interactions with the booming internet of things, like information created by wearables. This means collecting not only the historical data, but also blending in current data to predict the future propensity of the customer. This predictive insight helps operators redesign business and process rules used to form assumptions. This is done by machine learning technologies, where the assumptions are dynamically updated on positive predictions or results.
A key differentiator of Etiya’s solution is natural language processing whereby the software is able to read text and apply algorithms to understand the meaning of the text. For example, if a customer receives a faulty modem during a network rollout, a customer could tweet to his or her service provider, “You are great! Made my day by sending me this modem I had to spend two hours setting up.” In less advanced translation, this could be interpreted as a positive statement, but natural language processing can identify the sarcasm–the sentimental rathern than syntaxical part of the statement–and correctly identify this as a negative statement.
After interpreting the data, Etiya’s social CRM tool triggers either a predictive response or prescriptive response, automatically providing insight on the best way to solve a customer problem. This has a twofold impact: customer issues are resolved more quickly, providing a better quality of experience, and, for the service provider, leading to operational efficiencies that cut costs and ensure future revenue by reducing churn.
This new approach to lead generation allows a service provider to identify where in the buyer journey a customer is–are they still trying to identify their needs and research solutions, or do they know what they want and just need a direct engagement to pull the trigger? Contextual lead management is a key business tool that’s poised to become a vital part of customer engagement and revenue generation as powerful data analytics engines refine the process. Consider Hubspot’s analysis that, “Social media has a 100% higher lead-to-close ratio than outbound marketing.” The evolution in lead management has already started, service providers just need to keep up. Perhaps they should start measuring themselves with “likes” rather than net promoter scores!
Etiya is a global, independent software vendor focused on enabling the telco industry with customer relationship management, catalog-driven BSS and OSS, social CRM and big data analytics tools with its modular Telaura suite. Learn more about Etiya’s approach to AI applications with B/OSS, quality of experience, as well as how the firm is streamlining the configure, price, quote process.Etiya participated in TM Forum Live! Asia on December 7- 8 at the Marina Mandarin in Singapore. If you missed the event and want to have more information about Etiya and its software products you can visit the links below.
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