Big Data essentially requires gathering unstructured data from diverse sources which cannot be easily processed using traditional software techniques. Hence collecting data from the market and the customer at different touch points is essential to stay ahead of the competition. An example could be to gather customer feedback or survey information before as well as after the sales process has occurred.

Applying analytics to sales data always unearths aspects which are not easily comprehended about the entire sales process. Businesses like a patisserie or a confectionary have been able to relate sales patterns to the weather information. An analytics case study involving such a business revealed that cakes sell well during rainy season while cheese buns are the craze during the summers.

Such analysis with the help of big data technologies can help firms reveal unnoticed events and hence refine their sales process remarkably. Using Big Data insights just before the sales process can be quite rewarding for the business.

One can argue that there is nothing new or novel regarding customer surveys and feedback but putting it forward to the customer with tools that are visually appealing and are less intrusive is a way better way of capturing customer views.

Capturing the interaction with the customer is vital. Utilizing customer views before the sales process and integrating this with the analytics tools could be the best way forward. Instead of sending your customers the usual “customer survey telling them that they are a few lucky customers to get this survey” is quite redundant. Instead customers can be greeted with innovative products by the sales representatives through which they can capture more customer insights. Another way is to put up forms on website pages, track online heat maps and big data analysis of social media touch points.

What is important here is to gather as much customer information as possible without the customer realizing that they are formally providing feedback. This way you can run ahead of the market by understanding what the customer is looking out in the product rather than perfecting the product over your own intuitive views.

Such information when utilized with advanced big data capabilities can help you outpace your competition.