by Stephanie Overby

Analytics App Uncovers Untapped Sales Opportunities

News Analysis
Nov 20, 20143 mins
AnalyticsIT Strategy

A legal services company deploys a mobile sales analytics application to identify new sources of revenue.

sales opporunties
Credit: Thinkstock

Wolters Kluwer Corporate Legal Services deployed a mobile sales analytics application to identify new sources of revenue. Here’s how the company found untapped opportunities.

The Project: Deploy a mobile sales analytics application to identify untapped sources of revenue.

The Business Case: Wolters Kluwer Corporate Legal Services has been a leader in legal and compliance services since its founding. But rather than simply maintain that position, executives in the 175-year old company wanted to use data analytics to uncover untapped growth opportunities. “We wanted to create a data scientist mindset throughout the company,” says Sandeep Sacheti, vice president of customer insights and operational excellence at Wolters Kluwer Corporate Legal Services. The company provides software and Web tools to support legal and financial professionals in their efforts in the areas of corporate compliance and transactions, due diligence, law department management and trademark management.

First Steps: In 2012, the company started a pilot within sales, the function most likely to gain from data analysis. “We wanted to change the sales culture from a farming mindset to hunting mindset,” says Sacheti. “We needed to overcome the mentality that we already knew everything we needed to know about our customers.”

First they segmented law firms–a key part of the customer base–by determining the revenue potential for each and what products each would be most likely to buy.

Next came a micro pilot with four sales team leaders who craved real-time customer intelligence. “The traditional approach was to give a lead list to sales and let them run with it,” Sacheti says. “But our customers’ needs are constantly changing. To be effective, sales has to be on top of what’s going on.” They wanted timely access to transactions as well as market intelligence–what new deals the firm was pursuing, what new clients it had signed. “We wanted salespeople to be on the street knocking on doors, not tethered to their computer prepping for their next meeting,” Sacheti says. “The app provides full visibility into a particular customer.”

What They Discovered: Before this project, “the notion was that we knew our customers well, and analytics couldn’t compete with that intimacy,” says Sacheti. “And that was true for someone’s top 10 customers. But for the rest of the thousands of customers, the knowledge was quite dated.”

Customer data analysis revealed that certain customers, whom the sales team had all but written off, deserved a second look. Sacheti’s team discovered a small group of customers heavily involved in mergers, acquisitions and restructuring that weren’t taking advantage of many Wolters Kluwer products. “For them, speed was incredibly important,” Sacheti says. “Their job is to get the [M&A] deal done when they need to get it done, even if that’s midnight on Saturday.” But Wolters’ service center delivered only one-size-fits-all service during regular business hours. Once business leaders saw how much revenue was being left on the table, they assigned a specific service professional to each deal-making client. “That person now serves them from cradle to grave,” says Sacheti.

Within a year of deploying the analytics system and mobile application, that segment’s revenues grew fivefold and its Net Promoter Score–a measure of how likely it is that customers will recommend Wolters to others–jumped 20 points, he says.

The company is now expanding its use of analytics across the enterprise, and all functions are reorganizing around customer segments. “The sales function was only the beginning,” Sacheti says.