Customer Buying Trend Analysis and Sales Master Inquiry


These two Business Intelligence tools were highlighted at day two of the 2013 Epicor Insights Global Customer Conference.
The Customer Buying Trend Analysis module for Epicor Prophet 21, available for v. 12.9 and higher, looks at sales history (as far back as two years), identifies normalized buying patterns (i.e., what customers should have bought), and calculates the standard deviation (using a series of Six Sigma statistical models). Any statistical anomaly beyond this deviation (excluding seasonal/erratic customer/item combinations that don’t fit any pattern) indicates that you missed a sales opportunity. The system tells you this in real time, so that you can take action with customers who have stopped buying, and shows you exactly how much each miss cost your business.
There are many ways to filter the data that is produced; for example, by sales rep, so you can send them a real-time notification. (The sales rep can then enter an annotation of a follow-up call made to the customer, and 30 days later, they’ll receive another alert if the opportunity remains open.) Other filters include by minimum sales amount, by minimum invoice lines, by supplier, etc. By selecting a number of filters, you can reduce the data down to a workable list.
Customer Buying Trend Analysis can also help a distributor’s internal buyers, finding underlying issues even before your purchasing algorithms would. It is simple to set up, and creates a powerful basis for strategy. Epicor distributors are using this functionality to anticipate customer issues and recover tens of thousands of dollars every year that would otherwise have been lost.
The Sales Master Inquiry window is a tool for distributors to analyze their customers’ revenues and bookings. Using Sales Master Inquiry, the distributor can help discern problems in the sales cycle, identify opportunities, and then take action. 
Part of the CRM functionality of Epicor Prophet 21 v. 12.11 and higher, Sales Master Inquiry shows executives, Sales and Marketing which customers are trending up or down, and allows them to review customer and prospect data that suggest the creation of tasks (e.g., assignment of Customer Care calls, or targeting of prospects for a campaign). This data can help you determine where and how your Sales and Marketing teams should spend their time; e.g., which customer deserves discounts or free freight; or who didn’t buy add-ons or peripherals and might be receptive to a follow-up offer.
This tool can distinguish between sales “leaders” and “bleeders” among your customers year over year, as well as return-to-sales ratios and cost to serve. As with Customer Buying Trend Analysis, the data can be boiled down to the fields that are most relevant to you.
Posted by the Epicor Social Media Team


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