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4 Ways Insight Engines Can Drive Revenue

| January 18, 2018 | Quark Blog Team

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Enterprise search is an area that continues to evolve – beginning in the 1960s when IBM developed an early internal search engine to the strides made in the 2000s when the Google Search Appliance and other enterprise search vendors provided services that indexed enterprise data stored across a range of locations like SharePoint, wikis, intranets, portals, and content management systems.

Indeed, enterprise search has become an increasingly important tool for companies today given the massive increases in data creation. According to SanDisk and many other sources, the volume of business data in the world is doubling every 1.2 years, and the rate at which content is produced is growing faster every day.

In this sea of enterprise data, the leading enterprise search tools like Google Search Appliance have failed. While these services are based on sound fundamentals like the heterogeneity of enterprise content, they ignored key data points like metadata, user activity, and content analysis to rank search results.

To truly see and understand everything about your company’s content, you need to go beyond traditional enterprise search solutions and look towards what Gartner have termed “insight engines”. Gartner says, “Insight engines apply relevancy methods to describe, discover, organise and analyse data to allow for existing or synthesised information to be delivered proactively or interactively and in the context of digital workers, customers or constituents at timely business moments.”

Insight Engine Capabilities

Essentially, insight engines are the next generation of enterprise search solutions. Insight engines should include the following capabilities:

  • Index all structured and unstructured data to provide users with a complete picture of enterprise content and ensure the most relevant insights are surfaced for each unique knowledge worker situation.
  • Integrate with key enterprise systems like CRM to provide content recommendations.
  • Google-like search interface. Must be user intuitive.
  • Index content to the page level.
  • Ability to index documents and objects.
  • Search ranking based on a wide range of inputs and sources like author, freshness, subject matter, and usage analytics.
  • Visual search results display and quick preview.
  • Analytics on content usage.

How an Insights Engine Can Drive Revenue

1. Eliminate Time Spent Searching For Content

According to a McKinsey report, employees spend 1.8 hours every day—9.3 hours per week, on average—searching and gathering information. The classic “where did I leave that file” routine is killing productivity in enterprises all over the world. By introducing an insight engine into your company, employees can quickly surface the most relevant pieces of content or data points whenever and wherever they need them.

2. Make Sales Reps More Effective

Today’s prospect expects personalized interactions at every stage of the funnel. Expectations have increased meaning reps must worker harder than ever to present a value proposition that resonates with their prospect. By equipping your reps with an insight engine, they can get their hands on the most relevant pieces of content for each unique sales situation. A quick search and reps will be able to surface relevant content suited to their unique situation, bringing an end to the practice of re-using dated content simply because it is convenient to find or because they have a hunch that it will perform well.

3. Provide Content Recommendations

Sales today has become a highly complex process. There are up to 5.4 stakeholders involved in any one deal, the length of the sales cycle has increased and there is a range of other factors to consider like:

  • Product type
  • Target company / prospect
  • Industry vertical
  • Geography
  • Decision-maker(s)
  • Legal and contractual requirements
  • Key stakeholders
  • Use case
  • Deal stage
  • Financial terms
  • Competitors

Now consider all the permutations of the above factors and it soon becomes clear that B2B sales has become impossible to predict. Previous guided selling methods whereby a leader in sales or marketing would prescribe a piece of content for each situation have failed miserably. It is simply too difficult a task for any one human to perform.

This is where the insight engine comes in. By combining massive evidenced-based inputs and analytics with powerful content surfacing using machine learning and artificial intelligence technology, insight engines make it possible to connect people to the relevant content around them. Insight engines abstract the complexity away from the end user providing better content recommendations than any human possibly could. BY mapping the relationships between people and information, insight engines can act as the intelligent fabric delivering personal and contextual content for every knowledge worker.

4. Empower Marketing

For marketing teams, investment in content is soaring. Teams are investing more and more time in developing website content, SEO posts, case studies, whitepapers, guides, ebooks, and crucially presentation materials for reps. This content is used by reps throughout the sales cycle. Top of the funnel leads might be presented with ebooks or blog posts while case studies or specifically tailored presentations will be presented to those bottom of the funnel leads.

So far, so good until you consider one major problem. The majority of companies have no idea what content gets presented before prospects and whether or not it resonates. A number of so-called sales enablement solutions claim to have solved this issue by tracking all the activity that goes on in their particular system. However, this can never really work. Sales activity takes place across a range of systems and email is still the primary means of prospect communication. Furthermore, many reps will make alterations to a presentation so that it matches the situation.

Insight engines can track and analyze all sales and marketing activity including email and all other systems used by the sales team. This functionality allows marketing to capture winning behaviors by establishing which materials resonated with prospects. Similarly, marketing can quickly take those materials which underperformed out of circulation.

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