Salesforce.com Customers Get Access to Predictive Offers

With IDC predicting the spend on big data technologies and services will reach $10 billion this year, more companies—from SMBs to large-scale enterprises—are looking for cloud-based solutions to help them connect customer data in real time to front-line business decisions.

Today, predictive analytics provider KXEN launched Predictive Offers for the Salesforce.com AppExchange, allowing Salesforce.com customers to further harness contact, opportunity, and social data residing in their CRM systems. According to John Ball, KXEN's CEO, the AppExchange infrastructure, which currently encompasses close to 2,000 apps from third-party partners and developers, "allows us to go to market more easily. The strategy here is to build these predictive applications that make cloud systems smarter."

KXEN had a very specific design goal in its launch of Predictive Offers—to make the running of predictive models consumable by customer-facing support agents or salespeople. "In the cloud, you typically have a very different customer base," Ball adds. "You don't have teams of data scientists and tons of IT—the Salesforce.com customer expects their Salesforce administrator to be able to manage configuration of the product. Our (goal was to) do the science so that they (business teams) don't have to. We believe that's an absolute differentiator in our product.

KXEN, which has about 500 customers and historically served B2C companies ranging from big banks to telecoms and retailers, finds 75 to 80 percent of its revenue comes from CRM use cases in predictive. (As a market, predictive analytics are often used in fraud prevention and risk analysis.)

In a CRM instance, a company could, hypothetically, optimize every customer interaction beginning with new customer acquisition and targeting, prevent customer churn, identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, and ultimately deploy win-back campaigns if a customer drops off.

The key to the connection with Salesforce.com is a company's ability to aggregate all of its accounts, cases, opportunities, and offers "to know which offers are most relevant and which are the most likely to be accepted," Ball says. "The goal is for the call-center agent to not make a gut-feel decision."

For instance, within the Salesforce Service Cloud agent console, he or she is prompted with offers tailored to a particular customer or case. Each time an offer is accepted or rejected, it gets automatically logged and KXEN's analytics apply that interaction to build out patterns within Predictive Offers.

Predictive Offers is one part of a suite of predictive applications KXEN is constructing. Predictive Lead Scoring lets an inside sales team, for example, determine which leads are most likely to convert. Predictive Retention and Predictive Case Routing applications are planned. From there, "customers can pick, choose, and customize it to solve their specific business problem."

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