August 8, 2016

Why Predictive Analysis is Really About Small Data

Written by
Chris Klinefelter
Tags: Podcast

Loretta Jones, VP of marketing at Insightly, was a recent guest on our podcast, B2B Nation: Smarketing Edition.

In this episode, we discussed:

  • What predictive analytics means
  • How predictive data has different applications for different job roles
  • What types of data can initiate sales/marketing action  
  • How predictive analytics may evolve in coming years

Below are some highlights from our conversation.*

Tell us a little about your role at Insightly.

“It seems like I’ve been in Silicon Valley since the dawn of time. I’ve worked at a number of different startups. Insightly is a CRM application for small and growing businesses. We’ve been in the marketplace for about six years, and we have over a million users.”

How would you define predictive analytics?

“Predictive analytics means different things to different people. For example, there are vendors that offer predictive analytics to help you with lead generation or demand gen. You can look at predictive analytics as a way to examine the behavior of your customers and use that to go out and find similar customers.

ALSO READ: 4 Sales Prospecting Tools That Accelerate Lead Discovery and Qualification 

“One way that I like to use it in our environment is to look at how customers are using our application. One of the first things new customers need to do with Insightly is import their data. Every month, we bring in about 13,000 free accounts and free 14-day trials. So we want to get a sense of what percentage of those will become paying customers. I like to joke that we’re a dot-com, not a dot-org company.”

What types of data show trends that would initiate customer action?

“For us, we know that one of the events or actions that increases the likelihood of someone upgrading is if they log into Insightly five times in the first three days after signing up for a free trial. Predictive analytics can show you markers like that at different times. It shows you what your successful customers are doing, but it can also show you “delight metrics,” that demonstrate what some of your power-users are doing.

“The next markers are whether they view details on a contact, whether they view any type of tasks, and whether they create sales opportunities in the product. If they don’t log in by a certain point in time, we can reach out and see if they’re having issues. When they create opportunities, we can check in and see if they need help with using Insightly for sales.”

How is predictive analytics data useful in different roles?

“Marketers can look at a set of demographics and set of social information to determine if a potential customer who doesn’t know about your company might be interested in becoming a customer. Then they can turn that information over to sales, and they could call or email and say, ‘Hey, have you heard about Insightly? Are you looking for a CRM?’”

ALSO READ: Sales Dashboard Examples from 4 Top Platforms

How do you think predictive analytics will evolve over the next 3-5 years?

“Predictive analytics is still in a nascent stage, and I think we have a lot of runway before that market gets tapped out. As the market matures, we’ll be able to get more accurate data than we get now and really pinpoint events. I also think what is key is being able to pick out small data within the big data. I.e. we get 13,000 free trials each month — that’s a ton of data, but the ability to pinpoint what someone is doing and reach out to them specifically based on their behavior is very key to marketers.”


B2B Nation: Smarketing is a podcast for B2B sales and marketing professionals, featuring expert opinions and advice on the most important topics in the industry. Check out our other episodes on iTunes, or follow us on Twitter: @B2BNation_Smar.


*Some excerpts have been paraphrased to enhance readability.  

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