Customer-Sensing Capability Systems
You may have heard of this as Expert Systems, Decision Support Systems, Customer-Management Systems (CRM), and probably a dozen others.
I just read an interesting article on Strategy+Business about “customer-sensing capability”, which is the “organizational capacity to differentiate customers, detect their needs, tailor information and offers for them, and ultimately develop products and services in real time.” Simply put, think a variety of product, customer, and market data that is analyzed based on your strategies (your complex calculations) to help drive sales. The idea goes by many names and it's a great idea that is very similar to something that Microsoft did with Dell. To quote the case study:
Integrated Dell™ Desktop (IDD), a smart client solution based on Microsoft® software. IDD provides everything that Dell sales representatives need to assist customers and sell the company's products within a single, easy-to-use desktop application—one designed from the ground up to support the sales process and optimize call center operations.
Building tools like this based on your own marketing and sales strategies can be complex, but as the article and the solution at Dell shows, they can have a huge positive impact to your bottom line.