Your sales force is the lifeblood of your organization. Supported by strong leadership and equipped with the right tools, your sales reps can achieve incredible results.
How can you measure the performance of your team while empowering them with the necessary tools to make data-driven decisions? Traditionally, business analytics tools were reserved for the C-suite, providing executives with a top down view of the organization. The time has come for the executive leadership to recognize the value in a new type of analytics solution designed for use by individual sales managers and sales reps.
The large-scale adoption of CRM systems provided sales leaders with activity measuring tools for their team, but their native analytics capabilities consistently fail to provide the insightful, proactive information required for sales excellence. Imagine if the individual salesperson had a personalized analytics suite designed to help them close more deals.
Below is a list of five reasons sales reps, managers, and executives alike should embrace personalized alert-based analytics:
1. Streamline the Individual Sales Process
To ensure that big data doesn't become a burden for these notoriously busy sales reps, the process of monitoring an analytics dashboard needs to be mostly automated. Instead of periodically checking KPI's on a dashboard, an intelligent analytics solution designed for sales reps automatically generates actionable alerts when a certain trend or opportunity needs attention. For example, if Salesperson Sally receives an Opportunity Bottleneck alert, she will be guided through an analysis of each stage of her pipeline, making it easy for her to identify potential leaks or shortcomings. Sally discovered, after a rough week of selling, that the Qualification stage of her pipeline was her bottleneck. She drills into the source data within Salesforce and can easily discover which specific deals created the bottleneck, and take immediate action to solve the problem. Sally never had to run a report of even check a dashboard, and yet she's guided directly to the root cause of a problem she didn't know existed. By proactively avoiding potentially costly issues and streamlining her own operations, Sally has more time to focus on what she does best: Selling!
2. Improve Sales Forecasting
Imagine an analytics solution that collects historical data in high definition, automatically analyzing trends and producing predictive forecasts. Forecasting becomes increasingly accurate and prescriptive the longer the individual user is installed because a proprietary metrics historian captures an incredibly detailed record of their sales activity. Instead of basing forecasts on arbitrary "hunches" and probabilities entered into a CRM by an overly optimistic salesperson, prescriptive forecasts are generated based on actual records of Sally's performance and methodologies. Improved forecasting means that preventative action can be taken well in advance of a potential issue, giving your team the foresight they need to stay competitive.
3. Increase Incentive
For the individual, personalized alerts can spell the difference between mediocrity and an outstanding quarter. With personalized analytics, the sales rep realizes incredible opportunities for professional development. High sales rep turnover, a major pain point for many organizations, could be addressed with the aforementioned solution as sales managers and reps are shown exactly where and how to improve their personal sales process. When the time comes for a performance review, sales managers can access a wealth of analytical information to create an accurate, high definition view of each rep's performance. They can offer constructive criticism, and measure progress. This Scorecard Analysis allows sales reps to know exactly where they stand compared to their own historical performance, their peers, and the performance of the organization as a whole. If Salesperson Sally wants to know how, for example, her opportunity inventory performance compares to the average across the organization, she can easily identify where she stands.
4. Optimize the Individual Sales Process
Your sales team is unique, as are your individual sales reps. A one-size-fits-all coaching approach simply doesn't work when your team has diverse educational backgrounds and skill sets. Everyone's sales process is unique, and each rep brings their own skills to the table. A personalized analytics app can identify an individual's strengths and weaknesses. Salesperson Sally may be wasting time chasing old opportunities when she really needs to be focusing on an earlier stage of her pipeline. And yet, the rep sitting across the table – we'll call him Sales Rep Rupert – may be neglecting qualified leads as he focuses too heavily on filling the top of his funnel with new leads. Without a personalized analytics engine that automatically identifies skills and weaknesses, it's difficult for Sally or Rupert to know which stages of their process need improvement. The ultimate sales analytics solution would go beyond simple reporting by prioritizing and facilitating corrective action in order to guide individual process improvement. Sally and Rupert each receive personalized alerts notifying them of these disparate shortcomings in their pipeline, and have the data on hand to strategically amend their sales processes.
5. Maximize CRM Investment and Improve Bottom Line
Cloud based systems are quickly becoming an industry standard as CEO's embrace Salesforce.com and Oracle's CRM offerings. CRM adoption changed the way you sell and service your client base, and gave your sales team and organization as a whole a competitive edge. To maintain that competitive edge, your sales reps need an analytics suite that piggybacks off of the existing CRM platform and supports their daily efforts by automatically alerting them to potential issues. As your competitors continue to rely on business intelligence solutions that provide nothing more than colorful data visualizations, you have the opportunity to embrace a new management-by-exception analytics strategy – saving you and your team precious time while safeguarding the customer experience. An alert-based, personalized analytics solution provides an opportunity to empower the individual sales rep, driving measurable process improvements across the organization.
If your organization uses a CRM or ERP system, your sales team could start realizing the benefits of alert-based personalized analytics in as little as 24 hours, with no costly IT project or consulting.