Over the past few years there has been a great deal of talk around mobility, big data and analytics – so much so that these so called “trends” have now become an everyday reality.
This appears to have taken a toll on the sales industry, as the rise of data analytics and the implementation of business intelligence (BI) solutions have drastically altered the daily tasks of salespeople.
While change may be frightening, adapting to it is absolutely imperative if one is to continue as a successful salesperson.
Perhaps the greatest challenge facing modern salespeople is the so-called “asymmetry of information” between customer and salesperson. Due to the rise of the internet, a vast wealth of information about products, reviews and manufacturers is available to every potential customer, making them both better informed and less gullible and susceptible to the salesperson who simply turns on the charm.
In past decades a good salesperson could be labelled as an artist – a God-given talent and a natural instinct for turning nothing into something. The changing tides of the industry have altered this perception, with salespeople now more scientific in their approach.
>See also: How big data is saving bankers’ bonuses
Due to advances in technology, every move can be calculated based on readily available facts and data. Now, the availability of tailored business solutions can help salespeople to work more effectively by helping to implement and utilise this data in each step of the sales process.
For example, adoption statistics, such as the number of licenses used and how often users are logging in and publishing data, become extremely useful when re-allocating resources to specific accounts. After all, while the winning of customers is important, keeping customers is crucial, and growing customers is most profitable.
Analytics can also come to the rescue when a deal slows down. With a quick glance, sales professionals can easily analyse their Salesforce.com Pipeline reports that show the stage of each deal, direct deal vs. partner deals, what products are selling, sales leader boards, average deal size as well as the closed or won deals ratio.
By having access to this information, senior salespeople can analyse and step in if a deal appears to be going awry. A data-controlled pipeline also helps sales professionals plan their daily, weekly and monthly calendars with greater efficiency.
Analysing where commercial leads are coming from inevitably helps the marketing department know what works and what does not, whilst aligning the sales team on what they should be pushing. For instance, many companies export their data into a Roambi report so they can quickly see, at their fingertips, the website conversion status, or check for spikes in activity due to a product release or marketing campaign.
The enormous amount of data now available and easy to use, thanks to BI solutions, has become a key differentiator for salespeople looking to get the edge in that most competitive of industries. Its use also showcases both the intelligence and alchemy required of a good, modern salesperson.
Sourced from Steve Neat, SVP, EMEIA, Roambi