As a sales analyst, do you find yourself in the hot seat every month? There are only a few days left until the quarter closes, and you're meeting with your SVP of Sales to review the sales pipeline and forecasts. Your SVP asks a typical question: "Which areas are we over- and under-performing in and what areas are the best for us to uncover new opportunities?" You knew this question was coming, but for some reason you aren’t prepared to answer it. The information you’ve been collecting hasn’t been good enough to give an accurate and clear picture of what is going on in the sales territories. You are at a loss of words and don’t know how to respond because you’ve been dealing with multiple issues regarding the data you are using to answer the question.
These issues involve:
Too many data sources needed to efficiently create one dataset
Inadequate tools to perform predictive analytics that could help you understand current performance and forecast future performance
No easy way to present the data to senior sales management that makes intuitive sense
The sales team not having trust in the forecast due to inaccurate and incomplete data
Sales territory management is a challenge for many companies, but it is essential to closing more deals. If your organization is trying to get more accurate information on performance within their various sales territories, predictive analytics may help. From the beginning of the quarter to the very end, predictive analytics helps an organization better understand how to improve results by focusing efforts on the best potential business and on turning around likely prospects that went dark somewhere during the process.
According to a 2015 Salesforce survey of 2,300 global sales leaders, 33% of high-performing sales teams have deployed predictive sales analytics to help improve sales performance — a rate of four times that of underperforming teams. "For these leading teams, analytics likely provide visibility into accounts and helps dictate where to focus energy for the most productive customer and prospect conversations," Salesforce reported. The survey also found that 58% of respondents expect to increase their use of analytics by year's end.
Improving sales analytics in your organization is a very important strategic priority for many sales leaders. However, many sales organizations are not set up to effectively and efficiently deal with multiple sources of data and to perform adequate predictive analysis on their data. As mentioned earlier, this is a big problem because it causes delays that further cause significant business problems such as missed sales opportunities.
In order to address these business problems, many organizations are turning to tools like Alteryx and Microsoft Power BI to help them prepare, blend, analyze, and visualize data faster so that they can speed up their insight in order to mitigate negative business impacts. These organizations are employing the following key best practices to improve their sales analytics efforts, which you can employ too:
Accelerate your work with data in order to get results faster.
Speed up your time to insight by reducing the time spent in data blending and preparation.
Eliminate manual processes and complexity.
Connect to a growing number of on-premise and cloud data sources to enable more inputs into your dataset in order to create a richer dataset that can provide stronger insights and more context.
Transform your data to be more strategic in your decision-making.
Gain deeper insights into your sales data by utilizing predictive analysis to help you better target offers and find the right customers.
Eliminate the need to know how to code or rely on those with the proper technical skills, thus freeing up time for more strategic analysis.
Collaborate with others and work together more effectively in order to maintain one single version of the “truth.”
Provide a set of proven analytical models that are repeatable and auditable so you can ensure your data is correct, consistent, and up-to-date.
Share your dashboards and reports in order to maintain “one version of the truth” amongst your colleagues.
Employing these three key practices can help your organization speed up time to sales insight and reduce the amount of missed sales opportunities. Minimizing the amount of manual work that goes into the sales data preparation process can aid in driving higher ROI in your sales initiatives. To see how one organization employed these key practices to maximize sales ROI, watch this on-demand webinar and learn how to improve your organization’s sales analytics.