Sales Analytics: Powering the Bottom Line

Sean Cassidy

According to recent research from the Aberdeen Group, there has been 30% increase in sales teams reporting responsibility for bottom-line results in the last year alone.

Increasing access to data – lots of it – is one of the primary drivers of this trend. And not all of it on the seller side. Data has empowered the buyer, providing them with the information they need to become much more savvy consumers across both B2C and B2B markets. This data revolution is making it harder for sellers to continue with “business as usual,” forcing them to become more scientific and less intuitive about how they sell. Arming sales with the tools to quickly identify the right products and right upsell opportunities at the right price is critical to closing profitable deals in this competitive market.

“In an era when real-time sales analytics are becoming universally available to quota-carriers, sales managers, line-of-business leaders, the c-suite, and even customers, there is greater pressure than ever to deliver business results that benefit all stakeholders. Closing a deal with minimal or no margin is less likely to be an acceptable result, even if it helps a rep or channel partner hit their individual number.” (“The Price is Right…” and Other TV Classics That Teach Us Smarter Selling, Peter Ostrow, Aberdeen, July 2015)

This increased focus on margin is even changing the structure of sales organizations. A few short years ago, the SVP of worldwide sales or Chief Sales Officer often reported directly to the CEO, COO, or CFO. Today, a new role – the Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) is emerging as the bridge between the head of sales and the top of the C-Suite. CROs usually are responsible for both revenue and profitability growth across the entire organization and increasingly rely on sales analytics tools to help them achieve their goals.

A recent article in Forbes shows some real-world examples of sales and pricing analytics tools in action at HP and international food giant BRF. While these companies can still be considered somewhat leading edge in their deployment of data science-driven sales analytics, businesses of all stripes need to start treating analytics as a cornerstone of sales strategy and execution sooner rather than later.

To learn more about the ongoing analytics revolution in sales, download the full Aberdeen Group white paper: The Price is Right…” and Other TV Classics That Teach Us Smarter Selling.

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