Using Sales Analytics Across the Entire Organization
With a rise of big data, there are more and more opportunities for companies to leverage their analytics and drive different approaches to business return.
We sat down with Jon Kondo, CEO of OpsPanda, to learn about how organizations are using sales analytics to plan their success.
How Are Companies Using Analytics to Determine Success?
Up until today, organizations have had a difficult time figuring out their true return on the sales investment. That’s largely due to the lack of analytics that companies had access to. With things like manufacturing, companies know exactly what the output is going to be if they invest in new machines. The same can’t be said for sales.
As fast growing companies are adding salespeople, it’s becoming harder for them to analyze what works.“We’re trying to bring that predictability,” said Kondo. “We’re trying to bring that level of analytic rigor to a sales organization.”
Big Data Analytics Vs. the Human Element
In the past, salespeople would often measure success by meeting their quotas, and there’s historically been a reluctance to share details about their processes. Kondo believes that from the sales reps’ perspective, there’s a natural tendency to like analytics if you’re performing well, and not so much if you’re toward the bottom. According to Kondo, what reps do appreciate about big data today is that, “You can have a real conversation.”
What Kondo means by that is that sales organizations can better understand the long-term implications their decisions have. “Sales organizations are saying, look, I now can explain why I need to make investments earlier or now, so I can be well ahead of the curve,” Kondo said. “If a sales team doesn’t make their number, the implications aren’t just for that quarter, the implications have a long tail.”
There are now more opportunities for companies to look at what’s happening within their organizations. Decisions like shifting territory and raising quotas are being able to be justified with analytics. Kondo says that analytics allow sales to have a more direct relationship with other teams within the company and manager relationships as well.
How to Interpret Data Correctly
Companies don’t always interpret data in the best way they can. According to Kondo, that’s because they’re not looking at the big picture. Sales organizations and leadership often focus on what the current quarter opportunities are and what’s in the pipeline, but they fail to look beyond that. “You need to be looking (at the horizon) on what investments to make,” Kondo said.
The worst thing that organization can do, Kondo says, is question the sales investment. When companies ignore the long-term horizon, that’s when they begin expanding the market and chasing bad leads. Instead, “We need to be putting together a team that’s going to be productive down the line,” Kondo said.
What is Most Effective When Someone is Trying to Sell You?
We like to ask all of our podcast guests this question. Here’s how Kondo answered:
“I think today’s sales reps – it’s harder than it has ever been to get the attention of buyers, because there is so much noise out there. There’s all the social channels, there’s email blasts – hardly anybody picks up the phone anymore. Part of it is if you provide me something that’s of interest to me content-wise, you’ll get my attention. If you can slightly understand what my business is or what I might be going through, and provide me with…it can literally be something as small as a quote…then I’ll read the next sentence.”
In every episode of the B2B Revenue Executive Experience, we try to pull one nugget of wisdom from our guests that they would impart on a sales professional. Here’s this one:
“Be curious – be intellectually curious. Actually be interested in what your customers or prospects are doing for business. View them as an interesting company that you’d like to learn about. If you’re curious, that will come through in all your communications.”
If you don’t use iTunes, you can listen to every episode here.