Mining Data for Sales Gold

Choose the Right Solution to Accelerate Your Sales

Sales has entered a new age, the data-driven analytical era. "All of this data — what companies know about customers and what customers know about companies — has forced an evolution in how companies interact with the external world and how they create and sustain relationships with customers," explains SAS's head of Global Marketing Adele Sweetwood in her new book, The Analytical Marketer: How to Transform Your Marketing Organization (HBR Press, 2016).

For the vast amounts of available data to affect measurable results on sales behavior, your team needs technology to tame the information overload. We've compiled four categories of specialized sales technologies, some of which fit within larger platform solutions (e.g. Oracle, Salesforce.com, etc.) that we believe will provide your organization with the critical capabilities to drive measurable sales results:

  • Sales acceleration: Speeding up the sales process
  • Sales intelligence: Analyzing prospect data
  • Predictive analytics: Anticipating customer behavior
  • Sales enablement: Systematically supporting the sales function

Sales Acceleration does what it says; it speeds up the sales process. By helping reps increase productivity and identify and connect with prospects, it fills the gap between marketing automation and CRM (customer relationship management).

"For the vast amounts of available data to affect measurable results on sales behavior, your team needs technology to tame the information overload."

It's a big gap. Insidesales.com estimates that by 2017 businesses in North America could spend as much as $6,790 per representative on sales acceleration technology. What will they get for their money?

Sales acceleration technology:
Prevents leads going cold when the sales process takes too long. Companies that successfully speed up their sales cycle will win more of their leads and free-up sales resources to pursue more prospects or focus on strategic initiatives.

Closes the gap between marketing (which generates leads) and sales (which pursues leads). Aligning marketing and sales has proven effects on the bottom line, including 24 percent faster revenue growth and 27 percent faster profit growth, according to Forbes contributor Ian Altman.

Technologies that help bridge the gap:

  • Altify: Altify, formerly TAS Group, helps companies prioritize activities to allocate resources most effectively.
  • Valkre: Valkre's tools encourage collaboration between sales and marketing functions by defining value propositions that change the conversations your sales team has with customers and creating tighter alignment between sales and marketing.
  • Velocify: Velocify's intelligent sales automation solutions allocate leads among available salespeople, allowing staff to maximize their time and avoid repetitive tasks.

Sales Intelligence (SI) is a form of business intelligence for sales, and is primarily relevant to B2B sales cycles. SI equips sales professionals with the power and insight of a BI system throughout the selling process.

Sales intelligence technology:
Finds contact records to facilitate quick correspondence.
Analyzes lead profiles to assess interest and provide intelligence about true prospects.
Prioritizes follow-up activities, saving the reps' time and resources.
Drives bottom-line business growth, increasing revenue in 37 percent of businesses. according to TechnologyAdvice.

Technologies that help bridge the gap

  • InsideView for Sales: InsideView combines sales acceleration, social selling, account-based sales development and territory planning to help sales professionals accelerate deals and connect with key decision-makers through real-time access.
  • ZoomInfo: Zoominfo helps sales professionals find the right people through its contact and company search, data management, account targeting and campaign optimization tools.
  • Nimble:Nimble pulls data from dozens of data sources and automatically updates itself with relevant prospect and customer information while tracking all internal interactions.

Predictive Analytics anticipates unknown events by analyzing historical data, predicting the future actions of prospects and customers. This tool allows salespeople to better understand where prospects are in the buying journey.

Predictive analytics technology:
Identifies buying signals and uses that intel to target buyers.
Improves sales processes by revealing inefficiencies.
Determines lead quality through data mining and predicting prospect behavior.

Technologies that help bridge the gap:

  • Birst:Birst's predictive analytics platform reveals sales process bottlenecks and connects the entire organization, determining how to track and improve sales performance.
  • Infer:Infer combines existing data on leads with attributes mined from online sources, predicts future behavior and conveys these predictions to existing CRM systems.
  • Lattice Engines: Lattice Engines helps its customers acquire high-quality leads, prioritize leads with its predictive lead and account scoring, and grow existing customers.

Sales Enablement supports the sales team, making it easier for them to perform at their best. More than a single solution, this strategic ongoing process encompasses marketing materials, training, strategy development and analysis.

Sales enablement systems:
Provide relevant customer content, analytics and training needed to have more meaningful sales conversations.
Connect sales professionals with the organizations they sell for, ensuring they stay informed about overall strategy and equipped with the right resources and tools.
Optimize ROI by aligning content and tools to the buying cycle.

Technologies that help bridge the gap:

  • RevenueForce: RevenueForce helps sales managers diagnose specific behavioral changes needed within the sales organization to help individual sales representatives improve. RevenueForce also leverages data from multiple sources to develop a proprietary RevenueForce score which predicts the likelihood of success for an individual sales rep.
  • Savo: Savo helps new hires navigate the complexities of sales by providing them with role-specific learning, coaching, connections and content so they can stay on track and build their skillset.
  • Valkre: Valkre's Value Intelligence Library provides relevant customer content through its access to value selling content on offers aligned to the strategic objectives of their organization and its ability to customize information to the buyers' context.

When carefully chosen and implemented, these technologies provide sales professionals a greater understanding of their customer and enable delivery of more relevant and timely information, improving efficiency and increasing sales. Through our experience with specific solutions like RevenueForce and Valkre, we've seen the power that these targeted solutions can exert, contributing to increasing revenue and maximizing a sales team's effectiveness.

Looking for guidance in which sales technologies will be the best fit for your organization? Contact a Baker Tilly Sales Effectiveness Advisor to get started.

Leave a comment

Required fields are marked *