Analytics are expanding sales insights beyond your traditional pipeline and daily call reports. With new engagement insights, organizations are gaining visibility into activities previously not able to be seen, making prescriptive decisions to improve their sales process, and getting a data-driven ‘reality’ check on their pipeline.
Four key areas where analytics are providing new sales insights include:
New automation capabilities – such as sales email templates and sequencing – make it easy for sales reps to send out emails faster. But when automation is combined with analytics, organizations can also quickly A/B test their subject lines, messaging of their emails, and even sales collateral.
Engagement analytics can measure the impact of sales communications. Knowing which email has the highest open or response rates can quickly help organizations with improving quality connects. Analytics can also capture which piece of collateral was downloaded most frequently. This helps you understand what interests your prospect the most and also gives you insight on what messaging is resonating the most for more relevant follow-up. Your marketing team can also leverage this information to improve their email and sales collateral content.
Accenture has found that pricing is the “biggest improvement lever” for organizations. An increase of just one percent in pricing can increase a company’s operating profits from 7-15 percent. With that amount of potential revenue on the line, no business wants their team to jump straight to the discount if it’s not needed to close the deal.
Sales analytics can help determine the best pricing for particular customers. For example, by using analytics, organizations can discover how many deals have been sold at a particular price versus another. This can show where customers are comfortable buying and where pricing can be best optimized. Proving that the pricing is set accurately through analytics helps increase a team’s confidence in the pricing model.
Every sales leader wants to understand what it is that their best performers do differently. In the past, this might have been based on gut instinct – something that’s inherently subjective rather than objective. Today, sales engagement analytics can give sales leaders concrete data about what these reps are doing that others are not.
Prospect interactions that are captured in real-time give sales leaders immediate visibility into all prospecting activities – at both the team and individual rep level. So a manager can see precisely what the A player does differently from the B player. Maybe the A player sends three more follow up emails per prospect. Whatever the difference is the information can be invaluable for helping other players on the team accelerate their performance.
Sales leaders always want to repeat successful processes. With insight into sales rep performance, they can quickly see what’s working best and what’s not – and help coach underperformers to success based on proven processes and ramp up new reps quickly.
What makes one sales person successful in one company may not make them successful in another company. According to Accenture, in a presentation given at Dreamforce 2015’s Sales Summit, organizations are starting to apply analytics to the hiring cycle to make sure that they’re hiring the best person for their specific company. This literally takes the guesswork out of wondering whether a candidate is the “right fit” for a particular sales organization.
By understanding what makes people most successful within your organization, in the future you may have the ability to use analytics to compare candidates according to those criteria.
With the ability to put analytics on top of sales processes, companies gain new insights to help them make better decisions. Rather than relying on a gut feeling to make choices, sales leaders can look at hard data to decide which particular path of action has the best chance of success.
Micheline Nijmeh is the CMO for LiveHive, Inc., whose award-winning sales acceleration platform provides engagement analytics to understand buyers’ interests and improve sales follow-up. A seasoned Silicon Valley executive, Nijmeh has served as Senior Director, Integrated Global Campaigns at Salesforce.com, where she led the market launch of Salesforce’s Chatter and Force platform.