About 84% of high performers say that analytics will increase within the next two years. Using business analytics and business intelligence software to improve sales numbers is a part of that growth, and it all relies on sales teams being well informed. More specifically, business analytics allows sales teams to more-effectively perform certain necessary operations, and to do so with a high degree of accuracy. These operations include:
- Charting Performance
One part of what makes business analytics software useful is that it can be used to help with charting performance levels. Sales success depends on a number of factors, not all of which are always directly apparent. By charting sales performance across an extended period of time, businesses can begin to see the patterns that affect sales success, as well as other, less-obvious factors that might have an impact.
- Identifying and Evaluating Customers
Analytics can also be used by businesses to develop a better understanding for their customers. Individual customers or segments of like-minded customers can be reviewed to help identify what commonalities exist that aid in the completion of a sale. Once these factors have been identified, they can be targeted, reducing wasted effort on the part of the sales teams, and improving the overall contact-to-sale ratio. Likewise, analytics can be used to help businesses more-easily identify and address customer concerns.
- Improving on Bad Data
Even flawed or incomplete data can be useful when identified by an effective business analytics software solution. This bad data can be used to help identify faults in processes, or to locate other potentially problematic areas. Incomplete data is usually a result of either human errors, or system errors, both of which can only be corrected after being identified. Analytics programs can quickly locate these potentially-precarious issues, and then use them to improve the system as a whole.
- Up-Selling Opportunities
Software that identifies influencing factors, such as current trends, purchase history, customer interests, and others can be useful in assisting in up-selling. Sales teams can use this information to ensure that they always have something else of value to offer their customers once a sale has been finalized.
However, committing to a business analytics solution is about more than just picking a provider at random, because different business analytics software solutions feature different capabilities. Of the most important capabilities necessary for an effective sales analytics software solution, flexibility may be the most advantageous. As goals change, trends dissipate, customers arrive and depart, and businesses evolve, the main sales focuses of an organization’s business analytics are likely to evolve as well.
A flexible program—one that allows for continual reevaluation and adaptation—will likely prove more significantly valuable in the long run than one that operates well out of the box, but that simply isn’t flexible. Forcing a business to adapt its processes to work within a predefined analytics software solution can result in expensive adjustment periods, low adoption rates, and unimpressive results. A fully-flexible analytics solution that can be customized to work well with an organization’s existing systems and processes is a better choice.
There are other traits that help to define an effective analytics software solution, but they all seem to tie back into one specific point: the software tool must be cloud-based. A cloud-based analytics software solution means reduced costs and heightened security. Likewise, it allows for unrestricted access by any authorized individual, from any internet-capable device, from anywhere in the world. This is especially valuable for sales teams, who often find themselves doing business while away from the office. Lastly, the cloud promotes greater collaboration between individuals and departments, by providing a common, easy-to-use program that everyone can access.
Sales teams are responsible for locating and preparing new clients as they are guided through the sales funnel, but that doesn’t mean that they have to do it alone. A strong sales team is one that makes proper use of all of the tools available to them, and the best sales teams are those that incorporate business analytics software and intelligence reports into their repertoire. After all, when it comes to making sales, the more reliable information you have, the better you’ll be able to function. Business analytics software helps to ensure that sales teams have the information they need, exactly when they need it.