It’s no secret that the key to acquiring new customers lies in having a strong sales team. However, identifying the factors that help to establish what it means to be a ‘strong’ sales team is a bit more difficult. After all, there are a number of interwoven variables and components that all have the potential to impact a sales team’s effectiveness. That having been said, there are few who would deny that access to reliable, up-to-date information is one of the most important factors. Sales teams that operate with faulty or outdated information are essentially attempting to work in the dark, and can have a profoundly negative effect not only on sales themselves, but also on the overall reputation of their company. As such, it is vitally important that sales teams have access to regular business intelligence reports.
There is a certain romanticism that accompanies sales suggesting that the ability to make a sale is more of an art than a science. But while there will always be certain difficult-to-define, interpersonal elements impacting the likelihood of sales success, the reality is that numbers and data play a much more important role than is often recognized. Because of this, business analytics software is becoming an essential tool in the repertoire of effective sales teams.
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:
Given that about a third of all high-tech companies and financial service companies say that at least half of their employees use analytics software tools to their advantage, it’s little wonder that there are several providers of business analytics software from which interested organizations can choose.
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.