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B2B Sales Leaders: Don’t Bring A Knife To A Gunfight

Still sending your sales people to be productive by providing them some basic tools like capability presentations, price lists, and CRM contact information that is months (or years) old?  That's like sending your reps to a gunfight equipped with a knife – the outcome is rarely pretty.

One of the key tools needed most by sales reps is high quality business intelligence on the targets they are pursuing.   Sure it's easy for your reps to spend valuable selling time doing basic Internet research on targets and contact information.  But what is missing from that approach is the past (and anticipated future) behaviors of the target prospects.

During March and April 2012 the Aberdeen Group conducted a study entitled "Sales Intelligence, What B2B Sellers Need to Know Before the Call".  Aberdeen interviewed 215 end-user organizations regarding their sales effectiveness practices, and more specifically on how sales intelligence is most effectively deployed. The report clearly illustrates one thing: companies using business intelligence in a sales capacity are significantly outperforming their competitors in 4 key areas.

Metric

Business Intelligence Users

Non-BI Users

Customer retention rate 88% 39%
Team attainment of quota 77% 52%
Sales forecast accuracy 77% 18%
Reps achieving quota 56% 35%

These statistics make a compelling case for the implementation of business intelligence processes as part of your overall sales process. In a follow-on post we will explore some enabling BI technologies and some specific processes that can help your firm move from a laggard position to best in class and boost your sales along the way.

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