Big Data is a term that is getting a lot of press lately. It refers to collections of large datasets that are difficult to manage using traditional data processing tools and applications. According to a recent study by IBM 90% of the data in the world today has been created in the last two years alone. While Big Data is invaluable in spotting and anticipating future trends, the sheer volume can overwhelm most departments in your firm, this includes your sales team!
Consider the problem of Big Data from the vantage point of a single sales person. Sales people sometimes manage several hundred accounts and prospects in sales territories that often span multiple states or vertical markets. Deciding how and when a sales person applies effort to their target accounts is for the most part a hit or miss proposition. Expecting a sales person to intuitively know which accounts are good targets and likely to buy from your firm is unrealistic, yet many firms still allow their sales teams the luxury of self-selecting their sales targets.
Best in class companies are investing in sales technologies and processes that allow them to predict which prospects are exhibiting behaviors that indicate they are in a priority shift or research mode. Knowing that a prospect has had a business priority shift and is actively researching possible solutions can quickly open doors for the savvy sales person, but they need to know the minute the business priority shift occurs. This just in time information will allow the sales person to quickly engage a prospect and have the right data needed to start the initial conversation.
As sales and marketing technologies continue to evolve so will the efficiency and effectiveness of your sales team. Sales people will no longer need to develop account plans for every account in their territory; instead, they can focus their activities on those accounts that have the greatest need and the highest propensity to buy.
If you are not using Big Data to drive the actions and efforts of your sales team you may be losing ground to your competitors. If you would like more information on how Big Data can give your team a competitive advantage drop us a note, we are always happy to help.