Why Graph Search Is Facebook’s Big Data Solution March 05, 2013
Big Data vs. Business Intelligence vs. Customer Intelligence January 24, 2013
The History of Sales Technology January 06, 2013
Grow Revenue With Big Data March 11, 2013
Top Takeaways From #SDSummit 2013 May 13, 2013
Live From Day 2 At SiriusDecisions #SDSummit May 09, 2013
Live From Day 1 At SiriusDecisions #SDSummit May 08, 2013
- anneke seley
- operations and technology conference
- sports statistics
- company culture
- marketing technology
- it resellers
- paul hatch
- customer acquisition
- columbia university
- homayoun hatami
- customer retention
- sales process
- barlow research
- sales 2.0
- jon vander ark
- lpl financial
- b2b lead generation
- sales force automation
Clone the Closers: How Big Data Can Help Sales Leaders Succeed
In my last blog post, I shared why I believe the real challenge sales leaders face today isn’t the fact that sales forces are decreasing and why it is changing the 90/10 rule, where 90 percent of the sales people are at or below goals and 10 percent are the big closers. Many sales leaders currently evaluate performance of their reps based upon traditional criteria that measures pipeline and close rate. The problem is that not everyone’s pipeline is the same in terms of quality. Without consistent monitoring and observation of established metrics, a manager won’t know if a sales rep is having difficulty until it’s already past the point of problematic performance. The pipeline is weak, closes are low, and pretty soon the sales rep is on notice with 30 days to climb out of a quota hole. Sure, a manager can measure calls and visits, but these metrics represent busy work and are not reflective of overall quality. In order to effectively eliminate the 90/10 rule, sales leaders must determine how to clone the closers. Or more accurately, clone the productivity of your closers.
Big Data for sales is about bringing the following benefits to a sales organization:
- Identify the key prospects that have uniform characteristics that demonstrate willingness to purchase. This is where Big Data and analytics come into play. It may not nearly be enough to look at traditional firmographic details such as state and estimated revenue. Here are some questions to consider: What products have been purchased historically if these are existing customers and you’re interested in cross-selling? What external events have happened recently which may indicate a buying cycle? Has there been a recent change in credit history or UCC filings or an uptick in job postings?
- Distribute the opportunities equally among your sales staff. Again, relying on traditional territory boundaries may hinder and frustrate your staff. Government funded projects for one state might be triple the volume in another state and if this is a meaningful Big Data item for your representatives, it’ll help to spread the wealth.
- Educate reps on why they’re seeing these opportunities and how to approach customers. Here’s where the old parable of “teach a man to fish” is most relevant. Help your reps understand not only why a prospect is a good one, but how to approach it. Michael Dell recently told an audience that no one wants Big Data, they want big impact and big results. Teach your reps how the use of Big Data ties into the products that you want to sell so both your sales people and your customers get big results.
- Implement, Measure, Review, Repeat. Big Data and analytics are not stagnant. How sales reps interact with Big Data shouldn’t be either. Once a sales leader commits to an approach, measure how well the reps are utilizing the information gleaned through Big Data (through reporting available within the tools you’re using) AND measure how well the reps are achieving success. If the 90/10 rule is still present, and the reps are doing what they’re supposed to be doing, then re-focus the analytics.
Once sales leaders know that the reps are getting good opportunities, and the metrics for using Big Data and the tools that deliver it are in place, then sales leaders can identify how well Big Data correlates to sales and more importantly, what content can I push through Big Data to achieve even more success?
It’s why we’re so excited here at Lattice Engines about Big Data For Sales. Instead of just doing more with less, we’re hoping to see sales leaders to turn all of their sales reps into big closers.