How is Big Data Impacting the Sales Industry?

Big data has had a significant impact on the ways in which companies relate to their customers. However, more companies are starting to see the value in using big data when it comes to relating to their prospects, as well.

Buyers Have Taken Control of the Sales Process

There was a time when buyers would have had little, if any, previous exposure to products and services before their first contact with a sales representative. Now, thanks to social media, smart phones, and a culture of constant connectivity, buyers have likely completed online research and moved themselves through the initial steps of the sales process before interacting with a salesperson. They have usually compared a variety of competitors, researched peer reviews, and formed their own conclusions about the products and services they seek.  By the time they speak with a representative, they may be ready to purchase and see the salesperson as an order taker, rather than a consultant. Big data is providing forward-thinking companies with the information that their sales teams need to add value for buyers.

Identifying the Most Promising Prospects

Through predictive analytics, salespeople are now able to better predict which prospects are the most interested in their products and services and nail down those who will respond positively to a sales pitch. Big data allows companies to dig into each account on the books and pinpoint the right time to reach out and the best method for doing so.  ADP took this approach for one year, and they saw an increase in sales opportunities of 52 percent and a total sales productivity increase of 29 percent.

Making CRM Tools Even More Useful

Customer relationship management (CRM) tools help sales teams keep track of their customers and prospects, but they are also being used to help those same teams leverage big data. These sales applications are providing teams with the ability to utilize predictive lead scoring, improve lead prioritization, identify changes in buyer behavior and foster deeper relationships with customers. Leveraging CRM data in this way can help salespeople become more agile, responding quickly to changes in the sales cycle. Only through big data can sales teams identify patterns and real time, adjust their approach in response, and make accurate future predictions about their prospects and customers.

Evaluating Sales Performance

Sales managers are also benefitting from big data. Through analytics tools, they are able to more accurately and effectively evaluate members of their team. Just as big data can help identify the most promising customers and the right way to reach out to them, a sales rep’s performance can also be analyzed. Team leaders can see in real time which reps are performing well, which reps are not meeting standards, and identify patterns that might help sales managers combat performance problems. This type of data can help managers create personalized training programs, eliminating the one-size-fits-all approach to sales training that doesn’t necessarily speak to the needs of individuals. Predictive analysis can also help managers get out ahead of potential dips in productivity, giving them the opportunity to coach their team members proactively, rather than reactively.

If your enterprise software organization is on the lookout for experienced sales talent that knows how to leverage big data to foster better relationships and increase revenue, Strategic Search Solutions can help. We focus solely on the enterprise software sales market, which means we understand how to spot the right talent at the right time. To learn more about us and our proven recruiting strategies, contact us today.

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