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You’ve collected massive amounts of data. But the question is—how is that data improving decision-making across the company? 

Sure there are data visualization dashboards that help people see and understand data. And there are repositories (like CRMs) that helps sales and service professionals track their prospects and customers. 

These tools may tell you what has happened and can even run models showing what is likely to happen in the future—all great insight for data analysts. But for Sales and RevOps professionals, the critical question is—how can you use that data to help reps sell better? 

Beyond that, How can you identify risk in-the-moment? Or coaching opportunities for first line managers? 

Too many decisions are based on gut-feel

In Forrester’s Goal-KPI-Action-Data (GKAD) Framework, researchers note, “In both 2017 and 2018, global data and analytics decision makers reported that, on average, their firms based just 45% of business decisions on quantitative information and analysis versus gut feelings or opinions.” 

That means despite all the data and reports, more than half of business decisions are being made on a whim. When you ask sales reps how they make decisions, the results are even worse. 

That’s not a formula for success. And it isn’t a sustainable strategy for companies that want to grow. 

2020: The year we turn data into actionable-insights.

Data is the foundation of any growth strategy. Companies are investing heavily in it. It’s time we put it to use when it comes to sales execution. 

The first step is collecting the right data—not just the name and contact information of a prospect or customer. And not just the data that a rep has begrudgingly added because they’ve been threatened. You need all the data, starting with activity data. Which means you need to automate activity capture to remove rep bias (and just as importantly give them back hours to sell). Activity Capture means automatically collecting data from the key tools reps already use—understanding what has occurred and what is missing—and then prompting reps for additional details that are critical to assessing pipeline health. 

Once you have the data, you can start to generate Insights. This can be gaps in process methodology (think Challenger, Force Management, Sandler, Richardson, etc.) or it could be identifying poor engagement from the champion or decision maker that could impact your forecast. It could be taking historical results and applying them to current pipeline, or identifying an opportunity to move a deal forward.  

Then the final step is pairing those Insights with Actions which direct reps in real-time to the most effective path to close. This type of guided selling is based on understanding all the data and what steps have occurred (or those that were missed) and then providing the ability to redirect reps on-the-fly when variables change. This strategy is very similar to the way Waze™ (an app we can no longer live without) encounters traffic and reroutes you so you can make your meeting on time.

Insights without Action lead to status quo

Insights are important. But without Action, the are just something interesting to report on. Add in Actions, and suddenly Insights become behavior changing—which is what every sales organization is ultimately looking for.  

Forrester’s Goal-KPI-Action-Data (GKAD) Framework  provides best practices on developing KPIs, creating alignment between data teams and stakeholders, and driving continuous incremental improvement. It’s a great asset as sales teams look to operate not just more effectively, but more efficiently in this new decade. 

Download it today to get started.

mm
Director of Marketing, InsightSquared
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