Dreamforce ’14: Turn Data into Dollars

Everyone loves data.

They want more of it, from as many varied sources as possible. They want it to cover different areas, giving them more things to analyze. They want to derive actionable insights from all this data to put into action and make a real difference in how their organization does things.

But turning data into dollars isn’t as simple as just flipping a switch, as Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research and Cody Royster of InterCall explained in their Dreamforce ‘14 session.

For starters, many organizations face similar challenges in instituting a data-driven mindset and implementing the process to reap the benefits of data analysis. These common across-the-board challenges include:

  • Errors in data entry – clean, current data is hard to find
  • Data hoarding – some reps disingenuously choose to withhold data
  • Poor data leads to poor sales forecasting
  • Out-of-date data means missed coaching opportunities for sales managers
  • Pushing additional data entry on reps is not the answer – if reps spend more than 7.56% of their time entering data, they achieve suboptimal profitability and productivity

To solve many of these issues? Rebecca and Cody recommend using Data.com, the Salesforce.com app that acts as a one-stop source for all your D&B and contact information. But for someone working at an organization that wants to become data-driven but doesn’t feel ready to take the plunge yet, it’s not enough to just dive into Data.com. Instead, Cody and Rebecca want you to start thinking about the long laundry list of data benefits – better visibility, pipeline growth, increased productivity, reduced administrative overhead, etc. – and think about where you can get the most immediate bang for your organization’s buck. To that end, the 5 factors that really drive value in any data project are:


  • Breadth – “How many people in the organization will the data application affect, both positively and negatively?
  • Repeatability – “How often will they use it?”
  • Risk – “Could this cost a lot of money – and opportunity – if done wrong?”
  • Collaboration – “Will employees need to share?”
  • Knowledge – “Can I use the information I create?”

Being able to provide solid answers to the aforementioned questions will determine where you should focus your data analytical efforts, and your Data.com implementation. That is the key to turning your sales data into bottom-line dollars.

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