Sales Analytics Offers the Most ROI for distributors

Sales Analytics Offers the Most ROI

How To Make Sales Analytics Out-Perform Your Expectations

Research by Gartner reveals where sales analytics offers the most ROI and potential areas of value.

Not so long ago, the hype surrounding data analytics was just that: hype. While leading companies were achieving a double-digit return on investment (ROI) from their analytics investments, smaller and mid-market companies simply were not. However, as more platforms and software have entered the marketplace, that hype has converted into real, documented, and accessible returns for companies of all sizes across all industries.

According to a sales operations survey by Gartner, Inc., 42% of sales leaders rate their sales analytics ROI as significantly higher than expected. Furthermore, the research reveals that this is true irrespective of the department. That is, whether it is in sales operations or outside of sales in other departments like marketing, product, or finance, ROI still exceeds expectations.

Sales Operations

Gartner’s State of Sales Operations survey gathered data from roughly 300 respondents in charge of sales operations at B2B organizations across a broad range of industries, including manufacturing, professional services, banking, energy/utilities, insurance, and healthcare. The findings noted that sales leaders feel that sales analytics offers the greatest returns in skills development and coaching. Other returns included sales force sizing, opportunity qualification, pipeline forecasting, lead scoring, compensation planning, and territory and account planning.

The research confirms that nowadays companies don’t have (and shouldn’t expect!) the luxury of waiting weeks for reports on the profitability of business decisions. Especially not in markets that are increasingly fast-paced and competitive. Although, this is not news by any means.

“Sales leaders today recognize how important analytics is to success,” said Craig Riley, senior principal analyst in Gartner’s Sales practice. While new analytics solutions are being developed around this need so businesses can make better decisions faster and easier, many sales leaders “continue to struggle to move beyond simple reporting and tap into its full potential.”

Riley adds, “As more organizations successfully use analytics for areas such as skills development and sales force sizing, the sales teams that truly succeed will be those that leverage analytics across the entire function.

Overlooked Analytics

The three most often overlooked areas, where sales leaders have yet to tap into the full potential of analytics, are:

  • Quote setting
  • Territory planning
  • Territory design

Those looking to take advantage of the aforementioned areas need to consider bolstering data collection and integration as well as promoting data literacy.

Data collection and quality is not yet an area where you can buy your way to success. For small to midsized companies that lack the working capital and human resources to implement and manage their own data analytics, tapping into a larger ecosystem can help them achieve and accelerate their related ROI goals. Moreover, successful integration will require building a foundation of systematic, fact-based decision-making informed by accurate and complete data. It’s not just about implementation; success with data analytics necessitates a data literacy culture shift.

The expectation at organizations seeking to fully leverage their data is that information will be like a second language. Sales operations needs to take deliberate steps to align all of their stakeholders in their understanding of the underlying purpose of analytics, the sources of the data and definitions of the metrics, and the interpretations of the analytics.

Ultimately, the secret to sales analytics ROI isn’t much of a secret at all. It comes down to implementing the technology and then embracing it. White Cup has seen companies achieve 1:1 ROI within just a few months of using White Cup BI, paying for their implementation costs within that short timeframe. But, it comes down to empowering teams with the tools and knowledge to make something of the analytics. Once you do, you may be surprised at the ROI your company was capable of achieving.

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