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Unlock Sales Opportunities with Business Analytics

In the new era of next-gen Revenue Intelligence, business analytics answer pertinent questions to unlock new sales opportunities and boost customer loyalty by building relationships based on a deeper understanding of your customers’ needs.

In the post-Covid era, gone are the days of sales representatives “just dropping in with doughnuts.” Travel restrictions and social distancing protocols have done away with much of the wining and dining, which previously provided savvy sales reps excellent opportunities to build relationships with clients and gain a deeper understanding of their needs.

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Today, sales have gone all-in virtual, and sales teams need to pivot their approaches to cultivating relationships. What’s more, they increasingly need to demonstrate their value with the right product and service offerings to best support their client’s business and make the necessary pandemic pivots. And what distributors need more than ever is a way to find missing dollars and to garner an extra point in the margin game.

In a recent survey from McKinsey, B2B buyers indicated that they value three things above all from sellers: speed, transparency, and expertise. Therefore, sales leaders should take the time to revamp their sales operations to equip their salesforce to deliver on these needs and differentiate their offerings.

A data-driven sales strategy can help you meet these needs and build a different type of relationship than you’ve had with your customers in the past – one that drives improved revenue and customer loyalty.

New Insights for Sales Reps

Many distributors have extensive amounts of data on their customer orders. Today, it’s imperative that this business analytics data is harnessed to provide a 360-degree view of customers’ transaction history – a “map of the world” with insights on top prospects for sales engagement.

Insights on the top ten products a customer has purchased with corresponding data on order volume – up or down quarter-over-quarter and month-over-month can provide a detailed picture of changes in buying behavior.

And with visibility on all accounts that have reduced their order volume, sales reps can ask probing questions to understand the “why” behind this buying behavior. i.e., Did a competitor step in and win on price? Did the customer buy too much inventory, which they may need to unload now? Or, did changes in your operations negatively affect your customer loyalty?

Some of these questions will lead to actions that you, as a distributor, will need to resolve internally. If a competitor has worked their way into an account and undercuts your pricing, your business may need to look at alternative vendors to source that specific product at a lower price.

Other questions, such as inventory levels, can lead to an opportunity to help that customer creatively find ways to unload that excess inventory.

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Insights on customers decreasing in overall sales order volume with no CRM activity over the last six to eight weeks can present an opportunity to flag customers for win-back campaigns or special promotions. Is the customer dissatisfied with product quality, on-time delivery record, or the customer service they’ve received? Considering your customer analytics and initiating these crucial conversations can reveal valuable insights and opportunities for improvement. There’s a good chance that if one customer has an issue, others may be experiencing the same thing.

Insights on customers increasing their purchasing volume over the last six months with no recent sales engagement can identify customer accounts that are diamonds in the rough. These customers are happy doing business with you, which represents great opportunities for a courtesy call to thank them. These “non-salesy” calls can go a long way in cultivating more meaningful relationships and boosting customer loyalty. Meanwhile, you can investigate if they know about new products or services you’ve added that may be of interest or if they have any open quotes that you can get a quick win from to continue growing and nurturing these accounts.

There are many more ways to slice and dice data to provide insights, and all help answer the quintessential sales question: What customers should I call today and why? With data-driven answers to this question, sales teams can ensure there’s never any time wasted – every sales rep can now make calls with a purpose, empowered with insights.

Revenue Intelligence can help sales reps optimize their time supporting their current clients to free up time to spend proactively looking for your next big account. It’s been said that 60 – 80% of a distributor’s business comes from their active customer base. Salespersons generally follow a time-honored strategy of focusing their time on their best accounts. But that was then, and this is now. After the onset of the pandemic and all its disruptive forces, the competitive landscape looks much different. To grow, you’ll need to get outside your current client’s comfort zone. After all, a new prospect or a customer that’s not been active in the past could be your next big account. But if you’re not calling on them, you may never find that opportunity to boost revenue.

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New Insights for Executives and Sales Managers

There’s no doubt that Revenue Intelligence can shed light on crucial sales opportunities for reps, but what about executives and sales managers?

For sales managers, insights on sales representative performance are a valuable tool to help understand which reps are doing well and those reps that may need additional support or coaching. Sales performance is especially critical as organizations must ensure sales teams are successful in shifting to digital sales strategies and give their sales teams the skills and knowledge they need to succeed working remotely.

Additionally, insights on profit and loss by product category are precious. From here, you can discern areas of loss due to pricing overrides and empower a new sales strategy. Insights can provide insights into why you are losing out on margins – is there a legitimate pricing problem that may require turning to an alternate vendor that can offer better pricing? Or do you have sales reps who may need coaching around how to sell on a value-add proposition instead of solely price?

However, none of this matters if leaders aren’t interested in leveraging the data in meaningful ways. In a podcast with MDM, Summit Electric’s Sheila Hernandez speaks about the importance of the right leadership going hand in hand with the right data.

“Do they believe in data, and are they using it?” Hernandez asks of executives and managers. The idea of undergoing “digital transformation” has been a buzzworthy topic for years. Understanding what that means for your business and for your customers specifically is how you’ll truly get the best bang for your buck.

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Breakthroughs in Usability

With this big wide world of data open to helping sales organizations perform better, why are so few organizations considering their customer analytics and executing data-driven sales enablement strategies?

One reason is that many organizations have an outdated view and inaccurate perception of these tools. For sales reps, first-generation software tools were perceived as Big Brother tools – something management uses to look over their shoulder digitally. While management saw the value in these tools, their value was questionable for sales reps. The lack of value is primarily because the time and effort spent inputting data far exceeded the value that sales got out of them. Is it any wonder then that these primitive software tools have left a residual bad taste in the mouth of sales teams? Today Revenue Intelligence systems are built for purpose, giving sales reps a tremendous competitive edge.

As well, there have been tremendous advances in user experience and data access. These advances are a quantum leap from the past process where sales reps would have to request custom reports and SQL database queries from a systems administrator, possibly waiting a week to get it. Today, Revenue Intelligence makes data so fluid and malleable, surfacing vital information sales reps can use to take action at regular intervals in an automated fashion or even on-demand via mobile phones or tablet devices.


Leveraging Data to Transform Your Client Relationships

Sales reps win when they leverage data to laser guide them to the best sales opportunities. Now, sales teams can operate not on a hunch or gut feel but driven by actual bona fide data. This data translates into improved sales efficiency and better use of salespersons’ time and resources.

But the real payoff is the ability to transform your client relationships; data-driven sales strategies can go a long way in demonstrating your value as a partner committed to their success. Customer analytics provides the opportunity to have deeper conversations with customers. These data-driven conversations, in turn, help you earn the customer’s trust by being more knowledgeable about their business issues and more resourceful.

Ready to get in the data-driven driver’s seat? White Cup’s Revenue Intelligence platform enables distributors to make sense of their data and make business decisions that improve revenue performance. White Cup can help you connect the dots of your data across critical business systems, reveal key insights via analysis, and provide the tools you need to take action for sales opportunities and revenue improvement.

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