Your data’s value depends on how useful you can make it — in other words, can it answer your most pressing questions? When companies put their data to work by infusing analytics into daily tasks and business operations, they can gain critical visibility into what produces results and what doesn’t. According to a recent survey from Talend, only 48% of sales and marketing executives use data and analytics to make decisions. Additionally, a Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey commissioned by Sisense and conducted in December 2020 showed that a paltry 28% of companies are currently using data and analytics to improve employee productivity.
That means there is a huge opportunity for sales departments to use analyzed data to improve and streamline performance — especially in the sales arena, where key performance indicators (KPIs) like cost per lead, customer acquisition cost, and year-over-year growth rule the lives of front-line Account Development Reps (ADRs) and VPs alike. Actionable intelligence derived from analyzed data is vital to helping sales teams determine the best and worst tactics, forecast future revenue figures, and more. Data-driven sales departments will be better able to weather ups and downs like the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many sales operations to go fully digital and remote.
We asked Sisense’s rock-star sales leaders how they use infused analytics to uplevel the entire sales operation, improve the win rate, and close more deals. We’ll also dig into Sisense customer Bynder, which infuses dashboards into workflows to make data accessible to the entire sales and marketing teams, driving a substantial increase in its sales pipeline.
The right reporting will transform your sales cycles.
Analytics help teams focus on sales targets
The key to effective sales may be trying to solve customers’ pain points, but sales teams also face their own challenges every day. These could include too much time spent in unproductive meetings, confusing and inefficient sales processes, and lack of alignment with other departments. While nobody can solve the boring meeting conundrum, it’s the role of sales managers to find the most efficient ways to provide their teams with the actionable intelligence that will help them win deals.
So how can infused analytics help sales teams reach their KPIs and enhance performance? Sisense sales team leaders report that infused analytics empower their teams by sharpening the focus on what matters most:
Jon Barrett, U.S. Sales Manager at Sisense, said analytics help reveal the appropriate baselines for his sales team’s KPIs: “There are only two ways to make your number in sales: Find more customers who want what you got, or convert the disinterested. Sales teams can use analytics to determine each salesperson’s ‘formula’ for success, to avoid surprises at the end of a month, quarter, or year.”
Mike Sitter, VP of Business Operations at Sisense, described how analytics help him set goals: “One of the ways we use infused analytics (powered by Sisense technology!) is to help track forecast and pipeline creation/coverage. It has been extremely valuable in helping us look at our KPIs across several dimensions, including company size, product, and team. We also use it to create snapshots of our data to compare it over time — something that cannot be done using Salesforce or a less advanced analytics tool.”
Go further with infused analytics
Another benefit of infusing analytics from a platform like Sisense into everyday workflows is that sales teams don’t need technical data expertise to transform the way they work. Separating out the most relevant data and slicing it the right way can provide a better understanding of customers’ buying cycles, drill down into specific data points, and optimize sales performance throughout the period, ultimately improving the entire process.
“At Sisense, we use a variety of analytics tools to help us create a Rosetta stone to determine what companies we might be able to help most, which ones are interested in solutions, and where they might be in a buying cycle,” said Jon, zeroing in on the essential data connections needed to form the perfect analytics combo for each of his teams. “This data has to be mashed up into a single source of truth. The sum of the parts is much more valuable than any individual piece. That helps us understand the whole story.”
The most successful sales teams are those that use their time most strategically. (Super-long sales team meetings, we’re looking at you.) Narrowing down a high volume of leads to the ones with the most potential and best conversion chances can be a huge advantage. Jon explained how his time-saving strategy is enhanced by analytics, giving his sales team an edge:
“Salespeople have a lot to manage. Infusing insights into our workflows help us manage the (sometimes up to a dozen) tools that we use to improve our chances of success. Understanding what next step is likely to drive an opportunity forward, based on data, feels like a big win.”
Digital management solution Bynder boosts pipeline with analytics
Bynder is a leading management solution for creative assets like images and videos. This B2B SaaS company provides a platform for businesses to create, organize, and store their digital content via the cloud. With over a quarter of a million product users, the company needed a flexible analytics solution that was reliable and could quickly track the huge streams of data that were coming in hot.
Internally, then Head of BI John Fenton was struggling to keep up with demand for analytics reports for his sales and marketing teams. John knew his reports would be easier to use if they were easier to access, stored in a centralized location, and optimized for what users actually needed at a particular moment. After a thorough search, John realized that Sisense was the right BI platform for Bynder to handle its huge amounts of operational data, translate it into insights, and make those insights accessible and actionable to business users.
After Bynder implemented Sisense, its sales pipeline increased by 15%, due in part to the data transparency created by its upgraded analytics. Sales dashboards are circulated frequently, and sales reps know that their achievements are visible to the entire team.
Matt Madden, Sisense’s Senior Marketing Director, said this is a perfect example of how making data and analytics transparent to sales and marketing teams can drive real impact. “Sales analytics in particular can help teams uncover things like buying patterns and trends to maximize deal values and close more new business. It can also uncover more opportunities in existing accounts to drive expansions and upsells.”
Drive sales growth with data
Infusing analytics improves sales success, period. Whether it’s closing deals or upselling and expanding of existing accounts, putting actionable intelligence in your sales teams’ workflows will accelerate your business growth. Time spent in meetings or having one-on-one conversations to try to uncover opportunities is inefficient when contrasted with leads and next steps embedded into user workflows.
The business world is evolving. Every company and department is turning to analytics to boost performance, make more strategic use of time, and choose the right action at the right time. From a start deploying infused analytics in your sales team, you could end up evolving your entire business. It’s a great first step that could unlock amazing growth.
The right reporting will transform your sales cycles.
Rachel Burstyn has worked in program marketing for NPR, been a food columnist for World Jewish Digest in Chicago, and a news reporter for WVXU-FM Cincinnati. She lives in Israel with her husband and four children.