Powering The Sales Organization with Actionable Insights - Part II

By Ameet Sulibhavi Prahlad, Senior Manager of Solutions and Value Acceleration at Qlik

As virtual selling and digital buying continues to grow, data, insights and timely action are becoming more valuable than ever.

In part 1 we shared snapshots of how real-time actionable insights empower various parts of the sales organization to act in the moment and break free from the limits of historical and passive BI.

Whether data and insights are used to better align with customer journeys and improve customer engagement, or automate workflows to increase sales team productivity, organizations can unlock value if they embed immediate action into their sales processes and channels.

So how do you actually build real time actionable insights into sales processes and channels?

  • Focus on business outcomes: Identify the business outcomes and KPIs the sales organization needs to succeed. If an analytics / business intelligence (BI) solution exists, identify where the solution isn’t enabling targeted business outcomes. Work to define insights that will help achieve the goals, which includes identifying which user groups will benefit and how sales jobs and tasks be improved through data insights (i.e., automated, more rapidly, in the business moment). Also assess data proficiency within the sales organization and put together a plan to train and develop the team with data literacy skills. Have an expected return on investment (ROI) in mind to track towards. Avoid starting with an off-the-shelf product or developing a purpose-built analytics solution in search of a sales analytics use case.
  • Show the value: Ensure that BI/IT and sales teams work in lockstep so that sales teams can trust the data and insights that will help them sell more and sell efficiently. This requires BI/IT to provide transparency into how the data pipeline works, how the algorithms are built, and how the insights are being derived. This will require BI/IT to involve the salespeople to truly understand what they need and partnering with them to align on what challenge is being solved by real-time actionable insights. Start with use cases that are feasible and impactful (e.g., by using data sets that are easily available and relevant to the business outcome) to prove the value of embedding analytics and real-time actionable insights into sales processes and channels.
  • Manage the experience: Ensure that the insights delivered to different sales personnel are based on their job roles, easy to understand and convenient to access (i.e., integrated with existing tools used by sales teams). Also take steps (i.e., providing classroom-based, on-the-job, self-paced learning) to improve data proficiency within the sales organization and elevate data literacy levels.
  • Get everyone together and on the same page: Rally for cross-functional alignment and support to break down data silos and increase data sharing and analytics. Establish a common language of data, formal data and analytics governance processes, and ways to measure success of joint team efforts rather than success of individual functions.
  • Measure and prove value and scale: Finally, determine the value that the use cases deliver using a realized ROI analysis approach post-implementation and adoption. This helps to gain a mandate to go beyond the initial use cases and user groups and elevate adoption and scale further use.

As the business landscape continues to evolve, the use of actionable insights is critical to sales going forward. Sales leaders have an opportunity to transform their sales processes by embedding analytics in their sales processes using real-time data to prescribe actions in response to business events and trigger immediate action. By leveraging the five-step approach that focus on business outcomes, demonstrating value, ease-of-use and education, team-mindset, and measurement before scaling, sales organizations can make real time actionable insights a reality.

To find out more about how Qlik can enable sales organizations to drive more value and action from data for impact, visit Qlik Sales Analytics.

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