Where do you store important sales data?

For most sales leaders, the answer is “CRM.” However, many sales leaders are also quick to admit that CRM is not a perfect tool. That’s because many salespeople resist entering data into CRM. They believe their time would be better spent engaged in selling activities.

Although sales leaders want salespeople to spend time actively selling, they also know that sales data is a vital component of success. Incomplete and inaccurate data creates a whole host of problems, including faulty forecasts and inefficient prospecting. And, without quality data, sales leaders can’t leverage predictive analytics and move their organizations to the next level of performance for sales.

In fact, one of the most interesting aspects of predictive capabilities is that they act like a flashlight, shining light into the darkness and helping customers see strengths, weaknesses, and what they could and should do to get better results across the organization.

For example, predictive analytics can clearly show:

  • which of a rep’s forecasted deals are likely to close (or not)
  • which parts of your sales process are working well (and which aren’t)
  • which deals, accounts, industries, and regions it’s best to focus on

One of the most gratifying aspects of working with customers on C9 implementations is that I see how each product helps create a stronger relationship between salespeople and CRM. Here are three positive shifts that happen when the entire sales organization adopts predictive sales and forecasting applications.

  1. Salespeople stop thinking that managers and executives are “big brother” and realize that technology can actually help them meet or beat quota each month.
  2. Salespeople go from neglecting/avoiding CRM to being disciplined about updating their records and data. They become invested in CRM as an asset that will help further their own success and the success of the company.
  3. Salespeople stop dreading weekly sales pipeline calls. In C9, everyone has the same level of transparency; and reps know that managers share their same “view” of pipeline data. Because all data is streamlined, managers don’t have to spend these meetings gathering information. Instead, they can start using pipeline meetings to coach reps and focus their conversations around strategy related to closing deals.

Today, the data in your CRM is the foundation of sales success. If you really want to see what’s happening in your organization, try using predictive analytics as a flashlight. You’ll immediately get a clear understanding of what you need to do to create a more successful future for your sales team.

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Antonio Perrone is director of professional services at C9.
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