Business Intelligence & Analytics Articles

An Excel Alternative for Instant Analytics That Transforms Your Sales Processes

by Todd Spear
Published on 19 February 2016

data anaysis going over landscapeIf your sales team is still using Excel to manage prospects, leads, and opportunities, then maybe it's time to think of a more intelligent data analysis solution, which uses instant analytics.

Salesforce vice president of marketing, Jamie Domenici, recently stated that today's smarter salespeople are using data analysts and separate data analytics products to get a handle on their organization's sales data. In an interview with eWeek, Domenici recalled the example of a publishing company that had recently made the transition to Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud. According to Domenici, in the past, the client produced a 40-page Excel spreadsheet every other week which contained the same information Wave can produce instantly.

"Unlike Sales Wave, it wasn't interactive so when there were questions the team of analysts had to do more research and rework the data which made delivery of the final report even longer," Domenici told eWeek.

Benefits of instant analytics

Instant analytics can address the needs Domenici describes, making the most of incoming leads by quickly identifying the most valuable prospects, better enabling sales team members to hit their targets, and improving managers' ability to create a sense of urgency while managing the overall sales process. For sales managers and their teams, the possibilities of harnessing instant analytics can transform the sales process for the better. Here's a look at how.

1.More Productive Prospecting Instant analytics facilitates smarter prospecting. This is helpful because many salespeople waste valuable time and resources pursuing unqualified leads. Instant analysis of prospective customer data lets salespeople respond only when the prospect is most likely to make a purchasing decision. The most powerful way to open the door to a profitable engagement is to strike while the proverbial iron is hot, on the heels of the prospect having sought you out.

Salespeople are often tasked with completing more sales with fewer leads. That stated, there is no shortage of data with which to work. Effectively leveraging customer engagement is the way to create sales from prospects, and instant analytics is one of the most efficient ways to do it. Your salespeople need to know what's going on with a prospect while he or she is still interested, not after the fact, as older, slower data analytics tools have often offered.

Perhaps the biggest advantage of all, when it comes to instant analytics, is the ability to take the right action. Simply put, some leads are better qualified than others, and you do not need salespeople spending time on prospects that will never convert (and those prospects probably do not want the personalized attention, to be honest).

Instant analytics allow sales managers and sales makers to quickly make a judgement call as to whether a prospect entering the sales funnel is likely to result in a purchasing action. At the precise moment the prospect is primed to move on to the next step in the customer lifecycle, instant analytics help you engage meaningfully with that lead to nurture the sale.

2. Driving Sales with Visualizations Instant analytics gives sales teams an overview of the value of each customer, allowing those salespeople to focus their attention on the prospects that are furthest along in the process.

Giving your sales team clear direction - that is, a profitable direction to aim their efforts - works nicely when the value of each prospect is spelled out in monetary terms, expressly. In this way, instant analytics helps keep salespeople motivated by showing them the sales metrics that matters most to them, in terms that they can surely appreciate.

3. Insightful Performance Management For sales managers, performance management becomes a real-time activity with instant analytics. With instant oversight of everything from forecasts and pipeline to goal progress, sales managers who use instant analytics can act accordingly, without waiting for the most recent sales report to come down the wire well after the engagement.

Using software such as Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud, sales managers can maintain an overview of pipeline activities and can act to help salespeople attain their goals and meet KPIs. These instant insights make managing pipeline activities truly self-service and on-demand and can help sales managers uncover opportunities that salespeople might miss.

4. Fast Data Analysis, Faster Acces Cloud-based instant analytics make it faster for sales teams to reach relevant data than offline spreadsheets and other legacy reports can offer. The speed at which salespeople and sales managers can now access the data they need is best measured in minutes, not days. The ability to see leads as they enter the sales funnel from anywhere - including mobile devices - brings an unprecedented level of speed and efficiency to all stages of the customer lifecycle.

5. Sales Made in an Instant Instant analytics addresses the needs of consumers who presently thrive in an online environment in which they have come to expect instant gratification. Because the prospect is usually ready to benefit from their activities soon after they have searched for a solution to their problem, this is the ideal time to engage them. Instant analytics is the key to uncovering those kinds of opportunities as quickly after the customer has initiated the engagement as possible.

The next level of analytics

Salesforce's latest Wave is one example of a business intelligence and analytics product that comes with instant analytics baked in. The latest release addresses several concerns that stemmed from the app's initial release. Namely, Salesforce has streamlined its pricing model and eliminated the need for other add-ons, making Wave more attractive to more types of businesses.

This post was brought to you in conjunction with Wave: Salesforce Analytics Cloud.


Apps mentioned in this article