To paraphrase Elvis, “A little less analytics and little more action”. As striking as this may sound, the point is to simplify the management ask of salespeople to make sales. This requires that BOTH parties (analytics and sales) share the load analyzing the data and targeting prospects.
Supplier scenario: We often see sales asking for a report. Analytical teams will often tell you that most often these are simple reports for the sales person to assemble themselves. We also see management pushing reports down to all sales people and simply directing them to solve the apparent problem.
Both issues reflect an imbalance in work process output. The result is often a spiral downward to the least use of these powerful systems.
Distributor scenario: I have often observed distributor managers using standard reports and pushing them down to all sales reps with the instructions to “close the gaps”. This has taken a lot of initiative away from sales reps to discover their own sales solutions.
This protocol diminishes the skills and use of analytics by the sales people. They think less about possibilities and more about completing a demand. This is especially true for opportunities outside of AAA account opportunities.
So, let’s get back to Elvis. Leadership needs to own the aftereffects of analytics costs, unrealized revenue and lower ROI. This means less forcing use and more inquiring about use.
Questions that should be asked sound like this. “How did you use the platform to solve this problem or improve performance on this project?” If you were going to attack your biggest sell through obstacle how could the analytics platform provide you with the information to act?”
The result is that client facing sales personnel begin to experiment with the platform and we all know their ideas are often better than your ideas (even if they are your ideas).