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Guest Post: Ignoring Sales Intelligence Solutions Is No Longer An Option

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Guest Post By: Craig Woods (Artesian Solutions)

I’m not one for using percentages and statistics lightly. In fact, 80% of the time I don’t use them at all. But when a survey is finally produced highlighting just how important the need for sales intelligence solutions is, well, in that specific case, it’d be time to go a little bit percentage crazy.

For a while now, many have seen such tools as ‘nice to haves’ but figures showing 26% higher sales quotas for best in class companies (companies exploiting the solutions most effectively) above those lagging behind the field show that they’re quite simply a ‘must have.’ Consider the market place we’re in too. Businesses are searching for gold in muddy swamps at the moment. It is not an easy environment. To be hitting 26% higher ratios in such a market is staggering.

The figures come from a survey conducted by the Aberdeen group entitled ‘Sales Intelligence: Preparing for the smarter sell’ which took the opinions of 528 companies into account. Report author Peter Ostrow says “By providing sales representatives with this necessary ammunition, companies can positively affect team members’ ability to effectively map their own products or services to their prospects’ business challenges with a customized message or offer. The selection of sales intelligence solutions, and their integration within the daily lifecycle of selling, play a crucial role in the ability to turn these strategies into profit”.

Some may argue that identifying potential prospects has never been a problem. But 43% of companies surveyed said the struggle to identify likely buyers was the main business pressure driving the use of sales intelligence. 86% of respondents indicated that the use of sales intelligence from external source was ‘extremely important.’ And if that wasn’t impressive enough this is being achieved saving time, both in the daily routine of the sales rep and ultimately in the sales cycle. Best in class companies are seeing a 9% annual improvement in (reduction of) the time spent by sales reps searching for relevant company/contact information and a 5% annual reduction of the sales cycle. Once again I’d just like to point back to those muddy swamps and say that is a pretty remarkable feat.

Andrew Yates, CEO of report sponsors Artesian Solutions added “Our experience shows that driving CRM initiatives from the top-down is the most effective way to drive sustainable value for the field-force. This report further illustrates the power of embedded sales intelligence (from technology like that of Artesian) combined with push technology which puts Best-in-Class companies streets-ahead of Laggards (as Aberdeen call them) in terms of numbers of sales representatives achieving quota, lead to pipe conversation and average deal value.”

Completely percentaged out now (apologies for the numeric onslaught) I once again refer back to the ‘nice to have’ comment. I guess it is nice to have. If you want to see significant advantage over competitors, gain market share and forge lasting relationships with customers then absolutely right it’s nice to have. But on that basis, oxygen’s quite nice to have. And all things considered, I’d rather not go without it.

For a full copy of the report click here.

Pass the Beans!

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