“Sales has evolved, and analytics is the new edge to be gained.” That’s one of the key takeaways from a new report by Aberdeen Group. The report digs deep into the benefits of sales planning analytics — that is, “the use of planning analytics technology by sales organizations to manage different facets of sales activities,” including sales forecasting, sales territory planning, and quota planning.
All of these aspects of sales performance management are critically important to the outcomes achieved by sales organizations. But many of them, unfortunately, get short shrift in organizations that don’t use analytics, as the report shows. Before we say more about the report, check out this short video that summarizes it:
Leveraging planning analytics to improve sales results
Every sales leader wants their team to perform better when it comes to accurately forecasting sales, meeting quota, and winning a higher percentage of opportunities. Over time, they also want to see annual improvements in the size of deals, the length of sales cycles, and how well the entire team hits its sales targets.
Showcasing its research in “The ROI of Sales Planning Analytics: Better Forecast Accuracy, Growth in Top-Line Revenue, and Shorter Sales Cycles,” Aberdeen concludes that using sales planning analytics helps in all of these areas. Consider this comparison chart from the report:
Leaders armed with sales planning analytics can use more accurate forecasts to make necessary adjustments to sales territories and quotas. They can keep targets realistic for sellers and help prevent burnout — with positive impacts on sales performance, morale, and employee turnover.
Analytics grounded in historical data on win rates, deal size, sales rep performance, and other relevant measures also creates better visibility for the business as a whole. Having a clearer view of likely sales performance helps the organization manage its cash flow better, hire more effectively, and operate more efficiently across the board.
Nix weak performance with sales planning analytics
No sales organization wants inaccurate forecasts, fewer deals, or smaller contracts, which lead to a host of problems such as weakened market presence, ineffective marketing strategies, misallocated budgets, and a loss of confidence — not to mention pink slips for sellers and their leaders who can’t get it right.
Implementing sales planning analytics reduces the risk of all of these. As the Aberdeen report puts it, “Effective sales leaders can use planning analytics to counter or prevent many of the [negative] scenarios from happening in the first place.” More than that, “Planning analytics helps organizations boost their top-line revenue growth and outpace competition in enriching the financial health of the business.”
Need a boost to your organization’s sales performance management? You owe it to yourself to investigate exactly how sales planning analytics can improve your sales forecasting, quota attainment, average contract value, and average sales cycle.
Get your own copy of the Aberdeen report now by following this link.