Sales effectiveness through self-service efficiency!!!
Sales effectiveness is about the relentless focus on ensuring that the sales professionals are winning deals and attaining their quotas. Contemporary sales organizations need to leverage self-service analytics to not only be on top of sales performance but also to understand their real drivers. And do this real quick and on a consistent basis!
Some worthy pursuits –
Among other things, I’ll try to find answers to the following pressing questions pivotal to sales effectiveness –
- Does source of a new-hire help determine his/her success?
- Which skills correlate with high performance?
- Which training and sales enablement programs are working well?
- How important is cultural fit?
I’ll use Watson Analytics, and leverage its guidance based ‘smarts’ to take a stab at the above questions.
I upload this dataset on Watson Analytics and click on it. This is one of the manifestations of the built in ‘smarts’ that even without my typing a word, I’m presented with these ‘unbiased’ cognitive starting points.
I click on one of them to begin my analysis.
Do our hiring sources have a bearing on our quota attainment levels?
Next I open a new tab and type my first question in natural language to understand our average quota attainments across the different hiring sources we use. I see that Trade Magazines and direct College recruitment give us the bulk of our top performers.
I add Roles to the visualization and notice that while these two give us the best Major Account Managers and System Engineers, these might not be ideal to hire Territory Account Managers. At the least, this begs for further investigation!
I add Geo into the mix to check if this trend holds true across the board. This view tells me that the pattern is not consistent and I can further drill down into each of the Geos to explore more. But I do realize that certain hiring sources in certain geographies are more suitable for certain roles than the others. This insight has a huge potential to pursue!
A culturally fit seller attains more!
I ask my next question as though I were talking to an expert – “Show average of attainment and culture fit compare by Geo” and select the most relevant combination chart.
The intent here is to validate if our recent focus on assessing the cultural fitness of the new recruits in America is actually translating into higher quota attainments. With the ‘Geo – Region’ hierarchy automatically created for me, I drill down into America to find that out.
It’s evident is that a great cultural fit results in greater attainment levels. Going forward, we need to expand our screening for cultural fitness across all our regions.
At this point, I look for inspiration in the discoveries ribbon on the right which surfaces dynamic insights based on the visualization being discussed here. This is another manifestation of the built-in cognitive smarts!
What really drives sales quota attainment levels?
Clicking on one of the insights reveals this easy to understand spiral visualization that shows me the factors that drive our sales quota attainment levels and ranks those factors in order of their predictive strengths.
Among many other factors, I can see that the combination of ‘Days to Close’ a deal and ‘Oral Communication Proficiency’ skill has the biggest bearing on our Attainment levels i.e. it drives Attainment level with a predictive strength of 50%.
The associated detailed insight tells me that the best Attainment levels are achieved when a sale is closed in less than 9 days by a seller whose Oral Communication assessment score is 4 or above. This is great insight!
And I can review the associated detailed insights for each of the factors listed.
I continue my analysis by leveraging the dynamic discoveries once again. This time I take a look at the suggested Predictive Model for Attainment.
Here I review the statistically derived decision rules and look at the various profiles to better understand the conditions that lead to high Attainment levels. While Oral Communication skills and Interpersonal Relationships stand out as the most important skills, I also notice that Sales Training Classes 2 and 3 have been very effective.
Bottom-line, while it’s great to have a handle on what’s happening, I now know the WHY behind what’s happening.
Creating such interactive multi-tabbed dashboards is really easy in Display – I can either create new visualizations from scratch from within Display (using the ‘+ New Discovery’ option) OR I can reuse those that I created earlier by just dragging them in (from a single or from multiple Discovery sets). In this case, I drag in the packed bubble we used earlier.
I also filter this dashboard to look at only our Active employees and a specific Product group. Please note that since ‘Active’ is a global filter, it’ll impact all tabs in my dashboard.
Effective sales through the efficient use of analytics –
So to recap, I was able to analyze my raw sales & training data and quickly discovered the need to prioritize our sources of recruitment based on Geos, validated our practice of screening new recruits on cultural fitness, understood specific skills needed to ensure higher attainment levels and found out about the training programs that were working well.
Thanks to Watson Analytics, going forward, we’ll not only attract the right talent but also effectively enable them to ensure that they are closing more deals and bringing in more revenue!
Watch the demo video – here