Big data is changing the way companies manage sales teams. I’m seeing more and more companies introducing SPM solutions that are focused on big data, giving sales managers access to tools that allow them to more effectively plan, manage, and forecast their businesses in real time.
In the past, technology limitations meant that data might be three to six months old and no longer actionable. Today, the big data capabilities built into modern SPM solutions gives teams real-time access to aggregated data sets, with the ability to benchmark individuals against their peers with real-time insights into the behavior that is happening in the field, so that they can take action in time to make a difference.
Adapting quickly to change
Sales teams that have access to big data-enabled SPM solutions are not locked into strategies based on stale data. As they get information and insights daily and monthly, they can pivot in real time based on what they are seeing in the field and what’s changing in the marketplace.
Big data also enables global sales teams to identify variation in the field and understand why that variation exists. The variation may be product to product, region to region, or rep to rep, in anything from cost of sales to commission costs to straightforward variation in sales.
Generating consistency in performance
With a centralized platform for data and communication, companies can deliver consistent information across the entire organization so everyone gets the same message and generates more consistent performance. When you are able to push out sales results in real time, everyone on the team can see how they are performing against their peers, and that peer effect ultimately drives up performance across the board.
Giving guidance to sales reps
One of the biggest challenges for sales organizations when they are underperforming is to find a path to performance. With artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities, sales managers are able to give sales reps prescriptive plans to craft a set of opportunities and a deal structure that helps them hit their targets more consistently.
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