Crippled by inaccurate, incomplete, and outdated customer data, sales organizations are increasingly exploring the potential of predictive intelligence.If you haven’t yet implemented predictive sales intelligence, chances are you’ve at least contemplated taking the leap. Here are three telltale questions that will help you determine whether it’s time to adopt a predictive sales intelligence solution.
1. Are my sales cycles longer than they should be?
According to a 2013 survey from BtoB Magazine, 43% of B2B marketers say their sales cycles had slowed between the years 2010 and 2013. For most companies, this is a long-term trend that has become more even pronounced over the past half decade.
Customers aren’t to blame for slow sales cycles, in fact. Jeff Thull, author of Mastering the Complex Sale, explains, “Customers don’t create long sales cycles–salespeople do.” Far too often, salespeople target the wrong prospects who don’t exhibit high buying propensities. They waste time attempting to get their foot in the door and trying to engage a prospect that isn’t likely to convert.
Armed with predictive intelligence tools such as iDatalabs, sales reps are able to focus their time on the most lucrative prospects. By zeroing in on the prospects that are most likely to convert, they’re able to engage in meaningful conversations from the get-go and, in turn, drastically reduce sales cycles.
If your sales cycle are longer than the average for your industry (or longer than you’d like), consider investing in predictive sales intelligence.
2. Are my sales forecasts consistently inaccurate?
According to CIO Insights, nearly 85% of companies struggle with sales forecasting. What’s more, according to SiriusDecisions research, 79% of sales organizations miss their forecast by more than 10%. The problem, in large part, boils down to the methodology employed. Companies tend to rely on historical data when determining sales forecasts. This method is rife with flaws as it assumes, for example, that buyer demand is constant and that market conditions remain unchanged.
The effects of inaccurate sales forecasting are pervasive. Inaccurate forecasting squashes team morale and motivation, results in sub-par resource allocations, and degrades shareholder confidence levels, to highlight but a few ill-effects.
Predictive sales intelligence paves the way for accurate sales forecasting. By identifying the accounts that exhibit the highest buying propensities, sales and marketing teams are able to achieve consistently high conversion rates. It becomes comparatively easier to accurately forecast revenue and set targets. According to research from the Aberdeen Group, companies that are able to produce accurate sales forecasts are 10% more likely to grow their revenue year-over-year and more than 7% more likely to hit quotas.
If you constantly struggle to hit your sales targets (or even if you’re in the enviable position of exceeding sales forecasts), it’s time to consider predictive sales intelligence.
3. Is there close alignment between my sales and marketing teams?
There’s long been a bitter war between sales and marketing teams. The misalignment between sales and marketing affects most companies. According to Forrester Research, a mere 8% of companies have strong alignment between these players. This misalignment can be crippling. Forrester Research has found that organizations with poor alignment between sales and marketing experience a 7% annual revenue decline as compared to organizations with more tightly aligned sales and marketing teams.
Predictive sales intelligence can move waters in terms of achieving sales and marketing alignment. One of the greatest sources of contention between sales and marketing teams is lead quality. Research by ReachForce has found that sales reps ignore 50% of leads passed from marketers. By identifying only the most promising leads among millions, predictive intelligence helps marketers identify the diamonds in the rough. Sales reps, in turn, rejoice at being gifted high-quality leads with high potential to convert. According to Marketo, companies that achieve sales and marketing alignment are 67% more effective at closing deals.
If there’s a strong divide between your sales and marketing teams, consider investigating predictive sales intelligence as a powerful antidote.
All signs indicate that predictive intelligence is here to stay. According to research by Salesforce, high-performing sales organizations are 4x more likely to use predictive analytics, as compared to under-performers. Answering the three aforementioned questions will help you decide whether the time is ripe to jump on the bandwagon.
Interested in learning more about iDatalabs or scheduling a demo? Contact us at [email protected].