Last year, the average win rate of forecast sales deals was at 45.9%, which was 0.2% higher than 2013 but still far lower than, say, 15 years ago.
The point is – sales is tough, and getting tougher. Sales methods have changed dramatically in a short period of time, becoming predominantly technology and data-focused and more reliant on research prior to conversations being initiated with potential clients.
According to Salesforce’s first State of Sales report, a huge part of this technological evolution is said to have come via the increasing reliance on sales analytics tools to deliver customer insight.
Salesforce’s report surveyed more than 2,300 sales leaders worldwide to find a correlation between the highest performing sales teams and their extended use of sales analytics.
Indeed, high-performing sales teams are three times more likely to be using sales analytics to drive sales than those under-performing teams.
For these leading teams, analytics are stated to provide more visibility into accounts and help dictate where to focus energy for the most productive customer and prospect conversations.
And the use of predictive analytics tools, which looks at historical and current data to make forward-looking predictions, are already a key part of the sales team skillset, too. Among the companies surveyed, 19% are currently using predictive analytics, but adoption is expected to grow by 135% over the next 12-18 months.
“Data analysis helps sales teams make more informed decisions and find improvement opportunities,” the report states.
“The best sales teams not only collect customer data, they also analyse and act upon that data to make more informed, behaviour-based decisions that fuel customer success.”
In the report, the type of information sales professionals stated they most commonly explored included revenue by quarter, year-over-year sales rep productivity and opportunity conversion rates to surface undiscovered trends and pinpoint areas to focus on to maximise future growth.
Chris is Editor of MyCustomer. He is a practiced editor, having worked as a copywriter for creative agency, Stranger Collective from 2009 to 2011 and subsequently as a journalist covering technology, marketing and customer service from 2011-2014 as editor of Business Cloud News. He joined MyCustomer in 2014.