BI and Sales: Think BI is the Key to Crushing Your Number? Think Again!

This is the third part in our series (read part 1, part 2) on general-purpose BI versus Purpose-Built BI for Sales. Download the Purpose-Built BI eBook.

When you learn about BI, you hear things like,

“Quickly and easily connect to multiple data sources.”

“Get a complete view of your data across the company.”

“Save countless hours with automated reports.”

Sounds pretty good, huh? If you could get a quick look at your pipeline across regions, know every deal that changed stage last week, or see the complete email and meeting history reps have with prospects, you wouldn’t have to wait for the forecast call to know your region inside out. Man, that would be great, right?

But BI just doesn’t work that way. It doesn’t work that way because general-purpose BI doesn’t fit sales.

Let’s start with forecasting. It relies on a phrase we all use: management judgment. You’ve got plenty of that from years of leading, sourcing, and coaching on deals. When you get a rollup, you push it down when you know a big deal looks sketchy – or you take it up because the Northeast always sandbags. But as you move from RVP to VP to SVP, it’s harder to stay close to deals. Predictive analytics is the way to expose which make-or-break deals are on track versus off the rails.

But calling the number is only half the goal for a sales exec. You also have to make or exceed the number. The same data science showing you a deal is at risk should be able to tell you (and your team) what you need to do immediately to right the boat. In the bigger picture, data science should tell you which activities your top reps do that others don’t. Once you know this, you and your managers are in a better position to coach the team on how to bring in the deals you need this quarter and ensure a healthy pipeline next quarter.

Your next question’s probably, “How long will this take to work for me?” That’s where the “purpose-built” in “Purpose-Built BI for Sales” comes in.

When BI is designed for sales, you get value “right out of the box.”

You get new insight into your pipeline and at-risk deals in minutes, not weeks.

  1. Every person on the team – from you to your reps – gets value in minutes.
  2. The BI tool for sales knows how to reach into sources like email, calendar, CRM and more to get the data it needs.
  3. It includes predictive analytics that are already a fit for forecasting and deal management.
  4. And the user experience – on laptop or phone – matches the speed (and distractions) of selling.

Traditional BI can’t claim any of those – not a single one.

The promise of BI for a sales exec was supposed to be to help in calling the number more accurately and making the number more easily. But only purpose-built BI for sales pays off that promise – and does it in time to make a difference this quarter.

I already said BI for Sales should give you value and insight in a minute. How about making me prove that? Give us 5-10 minutes to show you – you’ll never again be satisfied with the tools you use today to forecast and drive revenue.

Up next: The three broad capabilities that are critical parts of any BI system purpose-built for sales: collect, analyze and act. But you don’t have to wait: download the complete eBook on the difference between general-purpose BI and BI for Sales.

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