Here at TopOPPS, we LOVE predictive analytics. It shapes the way we operate and we see the benefits that it provides our sales team, every day. In fact, it is the core of what we do and what we help other sales teams do too! Predictive analytics helps us manage our deals, identify holes in our pipeline, and produce accurate sales forecasts quarter after quarter. However, while predictive analytics is everywhere, it is still an early addition to the sales world. In a 2014 Inc.com article titled 'Love or Hate It, Why Predictive Analytics Is The Next Big Thing', Mick Hollison argued that "the most valuable use of predictive analytics is in marketing and sales" so it's a shame that more sales teams don't utilize its benefits. We obviously chose to love predictive analytics and so we want to share why we do and why you should too.
What is Predictive Analytics?
First, it is important to understand what constitutes predictive analytics. As defined by 'Predictive Analytics Today', "Predictive analytics is the branch of the advanced analytics which is used to make predictions about unknown future events." While many definitions can make predictive analytics seem like this magical mystery, predictive analytics takes your data and puts it to work for you by giving you insight into how you will perform in the future based on how you have historically performed. There is no single way of utilizing this type of analytics. Many products incorporate different algorithms for taking into account events in the past that affect your future outcome. That's why, as sales people, we find it is very important to not just create any predictive analytics solution but to create one that is specifically made by and for people in the sales world.
What Can Predictive Analytics Do for Your Sales Team?
As a sales team, you will rack up a ton of data about the opportunities in your pipeline and the things you do to close those opportunities. In fact, the point of having a CRM is to have a place where you store all of that data so that you can look back at it and evaluate how you've been performing. Don't be fooled, the pretty aesthetic of how your data is presented is not the best use of the data. Nor does making graphs and charts with your data necessarily help you decide what to do next, assuming your data is even reliable. That's where predictive analytics comes into action and why we love it so much. For example, with predictive analytics, you have a solution that will give you an accurate forecast for your sales period so that you can take the steps needed to achieve that forecast or proactively intervene to try to save your sales team from missing their forecast. With this information, you can strategize on coaching your sales team, restructuring the deals being worked in your pipeline, or even reallocate resources to try to bring more deals in long before you are at risk of missing your number.
What is the Future of Predictive Analytics?
In the world of sales, there is never enough time to sell. You only have so much time to reach your prospect and to close the deal before the clock on your sales period hits zero. The future of predictive analytics is prescriptive analytics. Prescriptive analytics take the guesswork out of how to optimize the time spent working on a deal or what you need to do to make that predicted forecast number. When you can spend less time analyzing and strategizing because you already have those answers given to you, you have much time to actually sell!
We could go on and on about why we love predictive analytics and why we think every sales team should find a predictive analytics solution best for them. At the end of the day, the best thing about predictive analytics is that it enables us to spend most of our time selling and providing the best services that we can for our prospects. It helps us continuously get better at our jobs and gives sales management a peace of mind when they set the forecast number for the sales period. Instead of just telling you more, please contact us and let us show you what predictive and prescriptive analytics can do for your sales team. We're certain you will be impressed and love it like we do.