Why We Love Predictive Analytics (And You Should, Too!)

Authored by Chisom Uche on August 16, 2016

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 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.

Subscribe to our newsletter!

Leverage these best practices with automation and AI driven by TopOPPS

Learn how our customers are winning with artificial intelligence in their CRM:

  • Predictive Sales Forecasting
  • Automated Pipeline Management
  • Significantly More Updates from Reps

Watch Videos

More Recent Posts:

May 15, 2020

Best Practices For B2B Sales-Sales Pipeline Data & Process Improvement

This blog reviews best practices related to two of the six tactical best practices outlined in the previous blog “Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline”.  It focuses on: The ability to easily update the sales pipeline on a regular basis Sales process review and improvement An accurate sales forecast requires an accurate, timely and always up-to-data sales pipeline.  This data includes up-to-date: sales activity and buyer/seller interactions; buying team members and roles; opportunity descriptors and attributes; and company descriptors and attributes, in the CRM.  It also includes integrated reporting from the CRM to produce the sales pipeline, porting CRM information to Excel is not an option. ...

Pipeline Optimization, Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, sales best practices

April 28, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales - Sales Pipeline

In my original blog in this series “Best Practices for B-2-B Sales,  I outlined five categories of best practices: The previous five blogs in this series, reviewed the best practices related to data.  The next three categories, Sales Process, Opportunity Management and Pipeline Analytics all are driven off of the sales pipeline. This blog introduces 6 different best practices related to the sales pipeline.  These best practices cut across all  three areas. ...

Sales Pipelines, Sales Process, Sales Tools, sales best practices, Sales Pipeline Visibility

April 14, 2020

Avoiding A Horrific June Sales Quarter: Sales Pipeline in Crisis

Our current economic climate feels all too similar to the great recession of 2008.  We knew the story back then, “Work harder and sell less.” That is all we could do, we didn’t have the technology to help mitigate the impact of the great recession by better sales pipeline visibility and better cost control by understanding what is “real” in our sales pipeline. This time around we will have to work just as hard, but if we work smarter with the help of technology we could even the playing field and even sell a bit more. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, AI for Sales, Sales Pipeline Visibility

March 28, 2020

New Times, New Ways to Run the Sales Team!

Jim Eberlin is founder of TopOPPS.  Jim posted this blog on Linkedin.  It was just a few weeks ago that I was preaching that in order to stay on top of things to give my team and customers what they needed, solve problems and make sure things don't fall through the cracks - I had to be in person.  Obviously that has changed - like it or not. ...

Sales Pipeline Management, sales best practices, Sales coaching, Sales One-On-Ones

March 23, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales-Company Attributes

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about accounts [companies] where you have sales opportunities or are targeting for a sales opportunity.     This blog is the fifth blog in the series “Best Practices for B2B Sales”.  The first blog organized the best practices along five key areas. The second blog divided up the first area, data access, into four key areas.  This blog focuses on the last area of data access and collection. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

March 9, 2020

Best Practices for B2B Sales-Opportunity Attributes & Buyer Team Tracking

This blog reviews the tactical best practices for collecting information about a sales opportunity [opportunity attributes] and information about buying team members and roles.  Much of the information about the sales opportunity is not available electronically. The objective is to make it as easy as possible for the sales rep to enter it and provide benefit to the sales rep by presenting it in an intuitive manner to keep both sales reps and sales management up to date on the opportunity. ...

Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices

February 25, 2020

Tactical Best Practices for B2B Sales - Data Access-Sales Interactions

The typical situation we found many of our sales prospects in when they were considering our solution is: Sales reps don’t timely update their sales force automation platform Sales reps don’t have sufficient, timely and accurate information about their sales opportunities Sales Managers don’t have the data they needed to accurately forecast sales for the quarter or coach their direct reports on specific opportunities The end-of-quarter is a mad scramble and there is no visibility into the deals to focus on Forecast accuracy suffered ...

CRM, Sales Tools, AI for Sales, sales best practices

February 11, 2020

Introduction to Best Practices for B2B Sales - Data Access

With all the advances in sales technology and analytics, you would expect sales teams to have all the data they need about each sales opportunity to accurately forecast sales.  However, that isn’t the case.  Research by Bohanec, Kljajic Borstnar and Robnik-Sikonja in the study “Integration of machine learning insights into organizational learning, A case of B2B sales forecasting” found that: ...

Sales Rep, Artificial Intelligence, AI for Sales, best practices