7 Signs You Need Advanced Analytics for Salesforce.com (or any CRM)

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1 7 Signs You Need Advanced Analytics for Salesforce.com (or any CRM) and Why They Matter

2 Executive Summary 2 Sure, customer relationship management (CRM) applications provide reports and dashboards. But if you rely on the built-in analytic capabilities of CRM, you re leaving money on the table. Because that s what the information in your CRM system is; it s money. But you can t extract the true value of that information without an analytics application that does the heavy lifting without putting your sales team through hell. You also want your sales team to stay in your CRM application. That was the point. Remember, all CRM, all the time. Directing the team to another application for analytic insight just defeats the purpose. What you need are robust, easy-to-access analytics embedded right in your CRM solution. Following are seven signs that you are not operating efficiently and making reporting and analytics more difficult for your sales team and your business less productive. Don t ignore these seven warning signs. They all carry one message: Yes, you need advanced analytics!

3 3 1. You Export Data into Excel Spreadsheets and Distribute Them to Executives We ve all done it. Excel is cheap, flexible (relatively) and available on everyone s desktop. So, you pull a data extract from Salesforce.com, mash it up with target information, build some Excel macros and ship out a report every Monday to sales management. But there are problems with this approach. It takes most sales operations professionals the better part of a day to cobble the information together. The highly-manual process is an invitation for errors. And the data isn t interactive so it doesn t give anyone real insight into the health of the business. So what if the east region is at 47 percent of its QTD target? Real sales leaders want deeper insight into those numbers: Is the pipeline growing and how quickly? What does pipeline velocity look like compared to last week and last quarter? How does our sales team compare to the benchmarks we ve established? What is our win rate when certain conditions exist or don t exist? What is our cost-of-sales? What percentage of our deals are field-generated vs marketing generated? 2. Your Sales Reporting and Analytics Live Outside Salesforce.com Think about it. Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics, Siebel, SalesLogix and other similar applications are all fairly expensive investments. As a sales operations professional, you ve sold your executive team on the value of that investment better insight into your customers and the health of your business. But the information you put into your CRM is only as valuable as the insight you can get out it. The relationship should be symbiotic. Good data in, great insight out. If you have to drive your sales teams to look some place OTHER than your CRM to get insight into the application information, you re likely to see CRM adoption plummet and, along with it, the quality of its information. Reporting and analysis become less and less useful and the return on your CRM investment takes a dive. Why do this? As an evangelist for CRM, you re likely a huge fan of efficiency. What s less efficient than driving eyeballs to yet another application? Instead, why not provide a true in-app analytics experience on the data that resides inside your CRM?

4 4 3. You Need Data from Other Sources in Your CRM Reporting Your company is great at producing information. You literally create it by the terabyte every day. But it s locked in operational systems like SAP, Marketo, Zuora, Workday, NetSuite and Oracle. So what happened to the 360 degree view cliché we ve been hearing about for almost three decades? Isn t it time to make that a reality? For example, your sales analytics application may help you predict your revenue shortfall for the quarter or the year. That s great. But wouldn t it be better to combine your sales data with your marketing data so you could see which campaigns led to the highest closure rate among deals whose sales cycle was intra-quarter and then redirect marketing to launch those campaigns immediately? Your marketing automation platform will likely tell you which campaigns produced the highest number of leads. Again, that s nice. But what you REALLY need help with is your revenue problem. RIGHT NOW. If your organization is constantly playing the what deals can we discount to pull forward into this quarter game, you re only robbing Peter to pay Paul. What you really need are more highly qualified opportunities to achieve your revenue goals. Otherwise, at the end of next quarter you ll still be robbing Peter to pay Paul. 4. Your Sales Force has Gone Mobile and So Must You If your organization is like ours, your sales people and executives spend most of their time in Seat 34C. And when they re not flying the friendly skies, they re zipping between meetings at customer sites and within your own offices. Although ERP and CRM haven t quite made it into the 2000s, your analytics app absolutely can and should support a mobile workforce. 5. You Need to Provide the Same Insights to Those Without CRM Licenses as You do for Those with Them In every organization, there are dozens of employees if not hundreds or thousands who never enter a single piece of information in your CRM. Yet, they need the same insight into the business that your sales leaders do. So you face a choice. You can either provide them with an expensive CRM license or you can revisit sign #1 above and begin the arduous process of pulling data out of CRM to serve this constituency. In addition to the pain that causes your sales operations folks, doing so invariably creates the risk that your CFO and Vice President of Sales will arrive at a key executive meeting and share completely different numbers. Why? Because the data is not synchronized.

5 5 Is there is another choice? Yes. In fact, there is. Provide the same dashboards and insights to your licensed CRM users via a true in-app experience while simultaneously delivering rich analytics to non-licensed users via a browser or mobile device. Build once, deploy anywhere. It can t get much simpler than that. 6. You Have a Wealth of Historical Sales Data, but You Can t Use it to Help Predict Future Performance For every deal you ve won or lost in the past, there exist a number of factors that influenced the outcome like the number of face-to-face interactions, early access to key decision makers, discounts offered, etc. But, you have no way to leverage that historical information to inform your forecast or modify sales strategy and rep behavior. Market leaders know how to leverage their historical information to perform sophisticated sensitivity analysis. They can predict, down to the rep level, the likelihood a deal will close within the forecasted period. And when end-of-quarter crunch time comes, they KNOW which levers they can pull to affect a positive outcome. They re not just blindly throwing out discounts to create an incentive for poorly qualified deal to close. They re making informed decisions about what resources to deploy and what pricing concessions or contract terms to offer. And they re beating you. If your anxiety level increases exponentially as your quarter draws to a close, maybe it s time to take advantage of all that data to improve your piece of mind and confidently forecast business performance. 7. Your Team Spends More Time Analyzing than Selling The best analysis WILL paralyze a sales team if it s not delivered in a timely, actionable way, IN CONTEXT. Your sales teams need to act quickly and assertively to capitalize on opportunities your data suggests exist. But instead, they re spending their time pouring through dashboards, Excel workbooks and fancy reporting portals. To a rep, pipeline velocity (the number of days each deal resides in each sales stage) isn t valuable in aggregate. What she needs is actionable information about her pipeline, like an exception alert sent to her inbox when a specific deal exceeds the benchmark for days in a particular sales stage, or an alert that describes a missed step in the sales process. Most good sales reps are juggling hundreds of things at once and small details are easy to slip their mind. But, if one was reminded that she has a forecasted deal in sales stage 5 (selected, for example), but has not created an executable contract in her CRM or has not received a countersigned NDA, she might avoid a mad scramble in the last 24 hours of a quarter.

6 6 Or, if her CRM opportunity page notified her that a prospect stopped using their trial version a week ago, she might be able to proactively attack what could be a deal killer before it s too late. The alternative if she s even able to capture and surface this information is for the conscientious rep to pour through dashboards and reports published in a separate analytics portal to find these nuggets. In the process, she s wasted hours analyzing information when that time could have been spent selling. Pay heed to these warning signs. If you see them present in your organization, you can do something about it. If you re frustrated with the state of your sales analytics and are ready to Think Fast, join Birst for a live demonstration of our enterprise-caliber Cloud sales analytics platform at birst.com/livedemo. You will see how Birst can counter these seven signs in less than 30 days. Birst Inc. 153 Kearny Street San Francisco, CA Call toll free: (866) us: About Birst Birst is the only enterprise-caliber Business Intelligence platform born in the cloud - giving business teams the ability and agility to solve real problems. Fast. Engineered with automated data integration and powerful analytics, along with the ease of use of the cloud, Birst is less costly and more flexible than legacy BI and more powerful than Data Discovery. Find out why Gartner named Birst a Challenger in its most recent BI Magic Quadrant and why more than a thousand businesses rely on Birst for their analytic needs. Learn to think fast at and join the

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