Help Sales Close Deals Faster with Predictive Analytics
By Peter Guy on September 10
Want to help your sales team close more deals this quarter? Predictive analytics can give you results in a week or two.
I have been working directly with sales leaders for over six years and one of my favorite things is the look of surprise and joy on their faces when I show them the immediate impact predictive lead and account scoring can deliver to them.
See, sales leaders actually have very few tools available to them in general, and even fewer that can provide in quarter impact. While marketing is doing their job getting prospects into the funnel, sales leaders are looking carefully at that pipeline and at the calendar. They need their army of sales reps to hit their targets in the next 1-90 days, and there aren’t that many things they can do to help. Hollering at marketing for more leads won’t help this quarter’s sales revenue so they turn their attention to the bottom of the funnel and try to coach and cajole their reps into closing these deals as soon as humanly possible. There is a lot of focus on making sure every viable opportunity is chased and helping to unlock barriers to those that are stuck.
Predictive Lead Scoring
But there is another tool at their disposal and that is using analytics to surface hot but hidden leads that are earlier in the funnel. Here on the Digital Bridge we often talk about the “middle funnel black hole” where scores of valuable leads get lost due to poor qualification and marketing-sales handoff. However, our experience is that there is considerable value in the middle of the funnel – deals that could be closed right now. If only there was an easy way to sift through the rock and find the gold.
This is where predictive lead scoring comes in. Using the data you already have and some readily-available external data, you can use data science to find the leads that are likely to close right now. It’s important to understand that with the right guidance it usually takes a lot less time than people expect. Even if your customer data looks like a dog’s breakfast or you are resource-constrained, there are some quick tricks that can get your data ready to be analyzed. Common and somewhat standardized analytical approaches can then be applied to show you your best prospects. Within literally weeks, you can have your best sales talent focusing on the deals most likely to buy this quarter, and armed with the content they need to do so.
I have yet to see this solution not have an impact for a sales team and in many cases I’ve seen it deliver 15 – 25% of incremental revenue in one quarter.
The reality is, it doesn’t take months or years to make this happen. You can get your data right and start delivering predictive lead and account scoring to your reps in weeks. It may take longer to get everything perfect, but sales teams don’t need perfect. They need results. So as you’re meeting with your teams and anxiously debating the best ways to close the gap in your sales targets this quarter – or this year – remember that you have another powerful tool in your arsenal. You don’t have to frantically hunt for new leads or harass existing ones. With a little bit of data and some math, you can see incremental revenue this quarter by unlocking the gold in the middle of your funnel.
Want to learn more about the power of predictive analytics? Download our whitepaper How to Leverage Predictive Analytics in B2B Organizations Today!