Analytics: The Choice of the Next Generation

Data, you have too much of it. It isn't clean. It's challenging to manage. Everybody wants to understand it. Clients I work with come from a world that has had systems grown in-house that try to meet the rising needs and challenges. Requirements from the sales organization call for more control and improved clarity to keep pace with the competition.

My recent work with a large food, snack, and beverage corporation is the perfect example. The team was unsure if they were designing the correct quota for the right territory or if everyone was getting a fair quota for their territory. They had the data. Too much data. Data that wasn't clean. Confidence was low.

In the attempt to use homegrown or other analytics tools planning their territories, how they should plan their quotas, they would ultimately do it. But it was extremely time-consuming.

What I hear from global companies of this size and scale is you can take four to six months for planning, and when the plan is complete, half is potentially a guessing game. They really didn't have the fundamentals covered at the start. They were missing a solution with clean sales data, with the capabilities to go in and ask, "What happens if we change this territory to this quota." "What if we align a SPIFF with this product at this time of the year?" They never could do the fundamental shaping and scrubbing, to get to the advanced work of planning and analyzing. It was all a best guess.

Providing your team the ability to make a data-driven decision is the goal. Give them a single source of the truth. Deliver a system that can capture clean and relevant data allows them the ability to spend time on higher-value activities. Activities that can transform the revenue of a business, transform job roles, specify products each sales rep focuses on, especially in which territories and what time of the year.

Systems like this take the admins away from going deep into redundant time-wasting cycles. It moves them away from being data custodians or curators and offers the power for individual ownership. This next generation of analytics will make your team superheroes to sales.