Data, driven and integrated with accessible technology has become a key enabler in powering sales professionals worldwide. With a panoply of robust Business Intelligence tools, no sales professional should shake hands with a prospect without analyzing them beforehand. BI tools have enabled sales pros to quickly gather in depth analysis about market dynamics.

We all know that sales is a numbers game. Yet many sales professionals make blind (not driven by data) cold calls everyday hoping to land on the target. But sales folks cannot succeed on their own.

Cue in Business Intelligence tools. These tools are like a cool hand on a fevered brow of a salesman. They offer mobile platforms which enable strategically created reports to be consumed on-the-go which immediately enhances selling strategies. The result of embedding these into the selling paradigm will elevate sales professionals and the companies they represent to even greater heights.

Sales leaders crave for maximum efficiency, and they find that data can help them achieve this. Many believe that real-time, accurate data can help them identify opportunities, analyze, recognize and reward the best performers who have reaped benefits from BI initiatives. A well understood, well thought out BI strategy can help an organization in developing talent, validating forecasts, and throw light on missed market opportunities.

The crux of the argument, these leaders believe, is that better and faster access to real-time, accurate data generates more revenue.

Moving beyond conjecture, a recent poll conducted by Domo, across 400 plus C-level sales executives across a range of industries provided fascinating insights into how these leaders are using data and what they expect from it. 73% of those surveyed said if they have all the data in one place, they would want to consume it more, whereas 66% said that if they had real-time data, they would consume it more.

Well, to put it straight, sales leaders need data to do their jobs well. The survey produced incredible insights into how sales leaders form relationships with data. About 96% have recognized data as being extremely critical to organizational success, while 84% of them heavily rely on data on a daily basis.

The criticality and reliance on data can be worth it only when the said data is real-time (up-to-date). And many leaders are struggling to get real-time data (blame legacy reporting systems or lack of faith in newly invested reporting processes). To sum it up, 90% sales leaders emphasize on real-time access to data, while a whopping 66% fail to get it. 65% claim that it takes too long to receive insights from their data.

When data analysis is not delivered on time, its value plummets immediately. A staggering 66% sales folks receive their sales analysis reports several hours late, while a few among them end up waiting for more than a couple of days to see a report.

Speed is no good if driven in the wrong direction. In the context of strategic reporting, over half of sales leaders (51%) find their data to be inaccurate. This has serious ramifications in not only achieving sales numbers, but in the way organizations are run.

Access to data is not only slow, it’s elusive

In a business environment that is knee-deep in legacy reporting systems, the sales folks rely heavily on either a clustered IT department or a bunch of isolated analysts to crunch data and produce customized reports. Close to 60% sales pros end up waiting for someone else within the organization to gain access to data they need. While a whopping 38% have no access to relevant data.

65% of sales leaders find it difficult to get meaningful insights from their data

Data warehouses hold massive amounts of data (which is nearly dormant). To extract insights from the data lurking beneath, organizations are craving for effective BI initiatives. Nearly 53% sales folks are overwhelmed by the massive amounts of data thrown at them everyday. How can anyone make sense of so much data? 38% of them say they don’t know what to make of so much data.

Problems Sales Leaders have with their Data

They find it frustrating to extrapolate value out of complex data.
Access to data itself is too complex.
Data analysis is slow, many-a-times inaccurate, data is subjected to desktop view. As a whole, data doesn’t instil confidence in sales folks.

Need a Better Way to Consume Data

One major challenge with data is to bring in an efficient BI solution to enable smart decision making. The next hurdle is to make those very insights accessible (especially on-the-go). Accessing all the data via a single system (business intelligence dashboard) is far from reality. While 59% of sales leaders depend on 2 or more systems to track goals and priorities, 8% need to access more than four systems. 92% want to access data in a single mobile dashboard.

Earlier, we touched upon the point where sales folks are dependent on the Analytics department for customized reports. The other extreme is when the sales people end up spending a lot of time generating reports themselves. A staggering 41% of sales leaders are responsible for generating their own reports. While 21% spend an entire day (each week) analyzing reports.

Source: Domo

How do Sales Leaders Rate their Relationship with Data

While potential solutions to business challenges are available in the form of business intelligence, the problem is deriving actionable insights from this data. At present, the survey found only 2% sales leaders rate their relationship with their sales data an A- or better. 83% of respondents gave their organization lower than a B- when it came to leveraging data.

The ability of a sales professional is as good as his/her data. The modern day irony is that these sales professionals find it difficult to gain access to real-time data, all the while, the BI solutions market is peppered with a ton of options to gain insights from existing data.

Sales leaders vouch for the fact that it is the organization’s responsibility to turn data-hungry sales pros into data-savvy selling machines. Imagine the number of cumulative hours the sales reps lose in analyzing report after report, taking their time away from actually selling. Non sales activities deviate sales reps from generating more revenue.

What is required of BI Dashboards

The most important feature of a mobile business intelligence platform is the ability to create custom dashboards. Dashboards give you the ability to organize data sources, reports, and custom objects in a central location that (ideally) stays updated in real time.

Domo, at its core, is a cloud-based dashboarding tool. When they say their platform can serve as an “operating system for your business,” they literally mean it. It can provide insight and visibility into all of your data sources.

Domo dashboards are built with modern day requirements of organizations who are hungry for analyzing data, but who also value seamless UI equally. Domo believes that all verticals within an organization come together to work as a cohesive, engine to achieve common goals. Through relentless market surveys of interviewing many sales leaders, Domo has purpose built its sales (mobile) dashboards with ability to create custom data visualizations.

To know how Domo can add more value to your business, request a Free Consultation