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How Analytics are Transforming B2B Sales

Suresh BalasubramanianIn this special guest feature, Suresh Balasubramanian of LiveHive presents three reason why sales acceleration tools are becoming so vital to sales organizations. Suresh is CEO for LiveHive, Inc., whose sales acceleration platform automates sales follow-up to increase buyer engagement insights that power repeatable sales processes. He is a seasoned software industry executive with more than 20 years of operations and senior management experience. Before LiveHive, Suresh served as CEO for Armor5, and GM worldwide at Adobe Software.

Emerging sales technologies that integrate analytics and advanced automation capabilities are starting to transform the B2B sales landscape – and sales acceleration tools represent one of the fastest growing segments in the market.

Sales acceleration tools leverage deep engagement analytics and advanced automation to give sales organizations a one-two punch. They provide greater understanding about prospects and how to engage with them plus a big boost in sales productivity and efficiency. According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, best-in-class companies that are adopting these types of tools have seen a reduction in sales cycles of nearly 20%.

There are a few reasons why sales acceleration has become so vital to sales organizations – and why this technology is getting so much attention.

#1. Buyer expectations have changed

The instant access to online data, choice, and convenience that have become staples in the consumer world have raised the expectations of B2B buyers – and what they want from a sales experience. According to McKinsey & Company, today’s buyers expect sales organizations to know about the technology trends that affect their business and where they are in the buying process. Buyers expect value personalized to their specific needs. And if they don’t get it, it’s easier than ever for B2B buyers to switch to a different provider or service. With customers able to continuously evaluate solutions, the customer experience has become a key business differentiator.

#2. Existing technologies can’t meet new buyer expectations

Today’s marketing automation and CRM systems don’t deliver a complete buyer picture. To fill the growing expectations of the modern customer requires more buyer-side insights. With deeper behavioral insights into a customer’s interests and interest level, sales acceleration tools help complete the customer picture.

These insights help guide sales reps in navigating today’s changed buyer journey. With engagement analytics, they can see which prospects are the most active and spot the areas that matter most to them through interactions with their content. This lets sales teams focus on the most promising opportunities and engage in a way that better serves customers – and not bother prospects that aren’t interested.

#3. Sales acceleration tools help drive prescriptive behaviors

Descriptive analytics have long played a role in sales. When the quarter closes, there’s always a lot of looking back at what happened and why. But – by that time – it’s too late! If you missed the number, there’s no way to change that.

It stands to reason that sales organizations get more value with analytics that help tell them what they should do – rather than what they should have done.

With their ability to help build a more prescriptive sales organization, sales acceleration technologies deliver a game changer. With prescriptive selling, companies can take advantage of analytics to determine what should be done – when and how – based on what has been proven successful in the past.

Based on analytics, sales organizations can create processes that tell sales reps the best course of action, the best messaging, and the best timing to engage with particular types of prospects.

These technologies shed light on team performance and the most successful approaches so they can be easily repeated throughout the sales organization. Sales acceleration tools give the insight into how to improve the customer experience as it happens – rather than watching a replay of what went wrong.

 

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