Click here to close now.

Welcome!

@MicroservicesE Blog Authors: Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, XebiaLabs Blog

Related Topics: @MicroservicesE Blog, Microsoft Cloud, Open Source Cloud, Agile Computing

@MicroservicesE Blog: Article

Can Sales Analytics Improve Your Bottom Line?

New technology gives sales teams the data they need to close the deal

It has never been more important or difficult than it is today for sales people to make sure their messages are reaching their target audience. This is because potential customers are bombarded with a deluge of information everyday. They filter a growing amount of phone calls, scan endless amounts of email, and are often drowned in the constant tide of social media updates, text messages, alerts and reminders. For most salespeople, the once simple task of making sure their message is reaching the right people is now a daunting, seemingly impossible endeavor. Even with the ever-expanding options of communication and analytical tools available to sales professionals, the most well-connected sales teams have difficulty understanding what is working to engage customers and what isn't.

The underlying issue is that it's impossible to know what resonates with customers when they don't provide feedback. And that's exactly the problem sales professionals are up against today. A new generation of sales analytics tools provide a solution because they are designed to give feedback to sales professionals by illustrating what shared information is actually being consumed, by who, from where and when. In short, sales analytics help figure out what works and what doesn't when it comes to engaging with potential customers.

Useful sales analytics are garnered from algorithms that track access to sales materials, interactions with those materials and even re-sharing of materials. This new technology shines a light on an otherwise blind part of the sales process. When sales professionals can access this type of information, it gives them the feedback they long for and the answers to their biggest questions:

  • What information is being looked at?
  • Who is looking at the information?
  • Where are prospects looking at information?
  • When are prospects viewing information?

Answers to the above questions help sales professionals gain invaluable insight as to which sales materials are most helpful at each phase of the sales cycle. With today's sales analytics technology, it's possible to know when a prospect viewed information, what they viewed and if they shared it with anyone else. This equips sales professionals with the data they need to pursue stage appropriate follow-up with prospects immediately after they view sales materials.

Sales analytics also help sales leaders understand how their sales teams are engaging prospects and customers throughout the sales process. According to a recent survey conducted by Forrester Research, sales leaders have poor visibility into where and how their reps and partners sell, with only six percent reporting they were very confident they had accurate visibility into their team's sales process. Over half of sales leaders surveyed reported that they were either "somewhat" or "very" unconfident in the visibility of their sales team's activity. Sales analytics make it possible to stay in the loop on sales team activity from lead follow-up all the way through to close. It's a win-win situation for all sales team members.

Sales analytics are created by a new generation of sales engagement platforms. A sales engagement platform is a selling tool for direct and channels sales professionals that focuses on creating, measuring and analyzing online engagement between sales professionals and customers or prospects. Incorporating a sales engagement solution is the first step towards a more highly integrated sales division that can eventually lead to predictive sales forecasts and insightful employee training.

In today's sales ecosystem, barriers or "silos" form within organizational departments, most typically between the marketing and sales teams. These silos prevent effective communication between the departments causing inefficiency and departmental isolation within companies. Sales engagement solutions contribute to interdepartmental collaboration through the use of communication tools, workspaces, shared materials and shared data. If the marketing team has found success through one tactic, that helpful information is shared directly to the sales team through the engagement platform. In this way, company-wide analytics show what's really working to engage customers and prospects, taking the unnecessary guesswork out of the equation and leading to a more efficient sales process.

Some useful sales engagement platforms are:

When using sales engagement analytics, teams have the ability to see which people and materials are getting the best results with prospects. With this information, organizations can analyze buyer behavior and optimize their sales processes. Sales analytics eliminate the blind spots between sales leads and the close of a sale enabling sales teams to take the feedback they've received from the engagement analytics and adjust their tactics accordingly. This process of tweaking the sales process based on feedback from analytics leads to a more efficient sales cycle and increases the bottom line.

More Stories By Laura Lilyquist

Laura Lilyquist is a leading technology and marketing expert with a passion for innovation. She is currently Vice President of Marketing at LiveHive, where she is responsible for global marketing strategy, communications, and business planning.

For the past 20 years, Laura has successfully launched and marketed a myriad of first generation technologies across the globe, beginning with Sun Microsystem’s earliest networking products. She played a key role in the revolution of digital video, from marketing early desktop video to deploying a new generation of digital TV. Laura also drove some of the earliest mobile apps as a corporate investor and business developer.

Despite her strong left-brain focus, Ms. Lilyquist keeps her right-brain sharp with her love of design. Whether in fashion, interiors or gardens, she always has a design project underway, mirroring her eye for best form in marketing. She received her B.A. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@MicroservicesExpo Stories
DevOps tends to focus on the relationship between Dev and Ops, putting an emphasis on the ops and application infrastructure. But that’s changing with microservices architectures. In her session at DevOps Summit, Lori MacVittie, Evangelist for F5 Networks, will focus on how microservices are changing the underlying architectures needed to scale, secure and deliver applications based on highly distributed (micro) services and why that means an expansion into “the network” for DevOps.
Conferences agendas. Event navigation. Specific tasks, like buying a house or getting a car loan. If you've installed an app for any of these things you've installed what's known as a "disposable mobile app" or DMA. Apps designed for a single use-case and with the expectation they'll be "thrown away" like brochures. Deleted until needed again. These apps are necessarily small, agile and highly volatile. Sometimes existing only for a short time - say to support an event like an election, the Wor...
Containers have changed the mind of IT in DevOps. They enable developers to work with dev, test, stage and production environments identically. Containers provide the right abstraction for microservices and many cloud platforms have integrated them into deployment pipelines. DevOps and Containers together help companies to achieve their business goals faster and more effectively. In his session at DevOps Summit, Ruslan Synytsky, CEO and Co-founder of Jelastic, reviewed the current landscape of...
The cloud has transformed how we think about software quality. Instead of preventing failures, we must focus on automatic recovery from failure. In other words, resilience trumps traditional quality measures. Continuous delivery models further squeeze traditional notions of quality. Remember the venerable project management Iron Triangle? Among time, scope, and cost, you can only fix two or quality will suffer. Only in today's DevOps world, continuous testing, integration, and deployment upend...
Discussions about cloud computing are evolving into discussions about enterprise IT in general. As enterprises increasingly migrate toward their own unique clouds, new issues such as the use of containers and microservices emerge to keep things interesting. In this Power Panel at 16th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists addressed the state of cloud computing today, and what enterprise IT professionals need to know about how the latest topics and trends affect t...
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Summer is finally here and it’s time for a DevOps summer vacation. From San Francisco to New York City, our top summer conferences list is going to continuously deliver you to the summer destinations of your dreams. These DevOps parties are hitting all the hottest summer trends with Microservices, Agile, Continuous Delivery, DevSecOps, and even Continuous Testing. Move over Kanye. These are the top 5 Summer DevOps Conferences of 2015.
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
"Plutora provides release and testing environment capabilities to the enterprise," explained Dalibor Siroky, Director and Co-founder of Plutora, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @DevOpsSummit, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
Containers are changing the security landscape for software development and deployment. As with any security solutions, security approaches that work for developers, operations personnel and security professionals is a requirement. In his session at DevOps Summit, Kevin Gilpin, CTO and Co-Founder of Conjur, will discuss various security considerations for container-based infrastructure and related DevOps workflows.
Cloud Migration Management (CMM) refers to the best practices for planning and managing migration of IT systems from a legacy platform to a Cloud Provider through a combination professional services consulting and software tools. A Cloud migration project can be a relatively simple exercise, where applications are migrated ‘as is’, to gain benefits such as elastic capacity and utility pricing, but without making any changes to the application architecture, software development methods or busine...
Data center models are changing. A variety of technical trends and business demands are forcing that change, most of them centered on the explosive growth of applications. That means, in turn, that the requirements for application delivery are changing. Certainly application delivery needs to be agile, not waterfall. It needs to deliver services in hours, not weeks or months. It needs to be more cost efficient. And more than anything else, it needs to be really, dc infra axisreally, super focus...
The most often asked question post-DevOps introduction is: “How do I get started?” There’s plenty of information on why DevOps is valid and important, but many managers still struggle with simple basics for how to initiate a DevOps program in their business. They struggle with issues related to current organizational inertia, the lack of experience on Continuous Integration/Delivery, understanding where DevOps will affect revenue and budget, etc. In their session at DevOps Summit, JP Morgenthal...
Overgrown applications have given way to modular applications, driven by the need to break larger problems into smaller problems. Similarly large monolithic development processes have been forced to be broken into smaller agile development cycles. Looking at trends in software development, microservices architectures meet the same demands. Additional benefits of microservices architectures are compartmentalization and a limited impact of service failure versus a complete software malfunction. ...
Many people recognize DevOps as an enormous benefit – faster application deployment, automated toolchains, support of more granular updates, better cooperation across groups. However, less appreciated is the journey enterprise IT groups need to make to achieve this outcome. The plain fact is that established IT processes reflect a very different set of goals: stability, infrequent change, hands-on administration, and alignment with ITIL. So how does an enterprise IT organization implement change...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists discussed how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations migh...
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Mashape is bringing real-time analytics to microservices with the release of Mashape Analytics. First built internally to analyze the performance of more than 13,000 APIs served by the mashape.com marketplace, this new tool provides developers with robust visibility into their APIs and how they function within microservices. A purpose-built, open analytics platform designed specifically for APIs and microservices architectures, Mashape Analytics also lets developers and DevOps teams understand w...
Buzzword alert: Microservices and IoT at a DevOps conference? What could possibly go wrong? In this Power Panel at DevOps Summit, moderated by Jason Bloomberg, the leading expert on architecting agility for the enterprise and president of Intellyx, panelists peeled away the buzz and discuss the important architectural principles behind implementing IoT solutions for the enterprise. As remote IoT devices and sensors become increasingly intelligent, they become part of our distributed cloud envir...
Sumo Logic has announced comprehensive analytics capabilities for organizations embracing DevOps practices, microservices architectures and containers to build applications. As application architectures evolve toward microservices, containers continue to gain traction for providing the ideal environment to build, deploy and operate these applications across distributed systems. The volume and complexity of data generated by these environments make monitoring and troubleshooting an enormous chall...