Data Science and Sales Operations: Driving Greater Predictability Together in Uncertain Times

The most successful organizations are finding ways to drive greater certainty into their business through data. Learn how best-in-class Sales Operations functions are leveraging these 5 key impact areas that stem from Sales Operations and Data Science alignment.

For Sales Operations leaders on a calendar year, we are rapidly approaching annual planning season. As if it wasn’t difficult enough to identify where your organization’s growth will be derived from next year while trying to forecast the back-half of the current year accurately, there is now the added complexity of a global pandemic.

In a recent study by Chief Outsiders, 57% of CEOs believe it will take 6 months or longer to fully recover from COVID-19. What’s more, tw0-thirds do not expect to meet stated growth objectives for the year. However unpredictable the remainder of 2020 feels, 2021 is being targeted as a bounce-back year. The question becomes, where is this growth going to come from, and how can I identify it?

Now is the time, more than ever, to show your value to the C-Suite and the Board of how a data-driven revenue plan can have a tangible impact.

Market leaders have Sales Operations teams that lead from the forefront, with actionable, quantifiable insights to drive growth into their commercial organization. Organizations that put a data strategy at the crux of their planning impact the top-line, typically a 5-6% uptick in productivity rates and profitability. Additionally, a study cited 53% of fast-growing companies effectively utilize and action analytics.

It’s clear that Sales Ops leaders that effectively drive data insights into strategy realize more significant results. The question becomes, what is their secret? The answer is partnering with their Company’s Data Science team to generate the insights needed to bring greater predictability to revenue growth. With the advancement of analytical tools (e.g., Alteryx), Sales Operations leaders have been able to bring needle-moving insights like never before to their CROs. 

With so much uncertainty ahead, it’s time for you to drive greater alignment with your analytical counterparts. Download SBI’s data strategy assessment and step-by-step guide to account prioritization to start driving action for your organization now.

5 Impact Areas of Data Science and Sales Operations Alignment:

  1. Aligning the Appropriate Route to Market to the Right Accounts: It’s no secret that the power has shifted to buyers in B2B sales. However, many organizations are still struggling to leverage data to align with their buyer preference. Market-leading Sales Operations leaders are using analytics to ensure the right Routes to Market are assigned to accounts that prefer to buy from that sales channel.
  2. Increasing Up/Cross-Sell to the Install Base: Most organizations have a variety of products and solutions to position to their install base to land and expand. However, many still struggle with how to give data-driven insights to the field on which product to position next within an account. Assigning propensity-to-buy scores at a product-level significantly increases a reps’ ability to cross-sell.
  3. Reduce the Risk of Customer Churn: Retention is the new growth in a recession. While it is critical to identify the “go-get” within new logos and existing customers, it is equally important to retain the recurring revenue stream. Advanced analytical capabilities can identify clients that pose a high risk to churn. With this insight, you can direct your Customer Success function to ensure you do not lose high-valued accounts that the sales organization has worked tirelessly to acquire and expand your company’s footprint.
  4. Identification of Highest Potential New Logo Opportunities: While retaining and expanding existing accounts typically derives a significant percentage of company revenue, the efficacy of new logo acquisition is often the difference between making or missing the number. Ensure your hunter reps are prioritizing the right accounts by working with your data science team to conduct purchase intent modeling.
  5. Increased forecast accuracy: While annual planning is drawing near, do not lose sight of closing FY20 strong. Historical close rates are likely meaningless for most given the economic conditions COVID-19 has created. Work with your data science team to drive real-time insights on win probability indicators within the Fiscal Year to inform how to forecast H2.

Now more than ever, sales leaders are in need of data-driven guidance to get to the number. Start working with Data Science to generate the insights that will bring clarity to your CRO in a murky future. Get started by downloading SBI’s data strategy assessment and step-by-step guide to account prioritization. The assessment will help clarify where your organization’s data strategy is relative to best practice and where opportunity areas exist. Then leverage the second section to ensure you are effectively prioritizing accounts with analytical insights.

Need help getting started? Join our Inspire Others LinkedIn Community to ask your peers how they are leveraging data science for greater revenue predictability.