New BIA/Kelsey Report: Using Data to Optimize Sales Organizations

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Sales team composition is changing across all industries as information technology concentrates decision-making data in the hands of sales managers. Consequently, there are far more sales managers than at any time in history while the number of supporting roles, such as administrative assistants, auditors and accounting staff, are declining. The only other role projected to grow over the next decade, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, is salespeople.

This week, BIA/Kelsey released “Investing in the Sales Process — Coaching and Metrics for Success,” an examination of Sales Enablement Platforms, an emerging class of software-as-a-service. These platforms provide sales managers a broad spectrum of information and tools for increasing the performance of salespeople. Typically delivered as a cloud-hosted dashboard, these platforms help sales management avoid unwanted turnover and identify training opportunities that increase sales, as well as with finding, hiring and onboarding sales staff over the course of their time with a company.

“A data-driven talent management system is an integral part of building (or changing) a company culture,” said C. Lee Smith, founder and CEO of SalesFuel, which sponsored free distribution of the white paper. “A positive sales culture is essential to not only keeping the high performing reps on your staff, but also in recruiting quality talent as well. Millenials, in particular, look for companies that take their development seriously.”

The report profiles today’s sales environment where it is critical salespeople are motivated, on-task and experts in their product/service category. This requirement is supported by BIA/Kelsey’s recent advertiser survey, Local Commerce Monitor™ (LCM), that reveals that 44.5 percent of advertisers say it’s “extremely important” to meet in-person with a “knowledgeable” sales rep before making a decision.

As the requirement for highly-trained sales reps grows, significant challenges are facing today’s sales environment. The report explores how the number of sales managers will rise faster than salespeople, yet the number of people supporting those managers has dropped across the board. In particular, the report reveals administrative assistant positions have fallen by 25.43 percent in the sales-intensive insurance industry. Similarly, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, insurance accounting staffing (-15.25 percent), direct sales supervisors and support workers (-9.71 percent), and underwriters with actuarial skills (-13.99 percent) are all part of a diminishing workforce.

In this rapidly evolving environment, Sales Enablement Plaforms allow the sales process to be examined and fine-tuned by managers with the help of smarter data tools. They wield an incredible advantage for sales leaders who can then use the information to develop internal sales methodologies that put the customer at the center of all activity while keeping revenue goals at the forefront.

Download the free paper here.

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