Gartner Research Director Todd Berkowitz finds that “SaaS-based predictive analytics applications are helping B2B salespeople and marketers more effectively generate demand and win deals.”(1)
While many marketing departments at B2C and B2B companies have been using predictive analytics for several years or more, adoption has been slower at sales teams. To prepare forecasts, many salespeople still export from Salesforce or other CRM software to Excel sheets. Many sales development reps or other inside sales leads are required by fixed rules to call new leads within 24 hours, no matter how unlikely some leads are to ever buy.
What's been missing is software that offer prescriptive advice: who are you best leads and opportunities, who should you call today, and what percent of your pipeline will realistically close this quarter.
Current use of predictive analytics is comparatively low among B2B sales teams, but sales leaders across the board value adding it as a sales function. Sales trainer John Barrows notes in his blog: "With predictive analytics I’m starting to see tools that are looking at your pipeline and proactively identify deals that are in danger and providing recommendations on what to do."
2016 should be a major year for adoption of predictive sales analytics by B2B sales teams. When Salesforce surveyed 2,300 sales leaders earlier in 2015, they found a 58% increase in planned sales analytics use from 2015 to 2016.(2) Compared to a year ago, more than twice as many sales teams are piloting or planning to use predictive analytics in the next 12–18 months, representing 135% growth.
With this rise in new technologies making it easier for reps to derive real-time insights, sales organizations are expected to widely increase and improve their predictive sales analytics capabilities.
There's little doubt that predictive sales analytics can add value. According to the Salesforce data, high-performing sales teams are 8x more likely than under-performers to rate their predictive analytics capabilities as outstanding or very good. Of the high-performing sales teams, 33% are already using predictive analytics software like DxContinuum SalesSuite, while 25% are piloting or plan to use predictive analytics within the next 12-18 months.
If your sales team is new to predictive analytics, or has struggled in the past with finding the right solution that fits your specific needs, DxContinuum has prepared a 5-step process that can help you get started. You can look through and download the Slideshare, or you are welcome to contact us for advice on how your sales team can best benefit from predictive analytics.
(1) Gartner, “Market Guide for SaaS-based Predictive Analytics Applications for B2B Sales and Marketing”, Todd Berkowitz, 23 January 2015, G00271490.
(2) Salesforce, "State of Sales 2015". A free copy of the Salesforce report is available here.