Innovation starts with asking “Why?”

May 19, 2017

Turning data into actionable decisions.

The emergence of self-service Business Intelligence (BI) has challenged the status quo of most Sales Information Systems (SIS). Traditional BI is slow, rigid, and time-consuming requiring expert knowledge and usually involves significant information technology (IT) department resources. The latest generation of BI tools have empowered stakeholders and non-stakeholders alike to make better sales management decisions leveraging operational and situational intelligence.

The reduction in the time between data acquisition and data analysis has led to improvements in operational decision making and enables businesses to take faster action when certain internal events occur. The integration of unstructured outside data with highly structured internal data has led to better situational decision making and enables businesses to take appropriate action when external events occur. Self-service BI enables end users to analyze and visualize operational and situational information without the need for IT professionals using tools that are far friendlier, intuitive, and often easy-to-use than transaction system interfaces and reporting capabilities.

But, there’s a catch.

When it comes to analyzing sales data, there is the potential to see things incorrectly. Not because the data is wrong but failing to have a deep understanding of the sales process. The growing volume of corporate data and complexity of today’s sales landscape makes manual analysis virtually impossible. As does the technical intricacy of accessing company data in the pursuit of real insights into customer behavior (buyers versus non-buyers) and transactional patterns (one-time and recurring buying trends).

Simon Sinek in his TED Talk “Start With Why” explains that inspired leaders and organizations regardless of their size or industry all think, act and communicate from the inside out. They start with “why” – this is the hallmark of sales executives at innovative companies.

The holy grail is to answer “why” in the quest to explain customer behavior both in the moment and over time. And once determined, to predict which customers exhibit similar behaviors now and in the future.

Fast growing companies are looking to turn their rapidly expanding data lakes into actionable decisions that deepen relationships with customers. A sales lab is the best place to test, measure, and analyze optimized sales tactics and strategies for sales funnel management. A sales lab empowers sales executives to:

  1. Test approaches that engage with buyers in new and unconventional ways using social selling, account-based marketing, predictive sales techniques, or artificial intelligence.
  2. Measure the results to discover the optimal sequences for fluid communi-cadence with buyer personas.
  3. Acquire best-in-class training, playbooks, and technologies that increase sales pipelines at target accounts.

Uncovering sales successes depends on how well and how fast companies spot new and changing trends while responding to changes in customer behavior. Reshaping how businesses complete and win requires actionable insights into when and how to connect with customers – the right message delivered at the right time in the right medium about the right product.

If you are a sales executive looking to uncover and validate the best approach to acquiring, growing, or retaining your customer base, visit our Sales Innovation Lab at to learn more.