3 tips for launching your B2B sales analytics program


Rowan Tonkin

Head of Sales and Marketing Solutions

Companies today are using B2B sales analytics in new and valuable ways. As a strategic consultant to many B2B businesses worldwide, Periscope by McKinsey has seen firsthand how new analytics tools, strategies, and best practices help such businesses achieve and advance their sales revenue goals. By looking at the experiences of others, organizations just beginning this process can learn to apply sales analytics to their own situation while taking practical steps to help their strategy succeed.

Check the numbers

There’s a strong correlation between companies that are leveraging analytics and those that grow their revenues and make their sales more productive. According to surveys conducted by McKinsey and Salesforce, 55 percent of successful or fast-growing sales organizations say that analytics are absolutely critical to their strategy, compared to 7 percent of underperformers. The takeaway? Now—not later—is the time to adopt a sales analytics mindset.

Real-world use cases

Periscope by McKinsey’s clients have successfully applied B2B sales analytics to a variety of use cases. Such analytics technology can now enable features such as:

  • Collaborative filtering, where companies source and recommend customer buying suggestions
  • Dynamic deal-scoring, where organizations assess and adjust deals on a deal-by-deal basis

Businesses also use sales analytics to inform a next-product-to-buy scenario, where they look for patterns in customer buying behavior and run predictive analytics to see how they can cross-sell.

In this latter scenario, Periscope by McKinsey helped a post and parcel company devise a cross-sell technique that reaped an impressive 500 percent increase in revenue for the selected pilot area versus a control group.

3 tips to get your analytics strategy off the ground

There are numerous stages that go into developing and rolling out a successful sales analytics solution. Here are three useful tips to help you get started:

1. Share your data. Many organizations have massive volumes of data, yet fail to share it internally due to concerns over data integrity. Fortunately, perfect data isn’t required for an effective analytics strategy. Indeed, more people using and viewing data means they can improve and add value to it over time. The best thing a company can do is to get their data out there and into use.

2. Bring together the right people and technology. The ability to take data and generate insights depends on having the right people in place, with the right tools at their disposal. The best-performing companies tend to have a small, highly trained analytics team comprised of analytics leaders, data strategists, data scientists, and data analysts. To ensure their success, they look for technology that aggregates data into one central place to support collaboration and data sharing—all key strengths of Anaplan’s platform.

3. Align analytics with sales compensation. Once sales analytics have been translated into a plan of action, you’ll need to operationalize your campaign and align it with sales compensation. The front line can make or break your entire analytics-driven initiative, so incorporate specific incentives into compensation packages to ensure success.

Commercial sales analytics is still evolving

Given constantly improving technologies, even the most advanced B2B commercial sales analytics programs often just scratch the surface of what’s possible. Periscope by McKinsey expects high-performing B2B companies to continue developing different use cases and strategies for sales analytics over time.

The other good news is that a valuable sales analytics program can be implemented using a much smaller budget, in a much smaller timeframe, than many other corporate initiatives. If you’re interested in quickly seeing results, sales analytics is an outstanding place to start.

To learn more from Periscope by McKinsey about B2B commercial sales analytics, check out their session from Hub San Francisco.