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Guide to Selecting Sales Analytics Software Tools

Guide to Selecting Sales Analytics Software Tools

Guide to Selecting Sales Analytics Software Tools

Organizations that aim to make the most out of Analytics to drive business and top line focus on Marketing Analytics and Sales Analytics. While the penetration and the adoption of Analytics in Marketing is almost as old as the adoption of analytics in business, Sales Analytics is an area that holds tremendous potential.

Sales Analytics Framework has several components and software is one of its key components. Here’s a ‘Guide to Select Sales Analytics Software Tools’:

Differentiation between Sales Analytics and Sales Reporting/Sales Intelligence

While selecting Sales Analytics Software Tools, there needs to be clarity and not ambiguity about what we wish to accomplish from the tool. Many misunderstand Sales Reporting and Sales Intelligence tools to be capable of performing advanced analytics such as Predictive or Prescriptive Analytics. While existing tools are constantly adding new functionality, it isn’t in the remit of reporting tools to perform advanced analytics.

It is good to start with reporting and intelligence tools and ripe the full benefits of better reporting before exploring advanced analytics capabilities for sales.

For example:

  • SQL Server Reporting Service can be used to build dashboards for sales data for sales process management
  • Sisense is a reporting tool with vast visualization capability for data that can used to manage the process
  • Tableau Desktop Tool and Microstrategy Tool are capable of performing a variety of visual analysis such as trend analysis, study relationship between various factors or segments, etc that enable decision making. The purpose is to enable the users to discover insights, answer questions to drive performance.
  • Alteryx Analytics Tool and TIBCO Spotfire are capable of performing advanced descriptive and predictive analytics such as scatter plot, association analysis, logistic regression, decision tree, PCA without programming. Both Alteryx & TIBCO are recognized as leaders in Gartner’s magic quadrant 2020 for data science and machine learning platforms.

Please note that there are many tools for BI in the marketplace, and I have just highlighted few to give an idea of capabilities that one may consider while selecting tools. This is not a comprehensive description of capabilities and exhaustive list of suppliers.

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Customizing General Analytics Tools Vs going for Pre-built Sales Tools

There are many General Analytics Tools which have wide capability and interesting features such as the ones that you saw above. Because of the vastness of the functionality and flexibility that these tools bring-in such as accessing multiple data sources and customizing the output, they can consume additional effort to configure, selection of right metrics, and visualization required. In simple ways, implementation time can be high. On the other hand, there are tools which are built for Sales, and so they come with standard libraries of metrics, visualization charts and analytics charts that are relevant to sales.

For example:

  • SAS Office Analytics and QlikSense are strong self-visualization tools for data discovery that have powerful features but are general purpose BI tools. They can be used in any where, not only Sales. For organizations that are already invested in such tools, adding Sales BI would make economic sense.
  • On the other hand, MoData is a Sales Analytics specific tool for the B2B segment which is capable of creating dashboards, scorecards/performance reports, visual analysis, predictive analysis and performing sales forecasting. They have 100’s of sales specific visualization charts, thus reducing the implementation time.

Analytics Integration with Sales Systems Vs in-built Analytics functionality of Sales Systems

While we have touched on various reporting, BI and Analytics tools that can be integrated with the existing sales IT tools easily, as all tools come with the capability to integrate with multiple data sources, another option is to consider in-built analytics functionality of Sales Systems.
Many organizations that venture into sales analytics already would have sales systems (sales enablement tools) such as CRM, marketing automation, lead management, client onboarding, etc. And many of these tools are jacking up their analytics capabilities as well.

For example:

  • Salesforce, a powerful CRM engine is adding AI capabilities for sales as in Salesforce Einstein.
  • On the other hand, Xant is an end to end sales engagement tool that covers Sales Automation, Reporting, Intelligence, Customer Scoring, etc that can be seamlessly integrated to existing sales systems such as Salesforce, Microsoft, SAP,etc.

Learn More about Features to look for in Sales Analytics Tool

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