At last, here’s a book about data and analytics for everyone. The charts, graphics and dry advice you’d expect to find are present, but only in small doses. Aside from those bits, Jenny Dearborn, senior vice president and chief learning officer at SAP, teaches about data analytics by weaving an engaging, inspiring tale of a fictional, struggling sales organization. Faced with miserable results and combative personalities, the chief sales officer adopts advanced data and analytics practices to improve performance. getAbstract recommends this lively manual to senior executives, entrepreneurs, salespeople and managers interested in the potential of analytics in sales and in other applications, as well. Even novice statisticians should come away with an ability to speak about analytics with a smile.
A Rare Opportunity to Lead
Governments analyze data to predict contractor fraud. Coaches use data to make better recruiting decisions. Big data and predictive analytics pervade many fields, but no organization operates an end-to-end, data-driven sales system. Most sales teams rely on experience and “gut instinct,” or they use historical data that measure sales efficiencies not sales effectiveness. These organizations are like a pilot facing severe weather who turns off the airplane’s instruments. Instead of knowing speed, direction and altitude, the pilot “flies blind.”
You don’t need to fly blind. Current technology and analytic methods track and analyze customer interactions and buying habits, product preferences, employee performance, optimal sales bundles, sales partner effectiveness, deal size and many other factors that affect sales. Any sales operation that analyzes the right data – looking for patterns and connections – can predict which customers will buy, prescribe which products to offer to them, pinpoint the training and support each rep needs, and generate many other powerful insights. This is the focus and purpose of “performance analytics.”
The National Diversity Council listed Jenny Dearborn, senior vice president and chief learning officer at SAP, a Fortune 500 firm, as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Technology.”