Selling Analytics? Start with the Lines of Business.

Analytics.  The word is everywhere, and with good reason.  In the recent past, data analytics was used by a handful of people to make smarter decisions for a few business challenges.  Just look at sports.  Player stats were the purview of the superfan, scouts, hitting coaches…until someone in the front office figured out how to take the oceans of data and use it to build an entire team around it, because the data said they could win that way.  And they did win!

Today, the same thing is happening within organizations looking to make smarter, faster and more effective decisions.  It’s called Business Analytics, but in reality what most folks are really talking about is Data Visualization.  We are all still at the beginning of this evolution of understanding data.  For now, let’s try not to make it too complicated.

From a sellers perspective, spend time focusing on the “why” your customers are looking at Analytics…and “what” they are trying to accomplish.  Try to forget about “how” they are doing it now. Don’t start selling to the Data Scientist…they probably don’t have one…and don’t sell to IT on your first call.

You are going to have greater success targeting LOB.  The Lines of Business is composed of sales, marketing, finance, procurement, operations, HR…etc. They operate according to an established plan. They need to determine the success or failure of that plan FAST. Giving them access to a tool that can help them make decisions to pivot or stay the course MORE QUICKLY has Business Value.  It can be quantified.  If it solves a problem they have around how they run their business, they can make a decision to purchase it.

Most sellers of technology solutions go directly to IT…and that works sometimes.  But it is too binary.  If they like the technology and are comfortable with deploying it…you win.  If they don’t…you lose.  There isn’t a lot of going back and changing their minds.  

It’s smarter to work with IT if you have support from the business.

So if you are leading with Data Visualization as a way to drive an organizations journey to Business Analytics, consider Targeting LOB Leaders – Director, VP or C-level.  Focus on their pain.  The fact is…most leaders don’t use analytics tools.  They rely on analysts and others to feed them information.  Unfortunately, when it comes time for them to tell the story to THEIR leadership…they struggle.  They present facts…not context.  Focus on that pain.

Help Them: Visualize Data, Blend Data, Share Insights, Tell a Story

Seven Steps to Work your Territory

  1. Have a Plan: organize your accounts, do not skimp on this activity. (See Selling Success post)
  2. Work with your existing customers/install base: Expand!
  3. Go even harder after the Non-Install accounts:  Massive Action, Massive Potential!
  4. Monitor Competition:  how did they get in there? Know your solution differentiation!
  5. Keep your finger on Existing deals: know them COLD.
  6. Continuously progress deals: One or more steps every selling day until close
  7. Review pipeline & take action:  If pipe is low…more activity until it turns, if pipe is strong, more progression until they close!

Shift your view.  Use Analytics and Data Visualization to turn customer business challenges into revenue!

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