Business intelligence (BI) is critical for providing a sales team with insights they can use for a competitive edge. Software that harnesses the power of data supports an organization's strategic decision making, which in turn can positively impact growth, productivity, and revenue.
Also known as a business intelligence analyst, specialist, architect, or consultant, this role is one in which the officer collects data, evaluates systems, and identifies opportunities to guide an organization toward optimal solutions. In consultation with department heads, the business intelligence officer serves as a liaison between leadership and the IT department to integrate data processes into day-to-day operations. There are several important ways the business intelligence officer can drive success in the sales department.
A company can focus its sales efforts by better understanding customer demand. Because demand forecasting involves the ability to accurately predict a range of product demands by market, it is essential to the sales team in every industry. Insights are gained via historical sales data in order to predict future demand, taking business trends, market conditions, and external and internal factors into consideration as well. As a result, managers can set strategic, measurable, attainable, realistic, and targeted goals (SMART objectives) for the sales team while providing more accurate estimates and deeper understanding to executives.
Reaching and exceeding sales goals is a key objective for a business. However, only with a robust pipeline of solid leads can the process remain sustainable. The role of business intelligence in managing a pipeline of prospects is critical for getting consistent and growing sales numbers. Business intelligence is tasked with providing insights, interpreting pipeline data, building pipeline analytics and informing managers about prospects' intentions, wants and needs. This develops the edge that can create successes for a sales team.
Ready, steady, focus. Target marketing involves identifying customers to whom a product or service wishes to sell and who are most likely to buy. Business intelligence officers assist in zooming in on such target customer segments. The right software can help narrow down prospects, leads and new target markets while also analyzing purchasing trends of non-customer segments within the wider marketplace. Informed by management and supported by marketing, business intelligence systems can reinforce the sales department's effectiveness.
A business intelligence officer can help improve sales by introducing programs, procedures, policies and best practices with a collection of accurate data.
This article was written by Laurie Jo Miller Farr for Small Business Pulse