Monthly Archives: January 2017

Storytelling with Data and Sales Analytics

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sales analytics
We hear stories every single day. We have heard them our whole lives. Starting with bedtime stories when we were younger, to our favorite movies, to stories swapped among friends, some stories stick with us because they were told well. The players and scenarios came alive. The tension in the story felt real. And, in the end, the story left us more aware and affected than if the facts were laid before us plainly.

Humans are complex and emotional creatures. We’re hardwired to love stories because they help us relate to other people, ideas, and situations. Studies show that hearing a good narrative prompts the body to release oxytocin, the “cuddle hormone,” which makes us feel instantly happier and more connected to those around us. When we release oxytocin, we become more empathetic, cooperative and drop our inhibitions.

Oxytocin isn’t the only chemical at work when we hear stories. Adrenaline and cortisol are released when faced with stress or tension in the story and they cause us to be more alert and focused.

So it’s no wonder that good storytelling can improve your brand’s credibility. When sharing what you do and why you do it, your consumers, clients, and partners are more likely to buy in emotionally and financially if they are engaged with a story.

So, let’s say you work with data. Data does not obviously lend itself to good storytelling. Sales figures, forecasts, projections, and conversion rates – these are figures are critical to business, but it’s hard to make them come alive in a compelling way, especially for those unfamiliar with the data.

But just like everything else in life, your data tells a story. And we can help you discover and share the narrative. Our products help you visualize data in pipelines and understand the factors at play with every single opportunity. It can provide the full picture of the beginning, middle, and end of an opportunity’s lifecycle so that your rep can act accordingly.

Not only will ForecastEra help you understand your own story, it can help you share it with others. When sales reps use hard numbers and trends to back up their pitches, their message is more clear, visually engaging, and credible. Providing a narrative to accompany complex figures is a way to distil important data into something meaningful for the consumer.

Storytelling is not only the best way to win over a customer, it might be the only way. Get in touch with us today about how we can help you tell your story – http://www.forecastera.com

 

Only 50% of Forecasted Deals Close? Can Predictive Forecasting solve this?

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predictive forecasting

Last year CSO Insights found that only about half of forecasted deals are ever closed by reps. That’s a startling number. We can’t think of any other field in which a half-done job is acceptable. What causes this glaring disconnect between expectations and actuals?

It’s true that sales reps know their deals better than anyone else. They have cultivated the relationships and skills it takes to sell. But they might not have insights into what is keeping them from closing.

The key reason that forecasted deals are closed so infrequently should do with the process by which the forecasts are made.

Manual forecasting can be messy. It has proven time and time again to be inaccurate. For decades, companies have put the burden of forecasting on their sales reps, making them half-sales and half-data jockeys. Without the tools to forecast effectively, they often spend too much of their time entering data and not enough time selling. Your reps are most likely not mathematicians, and crunching numbers to forecast short-term revenue goals eventually sets them up to fail.

Predictive analytics are just that: predictive. Human prediction is often based on assumptions and bias, or, worst of all, pure conjecture. Forecast Era’s predictive forecasting is founded in real-time data and cutting edge analysis to give your sales reps a realistic framework by which they can set, adjust, and achieve their goals.

The proof is in the numbers. Reps that work with data-driven, automated forecasts are 30% more productive. Not only are reps freed from the process of creating these forecasts, they have an opportunity to work with objective data. This data gives reps the chance to prioritize deals, close gaps, and plan ahead with science rather than sentiment.

Your sales reps are the experts. And giving them the opportunity to work with predictive forecasting will give them the edge they need to give them the best in class.

There aren’t many people who can predict what’s coming in the new year, but we can help you and your sales team be among them. As you start your new year, commit to working from smarter forecasts. Start here.