In a world awash in data, sales representatives are struggling to find the information they need to close deals. The problem is that existing technologies are not designed to easily, economically and expeditiously analyze the torrent of data from disparate sources, according to a new survey. The grail quest for sales reps is a system that can help them make sense of this deluge known as Big Data.
Nearly nine out of 10 (89 percent) executives believe that sales reps miss opportunities because they can't keep up with information about customers and prospects, according to a survey of CEOs, chief sales officers, sales executives and managers conducted by CSO Insights, a sales effectiveness research firm.
The reps are challenged by both the amount of information available and the time it takes to research prospects before making a call.
Compounding the problem, sales reps may have to search as many as 15 different data sources, including their CRM systems, Facebook, LinkedIn, search engines, Facebook and other information providers to find crucial information on customers and prospects, the survey found.
Having sales technology that can handle the demands of Big Data would have a significant impact, sales executives believe.
Specifically, the majority of respondents said that if they had a single technology system in place to gather the necessary data and insight, they would expect an improvement in prospecting effectiveness, the amount of time reps spend actually selling, lead to first meeting conversions, first call to presentation conversions and win rates of forecast deals.
"Big data needs to be a big deal for sales," said Jim Dickie, managing partner, CSO Insights. "The amount of prospect information out there today is a blessing and a curse for sales reps. Our research shows that there is a need for new tools to help reps find the needle in the haystack. Leading-edge sales teams are already taking advantage with solid returns."