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LEAD GENERATION MONTH: Sales analytics held back by data privacy, poor data and limited cross-functional collaboration

Eighty-four percent of sales leaders agreed that sales analytics has had less influence on sales performance than leadership expected, as indicated by new research.

Gartner surveyed 303 sales leaders in July 2023 to understand the current state of sales analytics and the metrics used to drive insight generation and behavior change within sales functions.

“With analytics comes the expectation of transformative decision making, but the reality is that many organizations struggle to produce actionable insights regarding their most important decisions,” said Kelly Fischbein, Senior Principal, Research in the Gartner Sales Practice.

When asked to identify barriers to analytics success, data privacy concerns or regulations (45% of respondents), poor data quality (44%) and limited cross-functional collaboration (44%) were cited as the top three reasons (see Figure 1).

“The net result is compounding complexity: More uncertainty creates more demand for analytics, which creates demand for more data, which in turn presents analytics teams with challenging operational barriers,” said Fischbein.

Source: Gartner (February 2024)

To address the disconnect regarding sales analytics and influence on sales performance, CSOs must mutually define analytics value proposition with their operations leaders. The Gartner survey went on to find that CSO-led analytics are 2.3 times more likely to achieve higher forecast accuracy than non-CSO led analytics. CSO-led analytics are also 1.8 times more likely to exceed customer acquisition goals than non-CSO led analytics.

“To achieve higher strategic influence of analytics, CSOs must lead when it comes to aligning analytics strategies to sales objectives and communicating insights from analytics,” continued Fischbein.

To achieve this change in behavior, Gartner suggests CSOs:

  • Deploy a decision driven analytics approach to prioritize the analytics that can have the most influence on the decisions that have the greatest impact.
  • Build specialization in their analytics organization that aligns with their top priorities.
  • Analyze seller performance metrics comparatively to drive actionability.

Photo by Amy Hirschi on Unsplash