In this day and age, where widespread distribution and globalization is a given for enterprises, just knowing who is selling in a particular geography isn’t enough. We see with our own customers in industries like manufacturing that a major shift is needd in how data are used to make decisions. In fact, as DISC Corp.’s Herm Isenstein points out in The Art and Science of Sales Forecasting in the Electrical Market, “in what sense is supply equals demand meaningful when we know distributors are located in nearly 1,400 counties and that… end customers are located in about 3,100 counties?”
Isenstein is talking about the electrical supply industry in particular, but the same principle applies to any company that sells into many different geographies. With distribution so broad, it’s foolish to assume that buyers in drastically different markets have the same buying triggers, problems and priorities—their demand is almost undoubtedly different. Isenstein says in his piece, “Identifying demand is the most crucial element for measuring performance where the action takes place, at the trading area level.” And that’s why, in order to increase sales and sales productivity, it’s important for sales reps to know what the demand side is thinking in their specific market.
It would be extremely difficult to find the detailed information a sales rep need to be able to understand a specific trading area without one pointed, go-to source, and in many organizations today, reps are sifting through hundreds of noisy sources, making them less productive than they would like. More than ever, it’s important for sales productivity and forecasting accuracy to be able to understand what buyers in a particular market are saying about a certain need or problem they have, because it will help them be more effective during customer meetings and more accurately forecast their sales.
Personal business analytics allow users to see trends the particular market/s they care about, as well as understand what their end-customers care about. For a company who has sales across the country (or the world), being able to personalize what a rep sees means they’re better able to discover opportunities on the ground in their particular market by understanding what that market cares about. Because we’re acutely aware of these dynamics, FirstRain customers experience tailored, relevant information through personal business analytics—delivering the information that Isenstein believes sellers need, but can’t currently get.