Are We Ready to Use Data to Make Different Decisions in Business?

use data to make different decisionsWhen I started learning about computers I learned that everything done in the digital world is either a zero or a one. Back then data devices were tiny and computing power was small. Now we know that they sky is the limit – it really is – with cloud services and innovation.

It seems that businesses can gather enough data to learn just about anything. Therein lies the problem – all that data and the fact that there are so many aspects of business to watch, measure, research, and ultimately A-B test to improve that I think business leaders get a bit paralyzed.

With all of the overwhelming choices in business improvement plus solutions to attack each, it is no wonder leaders freeze on moving forward – as if they are waiting for better answers. Those that forge ahead make good decisions and they sometimes make bad decisions. This is what needs to happen so that companies can innovate and grow.

In sales, for example, we use so many lagging indicators (calls made, sales closed) to make future decisions that the idea of changing how we think about business process and using data not before analyzed is hard for some leaders of MSPs and other businesses to get their arms around. We are creatures of habit. Sales and marketing have done a lot of the same things for dozens and dozens of years.

A managed services provider (MSP) doing $100M in revenues was stuck in a plateau because of not trying new go-to-market strategies. Their leadership saw good results over the past years yet wanted to double their revenues. They were the definition of insanity – doing the same things over and over, then looking for new results.

Ultimately they got some new leadership who started focusing on leading indicators, innovative promotion and partnering strategies and the growth has begun.

If you’ve ever gone into a grocery store with over 100 choices of various products, you know how overwhelming it can be. Do you buy what you know? Try something new and run the risk of a bad investment? Do you get peer recommendations?

Going back to my zeroes and ones….. it is amazing to see how data, analysis, and tools are transforming business. Just remember that tools and capabilities alone do not change things – us applying them in the right situations will.

Take CRM for example - after a dozen or so years of CRM tool improvements, integration to social platforms and huge mobile/tablet adoption, the overall adoption of CRM number of users is growing. Even with the growing tool adoption it's still challenging for many companies to see their sales reps using their CRM in ways that could really boost insight and shorten sales cycles

It’s taken a lot of time for this to happen. Do you have a dozen years to figure out what data to analyze?

This post was brought to you by IBM for MSPs and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s PivotPoint. Dedicated to providing valuable insight from industry thought leaders, PivotPoint offers expertise to help you develop, differentiate and scale your business.

Lori Richardson - Score More SalesLori Richardson is recognized on Forbes as one of the "Top 30 Social Sales Influencers" worldwide and is a Top 25 Innovative Sales Blogger. Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside sales teams in mid-sized companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog  for sales strategies, tactics, and tips.
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Topics: B2B

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