The importance of data has increased drastically in recent years. For sales organizations, data analytics are vital for effective planning and decision making. Naturally, sales and sales operations leaders need data analytics to effectively build strategic sales plans, today’s finance leaders also need data to gain a competitive advantage.
In a recent webinar with The CFO Alliance, Xactly CFO Elizabeth Salomon discussed how the CFO role is changing and why finance must embrace data analytics as an important tool for business success.
Here are 3 key learnings from the webinar.
1. Finance Leaders Play a Unique Role in the Business
Today’s CFOs and Finance teams are becoming more involved in the planning and strategy processes. According to Salomon, Finance’s job is pulling together data for the company—but it’s more than just sharing the results.
As a CFO, Salomon’s primary role is helping execute strategies and achieve organizational goals. Access to data analytics and having the right information about the business operations and performance is necessary to do this effectively.
2. Digitalization Helps Access the Right Data Analytics
According to Salomon, “Digitalization is critical, and having access to the right data is imperative to sales organization success. Digitalization provides key data all in one place, creating a central source of “truth” for the organization.
Salomon explains that Finance has a unique role in setting the standard for data analytics within the company. Digitalization ensures the entire company has visibility into the same analytics—and that the data is accurate and reliable for decision making and planning. It also aids in better alignment of sales and finance teams and helps improve sales forecasting accuracy.
3. The Need for Data Analytics is Changing Rapidly
Throughout her career in various Finance and CFO roles, Salomon has seen both the need for data as well as the move to digitalization emerge. Even comparing today’s data analytics to what companies expected five years ago, Salomon sees noticeable differences.
In the past, Finance needed to track the right metrics and be able to pull all of the necessary data together. Today, Finance needs to do those same things, but the primary need is having that data readily available along with the next level of data insights to guide strategic decision making.
Using Data Analytics Effectively in Sales Organizations
Data analytics are critical for sales organizations to gain a competitive advantage in the modern business world. In fact, when asked about how companies should handle the need for more data analytics and go about digitalization, Salomon said, “In today’s fast-paced world, I don’t really see any other option.”
Data is vital to every part of a sales organization’s operations, including sales capacity and quota planning, territory mapping, compensation design, and performance analysis. Most importantly, an integrated sales performance management (SPM) solution helps gather an organization’s most critical data into one place for strategic planning and analysis.
With key insights at leaders’ fingertips, companies can be confident in strategy and decision making. This arms their sales teams with the proper tools to sell effectively and sets the organization up to hit their goals.
Want to learn more about the benefits of data-driven sales planning and performance management? Check out our guide, “Reducing Operational and Financial Risks with SPM Technology.”