I came across a quote from Wharton Professor Steward D. Friedman recently that really caused me to pause and think. In his talks at organizations around the world, Friedman asks, "What kind of leadership do we need now?" The most common responses are "adaptable," "flexible," and "innovative." This remark struck a chord, as it parallels findings from Forrester’s latest report, Unleash Your Growth Potential With Continuous Planning.
The firm conducted an online survey of 352 B2B sales, finance, and other business leaders to explore this topic. They found that more than 85% of leaders are aware they must take a continuous, data-driven approach to sales planning, but most are not making the technology changes they need to do so. 90% said that making real-time decisions based on real-time insights is essential to be effective, but the lack of the right technology to do so is holding them back.
If leaders are being challenged with being more flexible and adaptable than ever—yet they are held back by their current solutions—it speaks to an urgent need for a “changing of the guard” when it comes to Sales Performance Management (SPM). For many in leadership roles, the intent is there, but the path to the goal is unclear. Xactly illuminates the way to achieving continuous planning goals. We partner with organizations and offer AI-enabled solutions that are necessary to bridge the technology gaps in business planning today.
Four Ways to Use AI to Boost Enterprise Sales Efforts
1. Dig-In to Decades of Data
We have the industry’s most comprehensive data set, which allows us to give customers the real-world insights they need to improve sales performance across the board. Xactly has uniquely been able to provide this data through our partnership approach with our clients. With over 90% of our customers "opting-in" to be a part of our data insights, known as Xactly Benchmarking, they are able to better understand how they are operating compared to industry trends in these ever-changing times. No other vendor has this kind of data.
2. Deploy Rapid Plan Changes
With Xactly’s real-time performance insights, enterprises can drive rapid deployment of plan changes and targeted incentives to a broader audience, uniting strategy and execution for increased quota attainment and top-line growth. Companies can increase top-line revenue with better organizational alignment.
3. Manage Resource and Capacity Planning More Efficiently
Losing valuable employees is a concern for every sales organization. Yet, the ability of a sales team to reach its targets depends on having the right amount of reps closing deals. By pulling data from an existing CRM system, AI applications for sales use pay and performance data to predict how likely an employee is to leave the organization.
Besides, AI-powered sales tools can highlight both high-performing and underperforming salespeople based on a variety of indicators. These applications can review CRM data automatically, checking for sales reps whose performance has dropped or who have been receiving low paychecks. That way, sales managers have the information they need at their fingertips to make changes to the team.
4. Reduce Territory Planning Time and Cost
AI for sales can leverage customer data from an existing CRM to construct optimized sales territory plans and even predict the optimal number of sales reps required to cover territories during a new product launch. AI allows sales organizations to consistently design territories that are balanced, efficient, and give reps equal opportunity to achieve and exceed their quota.
Key Takeaway From Forrester Regarding AI
It’s no longer time to play the waiting game! According to Forrester, “It’s time for growth leaders to take a data-driven approach. Many organizations wish they had their data houses in order, but most do not. The days of gut-level decision making are well behind us.
Growth leaders need to leverage best-in-class sales AI tools that help them quickly ingest information and turn it into actionable business intelligence they can use to course correct or maximize upside.” If you’d like to learn more about Xactly’s AI capabilities and AI for enterprise, that information is here.