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Don’t Expect Too Much From Salespeople

Big Data is a Big Deal these days if business media headlines are any indication. It seems like everyone is getting on that bandwagon in some way. And for good reason–there can be a treasure trove of insightful information hidden in a company’s data…information that can help find more qualified leads, set more profitable prices or retain more customers.

And quite a few of these Big Data technology solutions and the initiatives that go with them are built around a common premise…give business users the ability to see and analyze all that data and you’ll be successful.

It seems to make sense on the surface…imagine the day-to-day questions a salesperson might face:

  • Is this a good lead?
  • Is this the right price?
  • Is this customer able to buy more?
  • Is this customer giving us all their business?

Giving salespeople access to more data and the tools to analyze it can only help them answer these questions more effectively, right?

Well, not really…

Many of the questions that Big Data can help with are ones that business users–especially salespeople–are used to answering with experience and gut-feel. Trying to bring an analytical approach to answering those types of questions can be a huge change management hurdle. It’s just not how some people are wired.

As a guide in The Playbook — Delivering Answers to the Point of Sale — highlights, this doesn’t mean Big Data can’t be successful. It just means you need to keep human nature in mind.

Instead of asking your salespeople to be analytical quants, try asking how you can get business users closer to the answer they’re looking for so they don’t have to figure it out themselves.

After all, Big Data shouldn’t be about the data–it should be about the answers that data can provide.

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