Sales Leaders Lack Real-Time Data Capabilities

Antiquated data management practices leave sales reps overwhelmed and out of touch.

Sales leaders understand that all successful strategies rely on data to ensure relevance and engagement. For many, however, this key ingredient remains elusive as few organizations have the internal capabilities necessary to support centralized, real-time data analysis.

Domo's recent "Data-Driven Sales Leadership Survey" examines how sales leaders interact with their data. Researchers polled more than 400 sales leaders to determine how professionals use the insight to identify engagement opportunities and understand personal performance. Results show that, while organizations know that having numbers on their side helps them lead with confidence, few have the access and tools necessary to generate leads and drive conversions in real time.

The following statistics demonstrate how sales leaders engage with consumer data and how operational shortcomings impact their ability to fulfill their duties:

  • Data remains critical for 96 percent of sales leaders, as 84 percent rely on customers and industry insights to do their jobs well. However, 51 percent of these leaders are concerned that their data isn't accurate.
  • Ninety percent of respondents agree that real-time data access is essential, yet 66 percent don't have this luxury and 65 percent say it takes too long to receive insights from their data.
  • While 71 percent of sales leaders struggle with slow data analysis, 39 percent say it takes at least a few hours to get the necessary data and 31 percent must wait two days or more for access.
  • Sixty percent of sales leaders must wait for somebody else to gain access to available data, while 38 percent have no access at all. However, respondents would consume more data if they could view it in one place (73 percent) and in real time (66 percent).
  • Overall, 65 percent say it's too difficult to derive meaningful insight from this data, as 53 percent feel overwhelmed by its volume and 38 percent don't know how to apply the information.
  • Despite the fact that 92 percent of sales leaders want to view data via one single dashboard, only 31 percent can. Instead, 59 percent of sales leaders must use 1-3 systems to track their goals and priorities, while 38 percent need to use more than 4 systems.
  • Of the sales leaders that are responsible for creating their own reports (41 percent), many spend at least a few hours per week creating and analyzing reports (39 percent), while others spend an entire day or more each week (21 percent) on that same task.

Key takeaway: Despite the fact that sales leaders wish to view data using one single dashboard, most still consume and deliver sales results via spreadsheets (43 percent and 36 percent respectively). Notoriously antiquated, this format may account for the fact that only 2 percent of respondents rate their relationship with sales data as an A- or better. (Eighty-three percent of respondents would grade their organizations B- or lower when it comes to leveraging data.) Such data management practices leave sales reps overwhelmed and out of touch because, while leaders recognize that they need timely access to data to carry out their duties effectively, most organizations don't have this freedom. Reps that do, however, still lack confidence in data accuracy. Therefore, as respondents try to make sense of all the information flowing into their organizations, leaders must actively seek ways to streamline and centralize data so all sales reps can operate with the same level of knowledge and assurance necessary to successfully generate leads and boost conversions.