Why CEOs Must Embrace a Sales Data Strategy to Scale
Updated: Oct 18
Sherlock Holmes once said “It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data.” With all of the data congestion around sales performance, how should a CEO be prioritize the signals to watch?
CEOs of $10M-$150M ARR must embrace sales benchmarking data AND require their GTM leaders to have this key data at their fingertips BEFORE activating a go to market plans or approval expenditures.
Here are three operational areas with examples of sales data.
Remember Jim Collins' "Good to Great"? Its critical to have the right people, in the right seats on the bus, before you focus on where to drive the bus.
The high performing post pandemic salesperson is built different than before the B2B world shifted to virtual selling. The most important sales skills today are social media networking, virtual networking, virtual presenting, and all skills required for closing deals virtually. And the top traits of today and future sellers are: composure, confidence, credibility, agility, assertiveness, emotional intelligence, empathy, need for achievement, and trust. (source: Korn Ferry's 2023 "New Sales Landscape").
79% of Chief Sales Officers believe that improving sellers digital dexterity is highly important (source: Gartner)
To build a high performing sales organization, these sales skills and traits need to be communicated across the organization, explicitly stated in all position/role descriptions, included in all interview guides, added into the talent assessment platform (yes, assessment platforms are required technology) and nurtured in post hiring individual development planning and skill training.
Without this data to drive and guide the talent strategy, hiring is ad-hoc and subjective.
Buyer Enabled Go to Market Planning:
By 2026, Gartner forecasts that 50% of B2B organizations who unify their commercial strategies will realize revenue growth that outperforms competitors by 50%. Today, only 19% have fully implemented end-to-end revenue process for all customer facing roles. With B2B buying teams including 15+ influencers, buyer mapping and persona clarity are critical
Without this data, GTM planning would likely continue using last year's existing framework.
Technology Enabled Selling Processes:
Remember the 2021 Great Resignation? Thousands of buying influencers and decision makers changed roles (source: ZoomInfo) and most CRM systems have old contact data. Garbage in, garbage out.
B2B buyers are choosing frictionless buying, and complete nearly 70% of the buying jobs before engaging with a seller (source: Korn Ferry). With all this digital breadcrumb activity, buying intent platforms enable GTM teams to "see" when their ICPs and key personas have entered a buying cycle. Leveraging digital sales rooms can enable buyers to consume content on THEIR time and provide sellers with key consumption data stats. Sales reps only spend 28% of their week actually selling (source: Salesforce). Tedious tasks and data entry need to be automated in order to reduce sellers time away from prospecting. With only 15% of buyers in market at any given time, intent signaling by each of the buying stages is needed. Call intelligence platforms are incredibly valuable to enable coaching of virtual sales.
Caution: 59% of B2B sellers describe new sales tech as a hindrance (source: Gartner), so updating workflows that align with automated processes smooths out the change management.
Without this data, seller ineffectiveness grows from prospecting against bad contact info, or out of cycle buyers, or blindly messaging without understanding the buying state.
Our team at Lucrum Partners are experts at defining and enabling sales data strategies for CEOs of $10M-$150M ARR firms.