Pareto's Flaw - 80:20 works… until it doesn't. What next?

The science of sales is not as black and white as we used to work by.

If our business is built on the outcome that 80% of our sales come from 20% of our staff, then what happens when those numbers don’t align anymore? 

The BTN was recently delighted to partner with Mindtickle, for an exclusive physical roundtable event to discuss the effective use of data to drive sales. The session was hosted by Anthony Parker (General Manager & VP Sales, at Mindtickle) and Alex Vincent (Director, Commercial Sales at Mindtickle), which explored some key themes around the proliferation of data, the role of CRM and where technology aligns with people. The open and interactive conversation brought about the following takeaways:

Rubbish In = Rubbish Out

In recent years, data-driven selling has more momentum than ever. The role of the CRM is becoming more important for forecasting but organisations must learn to trust their CRM as extensions to their Sales Reps. Companies must create a real-time journey by keeping the data current and not reporting it every 2 weeks, for example. CRM systems are essential in helping to build customer loyalty and customer retention. However, rubbish in will result in rubbish out. Who still relies on their trusted Excel sheet? Do you actually trust the data in your CRM? The CRM should at the baseline be a means of communicating as a sales team whereby if something is outside of the CRM, it does not exist. Despite CRMs being a key management strategy that helps increase the profits of an organisation, the sales rep’s interpretation of the subjective statements is not always the portrayal of the right message. Any dataset can be manipulated to its own advantage. The better the data an organisation puts in, the better the data they receive. If the data is skewed, the reports will be skewed. What do we actually think the quality of the data will be if we are forcing salespeople to add data for the sake of it? They must understand why they are doing it and ultimately, the benefits they will see. What is in it for them?


You can’t just throw technology at something and hope it works

There is more data today in a sales organisation than ever before so how can organisations use data more effectively? Technological adoption always comes down to the people. Embracing technology needs to be led by an organisation's leaders who need to show their employees how to make them can be that facilitator if done correctly. One of the attendees explained that you can’t just throw technology at something and hope it works. The outliers of good or bad data are the ones that skew your organisation’s data. Sales data can help with decision making and understanding customers better but they are only benefitted at certain stages of the sales cycles. We should be thinking bigger and better and how organisations need to ensure that they become predictive and insightful


The Wall of Technology is coming

The wall of technology is coming and it is imperative that companies use it to their advantage. The amount of data that is present to us today compared to 10 years ago is incomparable. If an organisation is not utilising data to its full potential then your competitors most definitely will. If the data is not used to the organisation’s advantage then it just becomes data for the sake of it. So how do organisations make their sales better and not just how do they make their salespeople enter better data? Salespeople should be able to do sales from anywhere. Sales have become very brand-driven and the sales we do as individuals have more of direct relation to the brand we represent than ever. The relationships we have with our clients are becoming more important than ever before. 


The bigger the organisation, the more adaptive they have to be to the trend. Managers seem to be getting younger and younger. It is essential that organisations embrace technology as well as the people that are born into it. Purpose in the modern day of work has changed, companies must bring people/employees on the journey of improvement. The role of relationships has changed where generation Z has now navigated their lives through technology whereby they have lived with different mindsets. Reality used to be speaking to people, in recent years, however, it’s about connecting with people online. We must ensure that our sales teams run with the same mindset and start to connect with people in different ways. This step will reap the long term benefits of getting your sales teams to embrace technology in a variety of ways. Embracing technology should become second nature as we look to enable our sales teams to grow their knowledge and skills with technology being the enabler.


About Mindtickle 

Mindtickle is the market-leading sales readiness platform, helping revenue leaders at world-class companies like Johnson & Johnson, Splunk, and Wipro, be ready to grow revenue by increasing knowledge, understanding ideal sales behaviours, and adapting to change. Dozens of Fortune 500 and Forbes Global 2000 companies use Mindtickle to define excellence, build knowledge, align content, analyze performance, and optimize behaviour throughout their sales organizations. Mindtickle is recognized as a market leader by top industry analysts and is ranked by G2 as both the #1 enterprise software product and #5 sales software product.