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Marketing and Sales Strategy Leaders at ZS Unveil The Power of Sales Analytics in New Crowd-Sourced Book

  Collective Brain Power Helps Companies Improve Sales Force Processes and Decisions and Drive Performance with Analytics

“‘The Power of Sales Analytics’ is no ordinary sales book. It represents the culmination of many years of intense and thoughtful effort by many talented people…It is a survey of the cutting edge of sales analytics and the state-of-the-art in sophisticated sales management.” —Neil Rackham, Author of Spin Selling

EVANSTON, lll. Oct. 22, 2014 — With all the buzz about big data and advanced analytics today, sales executives around the world continuously strive to improve their companies’ sales analytics capabilities and make smarter decisions about sales force strategy and tactics.     

Companies in the U.S. alone spend more than $900 billion every year on their sales forces, and executives are keen to get the most out of this expensive investment. Similar to how many baseball teams have adopted the “Moneyball” approach, more and more businesses operationalize the use of analytics in every aspect of their sales force decision-making.

By intelligently putting analytics to work, companies can improve decisions for all sales force members – including salespeople, sales managers and sales leaders – and get dramatically better returns on their sales force investments.  

To help companies make profitable investments in sales analytics, global sales and marketing consulting firm ZS assembled a think tank of thought leaders, who collectively have more than 400 years of experience in the field, to write its newest book, “The Power of Sales Analytics” (ZS; 2014; $39.95, Hardcover). The book – and the only one available today with this level of collective insight – guides executives on practical ways to utilize analytics to enhance their sales force processes and decisions and drive performance.

Conceived by sales force effectiveness and strategy experts Andris A. Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha and business writer Sally E. Lorimer – and co-written by more than 20 sales analytics experts from ZS – the book uses an integrated voice to introduce strategic insights and decision frameworks that help companies use analytics to refine their sales strategies and operations and achieve better results.

“Salespeople, managers and leaders make decisions, both strategic and tactical, every day,” said Sinha. “In this book, we have parsed the key sales force decision areas, and proposed ways to think about each one and enhance each decision with the right data and tools. Whatever your analytical sophistication, we want to take you to the next level.”

Decisions, Not Technology, Define a Great Sales Force

Effective data management and advanced sales analytics are vital business management tools. But just having the technology won’t cut it – the sales force must use that technology to enable better decisions.

“We have developed a framework which guides executives on how to use analytics to support the ongoing needs of a sales force, diagnose concerns, issues and opportunities and design sales force systems that create a strong sales team and enable the right sales effort,” said Zoltners. “We have tested this framework hands-on and continually improved it over our years of working with established Fortune 1000 companies, as well as entrepreneurial businesses.”

“The Power of Sales Analytics” provides lessons that are applicable across various industries, from high-tech and financial services to medical devices and pharmaceuticals. In addition, it provides many examples of well-known companies and sales leaders who have leveraged sales analytics to achieve impressive sales results.

For example, GE Fleet Services, a subdivision of General Electric Co., used estimates of customer market potential to increase qualified sales leads by 33 percent in one year. Novartis, a $57.9 billion global healthcare company, used analytics to identify its top-performing salespeople and selected a set of “success principles” that differentiated their performance. The company then aligned its sales processes and operations around these attributes, which led to a more favorable perception of the company’s salespeople among customers and contributed to six consecutive years of double digit top-line growth.

Companies Can Put Their Analytics to Work

Packed with insights, practical recommendations and case studies, “The Power of Sales Analytics” is organized to equip sales leaders to answer two main questions:

  1. How can analytics improve sales force effectiveness?
  2. How can companies build their analytic capabilities to make it possible?

To that end, the first section of the book includes a review of eight key decision areas in which companies can use analytics to make smarter decisions about: customer targeting, sales process, sales force size and structure, territory design, hiring and training, incentive compensation, goal setting and performance management.

The second section helps businesses self-diagnose their needs, identify areas of opportunity and improvement and prioritize how to best implement various analytics and technologies. It addresses new and different ways companies can build or improve their analytic capabilities by outsourcing and offshoring, achieving sales and IT alignment and implementing sales analytics when launching new sales forces.

“The Power of Sales Analytics” is available on Amazon.com. For more details and to view a sample chapter, visit: http://bit.ly/1CclQm6.

About the Editors

Andris A. Zoltners is a professor emeritus of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and a cofounder of ZS. He has personally consulted for more than 200 companies in over 20 countries. He has spoken at numerous conferences and has taught sales force topics to thousands of Executive, MBA and PhD students. He is co-author of numerous academic articles and a series of books on sales force management. He received his PhD from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Prabhakant Sinha is a co-founder of ZS and a former Kellogg faculty member, who continues to teach sales executives at the Indian School of Business and the Gordon Institute of Business Science in South Africa. He has helped over 200 firms improve sales force strategy and effectiveness. He is co-author of many academic articles and a series of books on sales force management. He received his PhD from the University of Massachusetts and graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.

Sally E. Lorimer is a business writer. She is a co-author of numerous academic articles and books on sales force management. As a former principal at ZS, she has helped clients in a range of industries implement strategies for improving sales effectiveness and performance. She has an MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management and is also a graduate of the University of Michigan.

The coeditors have collaborated on numerous articles and reference books for sales executives, including “Building a Winning Sales Force,” “Building a Winning Sales Management Team,” “The Complete Guide to Sales Force Incentive Compensation,” “Sales Force Design for Strategic Advantage andThe Complete Guide to Accelerating Sales Force Performance.

About ZS

ZS is a global leader in sales and marketing consulting, outsourcing, technology and software. For more than 30 years, ZS has helped companies across a range of industries get the most out of their sales and marketing organizations. From 21 offices around the world, ZS experts use analytics and deep expertise to help companies make smart decisions quickly and cost effectively. ZS comprises multiple affiliated legal entities. Learn more at: www.zs.com.

Greg Austin
Director, Marketing & Communication, ZS
Greg.Austin@zs.com 

Anahita Wadia Khan / Kyle Adams
Sikich Marketing & Public Relations
akhan@sikich.com  
kadams@sikich.com