By Jerry Trybus, Consultant
Once your business has gathered its business intelligence data, the next step in the process is to make it available and useful to the salespeople and the operational teams that support them. Initially, it might be tempting to try and “wow” them with the amount of information that will now be at their disposal. However, it’s critical to understand that presenting too much data at once can be very intimidating.
I’ve recently implemented a roll out of business intelligence data for a Fortune 500 corporation. During that period, I’ve accumulated the following basic guidelines/tips that I found to be useful with its successful introduction:
- Understand what information/data/reports are currently being utilized today and determine how this additional BI data will be beneficial in day-to-day activities. By doing so, you can tailor your training and support to be more clearly focused, thus increasing your chances of it being accepted by these groups.
- Use this newly acquired business intelligence to address the immediate needs of the users, after which, gradually introduce the additional BI data to their list of deliverables. This way you won’t disrupt their current data demands while enabling the users an opportunity to begin using the new BI data in their day-to-day activities.
- Make it simple by initially utilizing standard reports, dashboards or formats that are similar to what the users are familiar with. Remember, salespeople are receptive to additional information as long as they can understand it, explain it to their customers and see additional sales resulting from it without requiring a large amount of their time to prepare or manipulate it.
- Recognize that some users are more adapt to change than others, so adjust your support for those individuals accordingly. Many times that means increasing the frequency of training, hand-holding and working together on specific tasks in order to assist in their learning process. Ultimately, their willingness to change can be expedited by their confidence that they will be supported with any issues or questions that might arise. Otherwise, you’ll find them reverting back to their old familiar ways.
- Be open to feedback from the users and make any necessary adjustments, either in your presentations, training or supportive collateral material.
- Most importantly, create a demand for this new data from the sales teams. I’ve found sales support groups are more apt to provide what is requested of them, rather than pushing new data or reports to the salespeople.
Keep in mind this is a gradual and continual process. However, the ultimate goal of increasing your sales, via this new found business intelligence, is well worth the effort.
About the Author
Jerry Trybus is a Senior Consultant for the Bardess Group. He brings with him over 30 years of experience in sales, marketing, business development, product management, project management and business intelligence analysis. This experience was developed during his involvement such companies as Xerox, Lockheed Martin, Motorola and Cisco. His varied expertise allows him to understand the goals and drivers in each of these product life cycle segments.