Chapter 9

Bringing Science to Selling

Jan Van der Linden


Chapter Summary

  • Powerful new analytical options have emerged to augment intuition, judgment, and experience to dramatically transform sales performance.
  • Analytics can be applied across the end-to-end selling process and can address critical blind spots.
  • Analytical platforms around customer analytics, pipeline management, lead management, and talent mangement are some of the biggest levers being used by leading selling organizations.
  • Successful companies are focusing on seven key guiding principles to drive the analytics-focused cultural change while prioritizing and focusing their efforts.

As discussed in the opening chapter, as the business environment grows more challenging, companies of all kinds are under ever-mounting pressure to grow and grow profitably. Yet sales organizations—the chief instrument for growth at most organizations—often struggle to uphold their end. The numerous research studies we've already cited clearly indicate that many sales organizations struggle to master the key tenets of high-performance selling: having a deep understanding of what customers value; managing and deploying new capabilities; hiring and developing talent; and getting the most return on these investments.

However, the tide is turning. Powerful new options for improving sales performance are emerging that enable companies to take a more scientific approach to selling. These options—new analytical tools that complement salespeople's ...

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