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Does your company use sales intelligence? If it does, you probably reference the reports within your CRM on a regular basis to check up on metrics like quota attainment, call outcomes, stage duration and much more. And while insight into these types of metrics and activities makes a huge difference in sales performance, there are probably times when you wish you could get more out of your data.

Why are these things happening and what are the specific steps that you and your team can take to improve your results? Getting the answers to these types of questions usually requires additional digging and analysis, even with technology like predictive analytics.

But with the rise of the next generation of artificial sales intelligence – prescriptive insights – sales teams are now able to quickly receive actionable, data-driven recommendations as to the exact levers that should be pulled to drive growth. Here are three scenarios where prescriptive insights have the power to save your sales performance.

You’re not sure how to maximize your reps’ strengths.

As a sales manager, you know that for every rep who consistently books meetings and quickly closes deals is one who, try as he might, just can’t seem to drive conversion at one pipeline stage or another. But while your top performers obviously have great strength in key areas, you may be surprised to find that your underperformers actually excel at undervalued, underutilized or unexplored aspects of your sales funnel.

Rather than wasting time on trial and error and making reps jump through hoops, relying on prescriptive insights can quickly point out ways to help your underperforming reps join the head of the pack by utilizing their strengths. For example, perhaps Rep A has been struggling to close media and publishing companies – your bread and butter. But when it comes to telecommunications businesses – a largely untapped vertical for your company – she has a 90% close rate. Let her lead the expansion into that segment!

You don’t know which leads are driving the most value.

You probably have a general idea of the types of companies your business sells to and has the most success closing – i.e. small businesses, sales folks, financial companies, etc. But when marketing hands your team a list of a thousand leads, or you’re staring a full day of sourcing in the face, do you have a crystal clear picture of the types of prospects you should be prioritizing?

Prescriptive insights show you not only the types of customers that exhibit the highest close rate, but the qualities of those actually generating the most value for your business – which are two very different things. For example, you may have a high volume of leads from a particular industry, but are struggling to close them. Or, maybe you are closing a lot of deals in a specific region, but are not able to generate a significant amount of revenue from them. Finally, perhaps the deal value from leads with a certain contact title is high, but you are lacking leads from this segment.

Each of these scenarios requires a very different course of action, and prescriptive insights can tell you which to take. This is accomplished by using a simple yet powerful equation called lead yield, which you can learn all about in this blog post.

You’re falling short of your sales forecast this quarter.

We’ve all been there – you’re halfway through the quarter and the likelihood of your team hitting its forecast seems to shrink every day. But of all the levers that impact your sales performance – switching reps, changing up your process, reaching out to new leads, etc. – how do you know which to pull?

Figuring this out can take weeks of time-intensive analysis or grueling trial and error. Or, you can look to prescriptive insights to highlight the specific areas where your team is falling short, and even point out some creative ways for you to make up any deficiencies. For instance, “If each rep on your team can increase her average contract value by $5k, you will end the quarter at $35k over plan.” Or, “Reduce your team’s time-to-first-action from an average of 33 minutes to 17 minutes to generate $150k more this quarter.”

The Science of Sales

Thanks to the development of scientific sales solutions, these types of prescriptive insights are now readily available to any company with the quantity and quality of sales data needed to conduct statistically accurate analyses.