No Brainer ROI: Empowering Sales Reps With Analytics

Having more time in the day is more than just a luxury, it's a necessity.

Return On Investment

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In the fast paced world we live in, wouldn’t you love an extra few hours per week freed up so you could do all those things you never have time to do?  It’s no secret there are only 168 hours in any given week...unless someone invents a real world version of Back To The Future’s Flux Capacitor, time travel isn’t possible and we’re all stuck with this reality.

In the business world, empowering knowledge workers with a extra few hours per week could have a massive impact on productivity with a tangible impact to the bottom line.  This is particularly true if you apply the concept to empowering your field sales force with self-service analytics

Sales representatives are highly paid resources who are responsible for generating revenue to the company.  Yet most sales reps waste a lot of their valuable selling time on manual reporting and analysis.  Lack of access to self-service analytics often results in exporting data to Excel and PowerPoint but this can add up to hours of wasted time per week per sales rep.  So what would the Return on Investment (ROI) be if sales reps could easily leverage analytics?

A very simple approach is looking at time savings.  In the below example, I summarize a sample company which has 1000 sales reps that earn an average of 100k per year.  If you average the amount of time spent on manual reporting each week then calculate the hourly wages over 50 weeks, you get the total yearly cost associated to manual reporting.  A significant portion of this time can be reduced and calculating it over a five year period can show significant costs savings ($9.375 million in the below example):

Sales Rep Time Savings 

When analyzing anticipated ROI, some financial analysts often dismiss “time savings” as an elusive benefit since the time saved is often not replaced by hard dollar cost savings related to resource reduction.  While tangible costs may not be returned immediately, one can argue that saved time can now be applied to revenue-generating activities such as:

  • Increased sales calls/meetings

  • Better cross selling

  • More new customer acquisition

  • Ability to manage price-volume

  • Improved profit per customer

  • Better market share analysis

  • Optimized discount analysis

  • Better customer service

  • Increased pipeline conversion

More complete ROI models take these potential benefit sources into consideration.  The best ROI models allow for multiple input assumptions so the simulated benefits can be analyzed with many levers being pulled.  The trick is making the models usable by the non-finance experts so there can be buy-in from all key stakeholders in the company.

Many firms such as Nucleus Research offer custom research for ROI quantification.  While these offer a tailored and complete analysis, we came up with the Qlik ROI Calculator which leverages our own software to create custom ROI quantification scenarios.  The calculator incorporates advanced functionality such as monte-carlo simulation, scenario analysis, dynamic cash flow tables, calculating net present value (NPV) and payback periods.  Check out this YouTube video for a five minute demo video or you can request a custom ROI evaluation by contacting Qlik here.

Photo credit: LendingMemo / Foter / CC BY

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