Guest blog contribution by Dan Bolon, Federal Solutions
You might not typically see Sales Reps or Account Managers building complex data transformations in analytics tools, which are generally reserved for analysts in Finance, Marketing, BI or Operations. But at Altair Corporation, some are ‘eating the company’s own dog food’ and are leveraging our own Monarch solution to sell more effectively.
If you’re in sales, you probably are constantly asking yourself a few questions (or, at least you should be):
- Who can I reach out to next?
- Who are my top customers?
- Who usually buys what, and when?
The answers are in your data, but the problem is that it’s all over the place – spreadsheets, finance systems, CRM reports, emails, etc. making it both your best friend and worst enemy at the same time. Maybe you open Excel and try to figure it out – soon you have 12 windows open and are copying and pasting data from everywhere, creating pivoting tables, trying to write vLookups or manually defining filters, etc.
If you’re not a fan of that approach, you probably submit requests to a sales/marketing operations analyst, or possibly even someone in BI. You’re then tasked to explain what you need to someone that lives in data every day what you are looking for. Problem is, you don’t speak their language so misunderstanding ensues. This process takes time and usually involves some back and forth before the desired outcome is met. Monarch eliminates this conundrum by allowing Sales Reps to access all data, no matter the original format.
Once you successfully access all the data, you identify your next problem: How do I normalize it and then segment it by accounts, contacts, dates, products, etc.? With its’ drop-down menus, Monarch helps you quickly understand which data transformation steps you need to take. All commands are present in a drop-down menu and are written in plain-English (no coding or analytics experience required). You can fix any errors, get rid of any extraneous/irrelevant information and blend all your different reports together without ever touching your keyboard. But, I’m saving the best for last.
The best part about Monarch is that it is going to remember everything you did. So, when next quarter rolls around and you want to do the same analysis on your updated data, you don’t have to open up Excel to start from scratch. Even better, you will never again have to put in another request to someone else and hope they get you what you need in a timely manner. This analytics process can also be automated to take place on a regular basis for real-time intel on your sales territory, for you and your team to benefit from. Who wouldn’t want that?
Self-service data preparation with the Monarch platform allows for answering questions at the speed of thought and enables any user (yes…even Sales guys/gals!) to become a data wizard/witch. Finding relationships between common CRM system reports, Excel spreadsheets, purchasing data and even open-source web data is as simple as drag-and-drop/point-and-click.
Why rely on antiquated processes or people in other departments you can’t control? If you think valuable sales insights could be falling through the cracks of your disparate data, give Datawatch’s self-service data preparation solutions a try, or learn more about how you can simplify Excel with data prep. You might soon find fellow reps very curious with your results. Happy hunting!