Kate Woolley: Stop Flying Blind in Sales

Failing to zero-base opportunities account by account can leave sales executives flying blind with their market approach. Kate Woolley, a partner with Bain's Customer Strategy & Marketing practice, shares how leading companies use a rigorous zero-based approach at the account level to get a clear view of revenue potential in the market.

Read the Bain Brief: Stop Flying Blind in Sales

Read the transcript below.

KATE WOOLLEY: Very few B2B organizations zero-base their market opportunities account by account, leaving sales executives flying blind when it comes to planning their route-to-market approach. They don't know where to invest or how to win. The leading companies we've seen actually know how to get the right offering to the right buyers at the right place and time.

They do this by using Big Data analytics to segment their customers based on their needs and behaviors, and then they use predictive analytics software to actually apply that and identify what the revenue opportunity would be by account and prospect. A great example we've seen of this was with a client, an IT services provider that we worked with on this.

They actually did a segmentation of 160,000 accounts and prospects based on internal and external data. They used Big Data analytics to identify the account opportunity for each of these prospects, and then they were able to completely overhaul their sales coverage model based on that information that they had and based on that segmentation.

A couple of examples of the changes they made: They were able to redesign their territory coverage to close sales gaps that had been identified through this process; they also built out a completely new direct salesforce upon learning that 60% of their customers prefer the direct model. Leading companies we've seen drive this type of rigorous approach at the account level, and it gives them fantastic visibility to drive revenue based on the potential they see in the market.

Read the Bain Brief: Stop Flying Blind in Sales