Business Intelligence (BI) software aims to help people work more effectively by providing meaningful information. Sales reps, managers and executives are the ones who need it the most. However is common for the first group to show some resistance to use this kind of tools and they may have a good point. Here are five valid reasons why BI adoption can be a challenge for sales people and how to overcome those obstacles.
1 – “What’s in it for me?”
The first reason for sales people to simply ignore BI tools is not being aware of how it can help them. Is not always clear what sales reps have to gain with using a BI software and few companies try to put BI in context and explain the upside of having better access to information. If companies do not demonstrate the ROI nor give use cases that sales reps can relate with, they will not change their habits and will keep relying on gut instincts.
You are aiming for a cultural shift, a change in behaviors so start by giving examples on how having a BI software can be an advantage, demonstrating ROI. Define goals, reward and share success stories and ensure the management set an example.
2 – “I don’t have time to use it.”
Sales reps believe that BI tools will affect their workflow, being a distraction from their goal of generating revenue. To be fair traditional BI tools can be time consuming. For a salesperson to work with BI tools he/she would need training and even then getting insights can be a cumbersome task. Other option would be for sales people to wait for reports from the IT department. Either way the speed at which sales reps access information doesn’t match deal flows.
In order for a BI tool to succeed, it can’t be seen as one more thing people have make time for. It should provide sales reps with easy access to useful information that helps them to perform better at their job. Search-based BI software are more intuitive solutions that help sales reps explore data by themselves.
3 – “I work remotely and spend most of my time in the field.”
If sales reps only have access to the BI software in the office but they spend most of their time in the field this is obviously an obstacle for adoption. Access to information is crucial to close more deals but if it requires a major change in employees’ routines, like going to the office when they didn’t have to do it in the first place, it’s not going to work.
BI software should be something sales people use at the start or at the end of their day, before they talk with a customer or vendor, being accessible anytime. Make sure the BI tool you choose works seamless in any device and anywhere. Most BI vendors “have” mobile solutions but they are very hard to use or have limited capabilities, so pay special attention on this.
4 – “I’m not comfortable using computer software.”
There are a lot of non-techy sales people that won’t admit they are not at ease with this kind of software, but they also don’t have time to spend in never ending training sessions. Sometimes these projects are implementing without consulting users first, but their opinions should be part of every software implementation plan. Over-complicated BI tools that force users going too far out of their way will not be used.
If they are not tech savvy users than go for the easiest tool in the market. Search-based BI tools let users access data just by typing or dictating queries into a search box using plain English. If you already have or are in the process of implementing a BI tool listen to feedback from your sales team.
5 – “I don’t want everyone to know what I am doing.”
Sales people are competitive and information is gold for them, so being obligated to share it, makes quite a reason for sales people to reject BI. They become defensive when it comes for their colleagues to know how many calls they made or how much revenue they hope to bring in, etc.
This point is arguable, it depends on company’s policy. However having different information access levels is important, so make sure your BI software let you define those levels.
Whatever the reason for poor adoption is, if a BI tool doesn’t actively help the sales team than it is just an expensive burden. To avoid reaching that point listen to your team, try to coach them into the benefits of using and exploring data and make sure you choose a BI software that meets their needs.
Wizdee is a search-based BI tool, this means your sales reps can access information through voice and text search just by making plain English queries. It works in any device, so no matter where your team is they can discover new opportunities and make data-based decisions. You can even provide them with insights in real time, sharing your discoveries through Wizdee network. Your team will gain speed, mobility and productivity.