The virtual Chief Revenue Officer Summit is running February 17th 2021 and this is one of a few pre-event Q&A sessions ahead of the event.

We caught up with Bob Scarperi, Founding Partner at Revenue Vision Partners and to pick his brains on the subject of fact-based sales decision support systems, the benefits of using high quality data and the challenges faced by mid-market organizations growing their top line.

Q: What is your background and how did you find yourself in this industry?

A: I am a founding partner of Revenue Vision Partners, a contemporary growth consulting firm. We help B2B commercial leaders accelerate revenue growth using smart sales data. It sounds simple but it's startling what a challenge this can be! I know we'll hear this theme over and over during your conference. So many organizations lack the experience, tools, and processes to make data actionable.  

I initially started in sales at ADP in the early 90s. I'm grateful to have held senior sales leadership roles, i've also worked at amazing places like DoubleClick, Alliance Bernstein, and MediaMath. I'm a dyed in the wool commercial operator.

Q: How would you define a ‘fact-based sales decision support system?'

A: A fact-based decision support system utilizes research and data in order to ensure decisions drive targeted efforts. The right DSS blends macro research, sector research and micro-level account data in order to ensure key individuals are not guessing. They use all of the available facts, verified account and decision maker information to improve sales and account effectiveness. They include a measurement system to ensure a virtuous circle of quality effort and reinforcement.

Q: What are the biggest obstacles to implementing a fact-based, data-driven sales strategy?

A: Most companies tend to be missing the ability to integrate 3rd party data with their 1st party data in a clean environment. Because they keep data siloed, there is no single source of truth. The situation continues to worsen as disparate databases become more and more over-run by low-quality contamination.

They lack the experience and the statistical knowledge to create models which direct the right sales efforts coming from the best talent.

Q: What are the benefits of ensuring you’re using high quality data in your CRM?

A: Sellers become more engaged and effective when they eliminate time-sucking 'searching elsewhere' for accurate account details and contact information. Cross-functional teams feel they are more aligned when they can all contribute and collaborate in the CRM.

More time spent on core revenue growth – less time on frustrating and monotonous data hygiene. Higher close-rates, better margins, higher retention of top talent. Highly targeted demand generation efforts across email, social and earned media. Systematized full funnel accountability which ensures the best targets are getting the most attention from the sales organization. Sales processes can be monitored more accurately to assess pipeline quality. Forecast accuracy improves dramatically.

Q: How can commercial leaders help B2B sellers to use fact-based sales decisions to forge more meaningful connections with buyers?

A: Simply stated, they know which accounts to focus on. The right talent in the sales org know how to make these personal connections. When they have more certainty, they are focused on the right accounts and the best decision makers. In these highly focused situations, their natural charm, charisma and business sense result in quality relationships. With the right backdrop of data, you are creating an environment where commercial talent will thrive!

Q: What are the key commercial challenges faced by mid-market organizations in growing their top line?

A: The easy wins from the early days are behind them. They are now chasing a more crowded market where decision makers are flooded with good alternatives. In the most challenging environment they’ve ever faced, they’ve been forced to consolidate resources, operate virtually and attempt to engage decision makers who face more scrutiny than ever.

Simply stated, they need to do more with less. Middle-market organizations tend to skew more toward approaches backed by instinct and improv. They are usually not systematic and metric driven. During their rapid growth phases, many over-invest in technology that is not right for them. They are chasing shiny objects. They’ve wasted money on technology, causing even more frustration and pressure on the bottom line.

Q: ‘Predictable’ and ‘repeatable’ are two of the principal tenets of successful sales decisions strategies - how do you ensure rigor in achieving and maintaining these?

A: When sales effectiveness increases due to the reasons mentioned above, growth becomes more reliable. The old ways resulted in feast or famine. The new ways drive consistent over-achievement. High-quality growth efforts pointed out that the accounts with the best potential simply work. When you know, with certainty, that the things you are doing are effective, these things becomes habits. Good habits have a way of sticking!

Thank you so much for your thoughtful questions. I’ve been hungry for a forum with high quality CROs for all of the same reasons! The Sales Enablement Collective has created a community of like-minded professionals who can make each and every one of us better.

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