Executive Briefings

Few Users Seem Happy with Their Sales Force Automation Analytics Software, Study Finds

A mere 19 percent of users are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current solution for sales force automation (SFA) analytics and more than four-fifths must augment the built-in analytic capabilities with additional tools to address their analytic needs, according to a survey conducted for Birst Inc., provider of business analytics.

The survey, comprising 339 responses and conducted by Dimensional Research, quantifies the value received from existing approaches to business analytics and identifies issues that need to be resolved for users to get more from their sales force automation and customer relationship management investments.

Today's organizations rely on business analytics to make informed business decisions in a timely manner. The low level of satisfaction among respondents within this survey underscores the need for improved solutions and the need for better business analytics. According to the survey, 84 percent of sales force automation users experience challenges with their business. Additionally, a majority of survey participants (83 percent) report that SFA business analytics solutions would deliver more value if they were easier to use.

"The need for improved sales force automation and customer relationship management analytics tools is evident. Even though organizations are making substantial investments in these solutions, our research shows that the analytics provided by the applications are not delivering the desired value," said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study's author. "According to our research, companies are dissatisfied, require additional solutions or tools beyond the initial investment, and reported challenges with their current SFA analytics, leaving a wide open market opportunity for solutions that can deliver value and business results."

Key survey findings include:

• A mere 19% of all respondents said they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current SFA analytics solution

• 71% of respondents said they require technical staff to achieve in-depth analysis of their SFA data

• 82% of those surveyed said they must augment their built-in SFA analytics solutions with additional tools and 68% of the respondents still use Excel for their SFA data business analytics needs

• 83% would receive more value if analytics were easier to use

• 86% say more robust analytics with increased capabilities would deliver higher value

• Pipeline management (62%) and history-based forecasting (61%) were the most requested business analytics capabilities

• 54% have purchased or considered purchasing additional analytics tools for their SFA data

"Analytics are increasingly playing a pivotal role in a company's success. Business analytics solutions should enable users to quickly and easily access their data to make critical business decisions," said Brad Peters, CEO of Birst. "It is unacceptable for organizations operating in today's competitive business environment to have a SFA solution in place and still be forced to rely on subpar tools such as Excel spreadsheets to analyze their data."

Source: Birst Inc.

The survey, comprising 339 responses and conducted by Dimensional Research, quantifies the value received from existing approaches to business analytics and identifies issues that need to be resolved for users to get more from their sales force automation and customer relationship management investments.

Today's organizations rely on business analytics to make informed business decisions in a timely manner. The low level of satisfaction among respondents within this survey underscores the need for improved solutions and the need for better business analytics. According to the survey, 84 percent of sales force automation users experience challenges with their business. Additionally, a majority of survey participants (83 percent) report that SFA business analytics solutions would deliver more value if they were easier to use.

"The need for improved sales force automation and customer relationship management analytics tools is evident. Even though organizations are making substantial investments in these solutions, our research shows that the analytics provided by the applications are not delivering the desired value," said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study's author. "According to our research, companies are dissatisfied, require additional solutions or tools beyond the initial investment, and reported challenges with their current SFA analytics, leaving a wide open market opportunity for solutions that can deliver value and business results."

Key survey findings include:

• A mere 19% of all respondents said they are "satisfied" or "very satisfied" with their current SFA analytics solution

• 71% of respondents said they require technical staff to achieve in-depth analysis of their SFA data

• 82% of those surveyed said they must augment their built-in SFA analytics solutions with additional tools and 68% of the respondents still use Excel for their SFA data business analytics needs

• 83% would receive more value if analytics were easier to use

• 86% say more robust analytics with increased capabilities would deliver higher value

• Pipeline management (62%) and history-based forecasting (61%) were the most requested business analytics capabilities

• 54% have purchased or considered purchasing additional analytics tools for their SFA data

"Analytics are increasingly playing a pivotal role in a company's success. Business analytics solutions should enable users to quickly and easily access their data to make critical business decisions," said Brad Peters, CEO of Birst. "It is unacceptable for organizations operating in today's competitive business environment to have a SFA solution in place and still be forced to rely on subpar tools such as Excel spreadsheets to analyze their data."

Source: Birst Inc.