At Base, we consider ourselves pioneers of a ground-breaking new category that takes data analysis to the next level: the Science of Sales. At the core of this category is our belief that sales can and should be accurately measured, scaled and refined in the same way that industries like marketing and support have been for years.
As the technology and methodology to make this happen continues to evolve, we expect a new role to emerge within the sales organization to support this initiative. Enter the Sales Scientist.
What Is a Sales Scientist?
One way to think about the role of a Sales Scientist is as a cross between a Data Scientist and Sales Operations. In addition to having the interdisciplinary knowledge around statistics, machine learning and more required for Data Scientists, Sales Scientists must also have an intimate understanding of sales processes and best practices.
The combination of these attributes enables Sales Scientists like myself to provide sales teams with actionable recommendations that lead to immediate improvements in their sales results. As a Sales Scientist at Base, I’m responsible for learning about our clients’ sales pipelines and examining their data using our big data analysis technology. My team and I then hold Sales Acceleration Labs (SALs) with our clients to share our findings and recommendations.
While my day-to-day activities encompass a host of proprietary formulas, technologies and strategies, there are some tricks of the trade that I can share. Let’s dive into the number one metric that I rely on on a daily basis, the Sales Formula, and then examine the results of one of our SALs.
The Sales Formula
The Sales Formula describes a lead’s journey through a company’s sales pipeline. It provides a consistent and reliable way to measure and evaluate a sales strategy over time across the key conversion points needed to turn a lead into a closed deal. While the formula should be adapted to suit each client’s unique sales pipeline and process, the baseline formula and the definitions for its variables are as follows:
By measuring leads or deals with different dimensions like lead source, company industry, etc. using the Sales Formula, you can isolate the significance of specific factors on your sales performance. This reveals the steps you can take to improve at each stage of the sales pipeline.
For example, you may discover that deals from paid search convert at a high percentage at the beginning of your pipeline, but fall out in the Opportunities Worked stage. In contrast, deals originating from partners convert at a lower percentage early in the pipe, but close at a higher rate.
While additional analysis is required to determine why this is occurring (BDRs over-qualifying leads, lead sources underperforming, AEs struggling to close, etc.), the outcome will result in actionable steps to overcome this challenge.
Let’s take a look at how this type of analysis played out in a real Base customer scenario.
IAWS Sales Acceleration Lab
Iowa Wind & Solar (IAWS) is a turn-key solar installer that offers planning, financing and installations for solar energy solutions in both the commercial and private sectors. As the company grew, Vice President David Birchmier began his search for a way to help his team measure its sales process and uncover actionable insights.
With an organized sales process in place and more than 695,000 data points captured using Base’s All-in-One Sales Platform, IAWS turned to Base’s new scientific sales solution, Apollo, and its team of Sales Scientists. After customizing the Sales Formula to fit IAWS’s pipeline, my team and I went to work analyzing IAWS’s various lead sources and how different reps handled deals from these channels.
This process resulted in a series of insights that enabled David to conduct more strategic lead distribution and better coach his reps as to where to focus their efforts. “Base has been able to tell us which lead sources and competitors we should be going after, and the right reps to take on these deals,” says David.
Become a Sales Scientist
This is just one example of how Sales Science can help businesses uncover actionable insights about their sales. What do you think your company’s Sales Formula looks like? What dimensions mean the most to your business? If you’re interested in discovering the answers to these questions, I recommend you enroll in our Science of Sales eCourse. Happy selling!