Today's business environment is becoming increasingly competitive. As a result, sales organizations need deeper insights and access to data to stay ahead of the competition. One way sales teams are getting a competitive advantage is through artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML). However, while many companies are looking into and adopting AI/ML technologies, success relies on more than just the algorithms within the tools. Organizations need the right data in order for AI/ML to "learn" to be truly effective.
Companies that lead in B2B sales follow a three-pronged strategy to drive above-market growth. B2B sales are on the verge of a revolution, with a number of trends completely redefining what it will take to be a market leader over the next five years. Advanced analytics and machine learning have given sales executives access to historically unprecedented amounts of data and computing power, allowing them to predict with a high degree of precision the most valuable sales opportunities. The fastest-growing companies are using advanced analytics to radically improve their sales productivity and drive double-digit sales growth with minimal additions in their sales teams and cost base. Also, radical changes in buyers' preferences, with buyers being more content-driven, technically savvy, and comfortable engaging via digital channels, has led to the rise of a new breed of sales leaders who bring technical expertise and a strategic mind-set.
We've all seen it coming: disruptions everywhere, from radical technology innovations to trade policies, taxation, Brexit, and supply chain risk. In 2018, the realities hit home as the ground beneath us began to shift – for good. How will the finance community adjust to deal with uncertainty, manage risk, and help their organizations stay ahead? How will finance stay relevant in the age of artificial intelligence? How will CFOs need to rethink and reinvent their roles?
It's hard to imagine daily life without technology. Whether it's the computer at your desk, the cell phone in your hand, or even the television where you shop online, stream your favorite shows, and catch up on the news, technology is everywhere. More recently, technology has evolved and artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) has grown in popularity. And to no one's surprise, it is a part of our everyday lives. When we search on Google, AI/ML intelligence helps autocomplete our search query and provides results based on our location and what others commonly search for.
Note: In May, I wrote about why companies that are providing a larger set of services and products to their clients might want to be thinking in terms of mini-ecosystems. Imagine my surprise when I was contacted by Matt Bray, who had built just that -- a mini-ecosystem in Europe around Xactly, one of the leaders in sales compensation. I asked Matt, who is the director of Strategic Alliances for Xactly in EMEA, if he would tell his story so you can see what they did and get a few hints on what to do. It's been an amazing summer for sports: Formula One Grand Prix, Soccer Euro 2016 Championship, Wimbledon lawn tennis, Tour de France, and finishing with the Rio Olympics. As an avid sports enthusiast, I look at all our athletes in admiration, representing their country (or team), aspiring to be at the pinnacle of their game to ensure at the right moment they perform, when it matters, their best.