This sponsored post is produced by InsideSales.com.
Sales acceleration is an array of software tools that sits in between CRM and marketing automation. It’s not about organizing your sales efforts like CRM technology, or automating the scheduling and tracking of campaigns like marketing automation technology — it’s about making the entire sales process faster. And faster adds up to shorter sales cycles, higher close rates, and bigger deals.
Every indication shows the sales acceleration category will continue to grow, and more importantly, continue to help companies increase their revenue. Studies, as well as practical real-life examples, are showing a direct correlation between investment in sales acceleration technology and increased revenue.
One study conducted by researchers at InsideSales.com indicates current spending for sales acceleration technology in North America has reached $12.8 billion based on an average annual expenditure of $2,280 per rep.
Companies like DoubleDutch that invest in sales acceleration technology are boosting all of their key indicators — especially revenue. After arming its sales development team with powerful predictive dialers and analytics, DoubleDutch increased its revenue by 300 percent in an 18-month period.
According to InsideSales.com’s 2014 Sales Acceleration Technology Market Size Study, companies investing the most in this technology experience:
- Bigger Deals: Companies that close the biggest deals spend nearly twice as much on sales acceleration technology as the average company spends.
- Faster sales cycles: Companies with the shortest sales cycles spend 28 percent more than average on sales communications and intelligence.
- Higher close rates: Companies with the highest close rates spend 17 percent more than the average company on sales acceleration technology.
- Increased revenue: The top 50 percent of companies in terms of revenue spend almost twice as much as the average company on sales acceleration technology.
The players in the sales acceleration category make up a growing group of software companies that help their customers drive revenue growth. In fact, at the recent VentureBeat GrowthBeat conference, many of the speakers represented some of the most innovative companies in the category including:
- DocuSign: Electronic signatures.
- Xactly: Provides objective, cross-industry data to design and manage incentive compensation plans.
- InsideView: CRM intelligence for complete, accurate and relevant prospect and customer information to increase sales.
- SalesPredict: Big data with predictive analytics.
- ClearSlide: Cloud-based access to deep analytics and insight into customer interactions for sales teams.
- InsideSales.com: Comprehensive cloud-based sales acceleration platform that creates high-performance sales teams with innovations in sales communications, gamification, predictive analytics and data visualization.
During the past 18 months, investment has been pouring into the category with hundreds of millions of dollars invested in companies such as Domo, InsideSales.com, Apttus, DocuSign, Infer and Yesware.
What exactly is sales acceleration?
There are many different yet complementary technologies that make up sales acceleration. It’s a long list that can include data visualization, gamification, predictive analytics, sales intelligence, email, chat, text, video and social. It also includes technologies that can accelerate quotes and proposals, presentations and contracts.
And it bridges the gap between CRM and marketing automation to move sales processes even faster. For example, first-generation predictive dialers have been around for a long time, but fall short because they dial multiple lines at once and put reps in a position where they don’t know who will answer and can’t prepare for the call.
Today’s dialers with predictive analytics, a key element of sales acceleration, determine the best day of week and time of day to contact each prospect in a call list to dramatically improve contact rates. Reps take control of every call from start to finish.
How big can the category grow?
The 2014 market size study indicates there are approximately 5.62 million non-retail sales reps in North America. Currently, companies spend an average of $2,280 annually per rep, which places the market size at $12.8 billion.
But the evidence suggests that adoption rates for these technologies have not reached their peak. When researchers applied a standard 75 percent adoption rate to the 5.62 million existing reps, they discovered that the total addressable market balloons to $38.2 billion.
Out of all of this one thing is emerging: there may be a strong correlation between those companies that invest in sales acceleration technology and those that enjoy a competitive advantage in the race for customers and revenue.
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