I enjoy going to baseball games from time to time, but I’ve never been a big fan of the sport. That is, until I recently had a chance to attend a National League Championship Series game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.

Baseball used to bore me, but during that game I sat next to someone who really understood the ins and outs of the game. I learned that strategy changes from pitch to pitch, at-bat to at-bat, and inning to inning, and teams are far more advanced in their thinking that I ever dreamed of.

Infusing Talent with Data Analytics

Here’s an example of that.

At one point during the game, with the Cubs’ cleanup hitter coming to bat, my companion pointed out a shift in the Dodgers’ defense (the third baseman positioned himself in the outfield grass between first and second base). He then pointed out that the Dodgers, like many teams, use data analytics to predict tendencies in certain players. Right on cue, the batter hit a ground ball right at the third baseman, who barely moved to scoop up the ball and throw the runner out.

No question about it, the Dodgers have great talent. But they’ve infused data analytics into that talent to increase their chances of winning. It works, too; the Dodgers beat the Cubs to reach the World Series against the Houston Astros.

Analytics Can Boost Your Sales Team, Too

This approach is one of the major disruptions coming to business. Sales teams no longer have to rely on hunches to make quota. And quite frankly, that approach doesn’t work; according to research from CSO Insights, the percentage of sellers who make quota has dropped steadily for the last five years. In fact, only 53 percent of sellers made quota last year.

Enter the future of sales. In the near future, sales leaders will have more information at their fingertips than ever before, and what they do with that data will determine if they succeed or fail.

This information will allow them to quickly figure out which deals are worth pursuing and which ones to ignore. They will be able to evaluate sellers more effectively to the point where they will be able to predict the exact moment a deal could potentially fall apart and then step in and coach them through a course correction in real time.

And that’s just the start.

If you would like to learn more about what you need to do to prepare for the future of sales, please join us for a live webinar, From Surviving to Thriving: The Future Four Focus Areas for Sales, which will be held Nov. 1, Nov. 9, Nov. 14 and Nov. 21. To register, visit the Miller Heiman Group website.

You will learn about the tools you’ll need to be successful, and you won’t want to be left behind.

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