The most important sales hire you make should not be a sales person. If you are an executive or sales leader you really need to think hard about the next person you hire to improve your sales results. You might just need to hire a sales analyst.
The best and the brightest minds that understand the newest tools in big data and analytics are being hired at a rapid pace, locking them down before a competitor finds them. Salaries are averaging in the mid 60’s according to Glassdoor and a quick Google search for Sales Data Analyst will reveal the search is already on.
To get a deeper understanding of what is happening, this Dice.com post shares predictions from leading research firms like Gartner and McKinsey & Company. A much-quoted 2011 report by McKinsey & Company’s Business Technology Office, for example, found that the need for data-analytics talent would exceed supply by 50 to 60 percent by 2018.
“There will be a shortage of talent necessary for organizations to take advantage of big data,” read that report. “The United States alone faces a shortage of 140,000 to 190,000 people with deep analytical skills as well as 1.5 million managers and analysts to analyze big data and make decisions based on their findings.”
The competitive advantages that comes from getting ahead of this new wave are becoming more clear. Those that choose to embrace these new capabilities will reap the results of being a market leader. You might recall those that dismissed the social media wave and are now playing catch-up or worse.
Attending the IBM Insight conference in Las Vegas, it has become clear that the future of Big Data and Analytics has arrived. The ramp to a significant shift in how business is done is now open. Story after story, example after example of companies that have embraced and implemented their tools and delivered spectacular results. These improvements are proving to be repeatable, long term results, not just the flash in the pan that sometimes comes with a novel new idea or approach. Customers have experienced personal and localized service and they now expect it from their vendors. There are those that are saying that the best definition of Big Data is “Fast Data” and that is nowhere more evident than within the team at IBM bringing us Watson Analytics. Currently still on a pre-beta stage, I encourage you to visit Watson Analytics site to sign up to get access when it is released later this year. Fast action on hiring a sales analyst for your organization should be high on your priority list.
If you want to learn more about Big Data and Analytics specifically focused on sales and marketing, I have found this site to be an excellent source of information about success stories including XO Communications and Luxottica amongst others.