The 2016 Sales Performance Optimization Study by CSO Insights found that only 57.1% of B2B sales reps made quota last year. You might think that number is understated, but the rate was only 58.1% in 2014 and 58.2% in 2015. What’s more, B2B sales teams only achieved 82.7% of plan commitment last year. As sales professionals, we seem to have trouble reaching our goals.

When asked how they would turn things around in 2016, 58.4% set as a top goal, “capturing new accounts” and 40.2% said “improve sales effectiveness.” Both of these goals are supported by sales intelligence services which assist with lead qualification, account planning, messaging, and selling deeper into organizations.

The next three most cited objectives: “optimise lead generation” (39.3%), “increase existing account penetration (30.0%), and “improve customer loyalty/satisfaction” (21.9%) are also addressed via the implementation of a sales intelligence solution.

In my last blog Why budget for Sales Intelligence in 2017, I discussed benefits across sales and marketing. While it is useful to understand the broad set of benefits, it is also important for purchasing departments to convert these benefits into hard numbers. Oftentimes, this justification involves calculating a Return on Investment (ROI). The ROI looks at several years of cash flows to determine the efficiency of an investment. As such, the ROI of different investments can be compared to determine which investments are likely to have the highest returns.

Calculating ROI

Put simply, the ROI is calculated as

ROI = [Benefit/Cost of Investment -1] *100



Michael Levy
About the Author
Michael R. Levy, former Manager of Strategy and Competitive Intelligence of Infogroup, is the principal of GZ Consulting, a US market research and competitive intelligence consulting firm. He focuses on information services including sales intelligence, CRM, data hygiene, and marketing automation. Michael is also the author of "2017 Field Guide to Sales Intelligence Vendors".

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