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What happened to Mapquest?

by Egan Montgomery

Do you remember Mapquest? You know that piece of paper your dad would print out before a long road trip. At some point it would fall in between the seats and he’d yell at some family member when he missed his turn? It was amazing. It gave you the ability to get where you were going without a compass and giant foldable map. 

Why the heck would you want to get rid of this incredible paper based, static and unresponsive map that had no way to notify you of construction, road closures, or traffic? Funny enough,  for those of you old enough to remember, it was literally the most advanced way to get from point A to point B….in 1998.

So what happened? Navigational evolution happened. In 2004, Qualcomm began testing GPS, or the Global Positioning System, technology on mobile devices. This gave the general population the ability to access incredible amounts of positional and navigational information like never before. This technology had been reserved for the government, military, and space missions up until now. Most importantly, it provided end users with real-time directions, giving us the ability to course-correct and adjust on the fly. It turned a static map into a personal navigator that could even spot police up ahead and let you know when to slow down. It shifted the landscape of personal navigation ensuring that if Dad missed his turn…it was actually on him. But have no fear, your friendly Global Positioning System will recalculate your route and get the family back on track. 

Which brings me to my next question. Why do we evaluate and use sales data the same way we used Mapquest all of those years ago? How is it possible that we still look at things at a specific, static, point-in-time report? Why can’t we look ahead or be proactive? 

The root cause comes down to how we handle and use our data. The pipeline data we have in CRM’s today is disconnected and scattered throughout your database. Which forces sales leaders to compromise and select tools that give them a static point-in-time view with little insight to execute on. Shoot, in most cases we still carry around our handy-dandy excel sheet that we force our Sales Operations teams to take on the same monotonous task week in and week out leading to the exact same result: stale data.

How is that effective? With static data and bar charts sales leadership, most importantly frontline sales managers, have no way to gauge or measure the sales skills of their teams. Making an accurate sales forecast is nearly impossible when you can’t see the road ahead. If you can’t see the tendencies of one seller’s commit vs. another seller’s commit, how do you make your own? Headcount planning is even more difficult when you can’t estimate ramp time or know when a seller is on a downward trend and will need to be replaced. 

In order to gain the capabilities of GPS, a true navigational system for your sales organization, you have to start with the data. You must first connect the disconnected and begin snapshotting the changes happening across your CRM in real-time.

If you can accomplish this you have the ability to now analyze, monitor how each change affects your pipeline, your conversion rates, your attainment, you name it. With a monitoring system in place we can then notify sales leaders at any level when it’s time to course-correct, slow down to avoid the proverbial police officer (i.e. procurement team) on the road ahead, or sit down with a seller to discuss a specific weakness you can back up with simple data.

To truly understand your business you have to be able to look backward and forward to answer the questions you need answered. To be truly effective you need full visibility. If you have invested in sales operations or revenue operations that is the first step. If you have evaluated BI or are trying to manipulate data in excel you’re on the right track. However, there is a GPS system out there.

There is a new wave of solutions that proactively monitor your data. At Loupe we see the future being led by Augmented Revenue Analysis. Platforms that don’t just visualize your data but actually monitor it. That delivers the answers you need at the exact time you need them. 

Stop using Mapquest, it’s time to upgrade and ensure your sales managers and leaders are keeping their eyes on the road and out of the rearview. 

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