Survey Reveals Current Sales Force Automation Business Analytics Disappoint and Inhibit Success

Only 19% SFA Users are Satisfied with Analytics Provided; with 84% Experiencing Business Analytics Challenges

San Francisco, CA,
March 28, 2012 -

Birst Inc., the leading provider of agile business analytics, today announced the results from a new survey of business analytics professionals that highlights the growing need for more capable and easier to use analytics solutions within the marketplace. The survey, comprising of 339 responses and conducted by Dimensional Research and commissioned by Birst, quantifies the value received from existing approaches to business analytics and identifies issues that need to be resolved for users to get more from their Sales Force Automation (SFA) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) investments. A mere 19% of users are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their current solution for SFA analytics and more than four-fifth’s must augment the built-in analytic capabilities with additional tools to address their analytic needs.

Today’s organizations rely on business analytics to make informed business decisions in a timely manner. The low level of satisfaction among respondents within this survey underscores the need for improved solutions and the need for better business analytics. According to the survey, 84% of sales force automation users experience challenges with their business. Additionally, a majority of survey participants (83%) report that SFA business analytics solutions would deliver more value if they were easier to use.

"The need for improved Sales Force Automation and Customer Relationship Management analytics tools is evident. Even though organizations are making substantial investments in these solutions, our research shows that the analytics provided by the applications are not delivering the desired value,” said Diane Hagglund, senior research analyst for Dimensional Research and the study's author. “According to our research, companies are dissatisfied, require additional solutions or tools beyond the initial investment, and reported challenges with their current SFA analytics, leaving a wide open market opportunity for solutions that can deliver value and business results."

Key survey findings include:

  • A mere 19% of all respondents said they are “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their current SFA analytics solution
  • 71% of respondents said they require technical staff to achieve in-depth analysis of their SFA data
  • 82% of those surveyed said they must augment their built-in SFA analytics solutions with additional tools and 68% of the respondents still use Excel for their SFA data business analytics needs
  • Pipeline management (66%) and history-based forecasting (61%) most requested business analytics capabilities among SFA users

“Analytics are increasingly playing a pivotal role in a company’s success. Business analytics solutions should enable users to quickly and easily access their data to make critical business decisions. This survey highlights the exact need for what Birst delivers,” said Brad Peters, CEO of Birst. “It is unacceptable for organizations operating in today’s competitive business environment to have a SFA solution in place and still be forced to rely on subpar tools such as Excel spreadsheets to analyze their data.”

Birst’s comprehensive business analytics is a single, powerful solution that includes everything required for advanced business intelligence and makes the often-cumbersome task of deployment quick, easy, and affordable. With a solution accelerator specifically for Sales Analytics, Birst delivers feature-rich and robust reports and dashboards that integrate with the industry’s leading SFA and CRM applications to give an organization the more advanced analytics required to run their business.

The Dimensional Research report titled “The Current State of SFA Business Analytics,” is available here.

To learn more about the SFA Business Analytics survey and Birst agile business analytics for Salesforce.com and other CRM applications join Birst for a live webinar entitled “SFA Analytics—Useful or Useless? The Current State of SFA Business Analytics” on April 26 at 10:00 am PT. To register, click here.

Survey Methodology
An independent database of professionals with interest in business analytics was emailed in March 2012 and invited to participate in the Web survey on the topic of Sales Force Analytics. The 339 participants were not compensated for participation and represent a wide range of stakeholders with a wide range of SFA and CRM systems. Respondents were not compensated for participating in this survey except to be offered a copy of the final report.

About Birst
Birst™ is the leader in agile business analytics. It offers a single place to manage all of your organization’s business analytics and the agility to answer questions spanning departments, data sources, and deployments—across both public and private clouds. Birst gives users the fastest way to answer their most pressing business questions, and, the ones they didn’t know to ask. At one-third the cost, time, and staff of traditional big BI, Birst brings the benefits of analytics and fact-based decision-making to a much broader audience. For more information, visit www.birst.com.

For more information, contact:
Stacey Burbach
Point Communications Group for Birst, Inc.
sburbach@pointcgroup.com
(602) 279-1137