Optimal GPS Directions vs Sales Optimization – If your GPS gives you the “best” route home, will you take it?

Optimization: Choosing the best Direction
540 453 Pete Furseth

If you live in a city, or larger urban center, you probably check your GPS system as you get in your car to head home. You want your GPS to tell you the fastest route, which usually means avoiding traffic caused by accidents and construction. Sometimes the route your GPS gives you is not the path you would normally take, but most of us follow the directions home if the time savings are significant.

How did we get to the point where we allow a machine to control our personal decision making? Why don’t we take advantage of similar technology to better run our business?
The interesting aspect of these questions is that the technology we rely upon to pick our most efficient route home can also help us in our jobs. Specifically, this blog post focuses on how you can use this technology to optimize your sales resource planning.

The route selection in your GPS system uses Operation Research methods to determine the quickest path from your office to your home. These algorithms are based on work by Professor E. W. Dijkstra who defined the algorithm to find the shortest path between two nodes on a graph. In GPS terms, this is the shortest path, or the fastest path, between two locations. Amazingly, this work was published in the late 1950s and here we are today relying on it to get us home. A lot of things had to come together for us to be able to leverage this technology. The most critical is the ubiquitous availability of GPS (Global Positioning System). This technology allows us to know where we are located and then we can be mapped to our destination.

Now, this is all very interesting, but what does it have to do with Sales Optimization. As noted earlier, the underlying methods and algorithms of GPS and finding the optimal headcount in sales are founded in the same principles. It is the study of Operation Research which focuses on the math of optimization. Optimization is the act of making the best or most effective use of a situation or resource. How does this apply to sales management?

Sales resource planning optimization is the process of understanding the exact resource plan that is required to meeting your order and sales goals over the next 3 years (avoid the one year plan). It defines the exact resource profile that will minimize your sales expense while ensuring you have the appropriate resource plan to achieve your order goal that will amortize to meet your revenue goal. Generally, these plans are evaluated over a 3 year period. They define a monthly resource plan by sales position and territory that will achieve your goals. Stated in GPS terms, it defines the exact route for you to take to achieve your sales goals.

This technology is now readily available and, with cloud-based delivery systems, is easy to deploy and use. Therefore, why are you not taking advantage of this capability? What are the reasons for holding you back from being a “best-in-class” company? This technology will give you a competitive advantage in terms of cost and market coverage.
What can you expect to gain through Sales Optimization?

  1. Potential cost saving of 5% – 15%.
  2. 3 year sales plan that ensures you are appropriately staffed to cover your annual commitments.
  3. A specific plan, by sales resource type, that maximizes your return on investment.
  4. The ability to quantify the cost of management decisions that deviate from the optimal plan.
  5. A thorough understanding of your sales team ramp rates by sales positions and territory. With this, you get overall quota achievement rates based on your employees’ tenure.
  6. Advanced reporting analyzing differences from the actual outcome vs. expected.

The biggest advantage this technology gives you is the ability to “sleep better at night.” You will be secure in the knowledge that you have the right resource plan to achieve your quarter and future goals.ORM specializes in sales and marketing optimization. Through our optimization and predictive analytics platform, we will get your sales team home in the shortest amount of time. Your team will achieve their goals at the minimum cost. If you would like information about ORM Technologies, please let us know at info@orm-tech.com.