What is Sales Acceleration?

Sales AccelerationOver 20,000 professionals registered for today’s virtual Sales Acceleration Summit, hosted by insidesales.com. Dave Elkington, the company’s CEO and founder, opened the conference by announcing that it actually broke a world record in online event registration. But what did attendees really gather to learn about, anyway?

In other words, what is sales acceleration?

During the keynote, Dave offered a simple definition: “Sales acceleration is what’s driving speed, driving efficiency, driving predictability in the sales processes that the reps are functioning in.”

He suggested that the sales acceleration market consists of these five layers:

1. Data visualization

Traditionally, a sales manager would rely heavily on pipeline reports, as well as anecdotal information from sales reps. The systems and technologies in this category offer sales leaders access to, and the ability to process, a wealth of data beyond that. 

2. Employee success

Things like recruiting, training, sales gamification and compensation fall into this category. It’s all about getting the most out of sales teams. 

3. Sales automation

This is an automated version of the traditional sales process. Dave describes it as “really driving huge increases in ROI, driving higher close rates…really from the top of the funnel all the way down.” 

4. Data management

This category is pretty straightforward — it offers sales leaders the ability to manage, or work with, all of the data they have access to today.

5. Predictive analysis

Tools in this category — the newest of the five — use data to predict what will happen and then alter sales processes accordingly for success.

Dave summed it all up by saying: “These are tools and technologies that enable people to drive higher efficiencies [and] higher volume, while still doing it in a professional sales environment.”

So, what can sales acceleration do?

Over one-third of the companies insidesales.com surveyed felt like they should be spending more on sales acceleration technology. Maybe that’s because those that are using it see these types of results:

1. Bigger deals

“We found that companies do bigger deals when they spend more on these kinds of technologies,” Dave said. “Specifically, companies that do deals that are over, on average, $100,000 spend twice on these kinds of technologies than companies that don’t.”

2. Faster sales cycles

Insidesales.com’s findings also support the idea that more spend on sales acceleration technology — specifically on intelligence and communication tools — leads to faster deals.

3. Higher close rates

According to the same research, companies with approximately 20%+ higher close rates spend 150% more on sales acceleration technologies (specifically on communication, intelligence, voice and data visualization tools).

4. Stronger corporate success 

“Companies that spend almost 400% more on these kinds of technologies have faster growth rates, drive more revenue and have higher and bigger market caps,” Dave explained.

What does the market look like?

The keynote also revealed that companies in the United States are currently spending $12.8 billion on sales acceleration technology. To put that into prospective, that’s about 4x the amount of spend on marketing automation software right now.

As for where the sales acceleration market could be headed, insidesales.com estimates that it has a $33.6 billion potential. “…people haven’t fully deployed these technologies in really all of their breadth,” Dave explained. “What we’re seeing is huge deployment of voice tools, communication tools, data visualization tools. There’s a lot of stuff that really leaves opportunity in the future that hasn’t been deployed on a large scale just yet, like predictive tools.”

The growth that the market has already experienced has led to some significant industry developments. For one, Dave suggests it directly correlates to the rise of inside sales. But that’s another story. Or another blog post, rather. Stay tuned to LevelEleven’s Sales Game Blog for more on that.

In the meantime, what’s your take on sales acceleration?

(Note: You can access a free on-demand version of Dave’s keynote, by registering here.)


What is Sales Acceleration?
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What is Sales Acceleration?
We're all starting to hear more about it, but what does "sales acceleration" actually mean?
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