Sales Analytics empowers sales professionals with customized tools and reports to make the most of business data. Such solutions are a part of any advanced CRM or BI system. They help sales reps and managers uncover insights and make the best decisions, mostly in real-time.
According to Gartner, the worldwide CRM market is worth $23.2 billion as of 2014. Needless to say, this number has been steadily increasing to date. As part of these investments, sales teams are expected to record customer data accurately. Most of this data is harnessed to improve sales operations and business efficiency.
But here is the thing. All the information is mostly used by top sales leadership in decision-making and is not widely leveraged by the frontline sales staff. Thus, the unseen potential of sales analytics solutions never comes to the fore.
How Sales Reps Can Maximize the Potential of Sales Analytics
Data presents a tremendous opportunity for sales professionals in improving their careers and the company’s growth. It helps them make the best use of their time. They can also improve their attention to detail and energy levels using sales analytics.
So let’s see how you, as a sales manager, can help your core sales team get better at sales data analysis and get the desired outcomes.
Use raw data to incentivize sales reps
It’s a known fact that analytics is often based on incomplete or raw business data. You can work very well with such data provided you set the correct expectations.
The act of analyzing data, with all its imperfections, provides insight into broken processes, problem areas, and inefficiencies. For example, by analyzing sales data, you will realize that your reps have not been recording customer information completely, and fields like ‘industry,’ ‘proposed products’ or ‘company size’ are missing from your data. You will also come to know that some reps have a habit of over-promising, while others under-promise their targets.
Now, if you let sales professionals see and understand the impact of raw data on the business, they will be incentivized to enter more accurate information in the system.
Improve performance with peer-to-peer comparison
Providing peer-to-peer analytics to individual reps helps them take more ownership of their performance. To make this a reality, managers should ensure that they are segmenting reps by regions and cohorts. You cannot expect a new rep to perform like a fully ramped representative.
Peer-to-peer scorecards are known to increase the adoption and use of data in the organization. With such analysis in place, you will soon observe your team logging into the analytics application and creating their own reports to show the impact of their initiatives on revenue.
Scorecards can also empower you as a sales leader. After analyzing the behaviors and steps that successful sales professionals take, you can encourage such behavior in others. You can do this by offering appropriate compensation packages, training, and support programs.
All this sounds great! However, here is a word of caution. You should consider putting enough guardrails around the data to ensure this a guided experience. The last thing you want as a sales leader is having a rep argue that his or her numbers are more accurate than yours. Without having a “single version of the truth”, it’s difficult to get consistency. Ultimately, you will end up reconciling data, instead of selling!
Better planning of daily sales activities
In addition to improving your sales team’s performance, you can give sales professionals prescriptive guidance on how to make a sale happen. This includes making strategic decisions around particular vertical markets where the demand for a product is higher than others.
As salespeople make hundreds of calls a day, using sales and margin analytics solutions can be very beneficial for deal scoring and revealing potential opportunities. For sales professionals, such features will boost their confidence and result in better customer interactions.
Besides, sales reps can use data for face-to-face interactions as well. For example, they can use analytics to handle on-the-spot pricing questions.
Summing it up
If seen from a strategic point of view, data and analytics help sales professionals determine the strength of their pipelines, lead flow, and quota coverage. This ensures the long-term growth of your business. So make sure you have already adopted a good sales analytics solution. If not, EZlytix can help. Good luck!