The same data that can increase your sales can also bottleneck your sales progress if not handled wisely.
Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed, at times, with the vast amounts of data available? Perhaps you’ve resisted using the tools at your disposal because you didn’t want to take time out to learn how to use them.
Perhaps you simply don’t believe sales analytics will help you land more sales.
If so, you’re not alone. You have an industry full of many others feeling the same way.
Author, speaker and referral sales authority Joanne Black (@ReferralSales) recently wrote a post for the Sales 2.0 Blog about sales analytics called, “Are Analytics for Sales a Technology Overkill?“
[It’s a perfect companion piece to my post from last week, “Do You Know About This Deadly Trend In Sales Management?” where I featured Jason Jordan‘s resource on the @Salesforce Blog.]
Black opens the post writing about the struggle we have in common with non-selling time:
Oh, how I hate paperwork. Most salespeople feel the same way. We just want to spend time with our clients and close deals. It has been tough enough for organizations to get salespeople to use CRM and provide data. Now sales teams are also being asked to review data and trust analytics.
To be sure, more data isn’t a bad thing, but without solid guidance on how to both effectively and efficiently make the most of that data (i.e. application to your daily sales work), you’ll quickly find yourself lost in non-selling time neck deep in a swamp of data overload.
In the post, Black sat down with Mike Moorman, Managing Principal at ZS Associates (@ZSAssociates), to learn from someone who knows a thing or two about sales analytics and how to use that data to your advantage.
In the past, the sales data available to us has been about past events. But today, we’re experiencing the genesis of an entirely new type of data, and its seemingly endless possibilities, in predictive and prescriptive analytics.
Black’s discussion with Moorman helps us see how this information can assist us in answering questions such as:
- What’s the optimal size of my sales force?
- What’s the best way to deploy my people?
- What are the optimal territories for us to target?
- What are the best accounts to target?
- What is each prospect’s propensity to buy?
But even more, we can apply this new level of understanding further into our sales weeks:
This doesn’t just help sales leaders make optimal decisions. It also enables individual sales reps to optimize their performance by answering such questions as:
- Which accounts should I call on first?
- What are my priorities?
- What is my message or value proposition with a specific account?
- Should I engage face to face or on other channels?
- What should I send to each unique buyer – an email, research report, video?
Moorman then recommends three steps to get your sales team started on the analytics journey. You’ll definitely want to read those and consider how and when you’ll begin to press these steps into action for your sales organization. Read it all in Black’s useful post.
You don’t need to fear change in the form of a potential tidal wave of data you’ll be expected to analyze, interpret and set into motion. Understand how to use the tools at your disposal, learn to filter what really matters for you and your sales team, and then show your colleagues how to do it too.
A handful of sales reps in your team are going to step-up and lead the rest of you in this way. Make sure you’re one of them.
[Reading Time of Black’s Post: 2:30]
QUESTION: What’s your biggest struggle or frustration with the sales data you can currently access? Is the learning curve too steep with the tools you could use to make sense of the data?
Let’s talk about it…
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2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales