I don’t want you to fall into this all-too-common trap.
[Wait, did I appear to overreach in the titling of this post? A bit much?]
I may have used, well, a touch of hyperbole there in the title (borrowed from the resource I’m about to mention), but that came out of my concern for the welfare of you as a sales professional and for the well-being of your sales organization.
Please allow me to explain…
Sales management expert, author, and speaker Jason Jordan(@jasonrjordan for @salesforce) recently wrote the third post, “Deadly Sales Management Trend #3: Data Overload,” in a series titled, “5 Deadly Trends in Sales Management.”
I’ll give you those links in a moment, but I want to keep your focus on this particular post.
The past 20 years have been amazing as far as what information we now have at our fingertips. Jordan starts off by saying as much when he states:
Anyone on the planet within reach of a cellular tower can view the latest data on year-to-date revenue, opportunities in the pipeline, sales forecasts, quota attainment, sales activity, and any other data point that the heart or mind desires.
So what’s wrong with that? Data is good, and good data is better, right?
… only to a point. In the absence of any data, sales management is starved of critical insights, so those first management reports feel like a cup of cold water on a hot summer day. But as the reports begin to pile up, they become a torrential downpour that can leave sales managers adrift in a sea of data.
The challenge then becomes to identify the cupful of data that will quench your thirst, without drowning you in a flood of reports.
My early career certainly didn’t include these data luxuries we now possess, and there were certainly pitfalls, or false-positives, in the data we were able to use. The current abundance of data can quickly become a snare because of the flood of data.
It can be more difficult to root out the most important insights and, even more often, we see mirages in the data. We read the data according to our own biases. We want to tell the story that aligns with our goals…but the data may only seem to agree.
The rest of Jordan’s post walks us through the story of a real world business example, from understanding the potential problems to understanding how to use three specific, actionable steps to safeguard yourself from succumbing to this trend of increasing data overload.
The discoveries came from researching for Jordan’s book, Cracking the Sales Management Code.
You know I won’t tell you what those steps are here because, as always, I really want you to click over to the full post to read it for yourself.
If you’re in a sales management position, or if you aspire to be in that position one day, it’s worth your time to read it. If it wasn’t, I wouldn’t have taken my time to tell you about it.
AS PROMISED: Here are the links to the first two posts in this series:
- 5 Deadly Trends in Sales Management
- Deadly Sales Management Trend #2: Lack of a Common Language
Look for the fourth installment in this series on the Salesforce Blog very soon.
QUESTION ::: Were you already aware of the easy trap of misusing data, and have you ever felt overwhelmed by the amount of data you have at your disposal? If so, what have you found to be helpful to keep the data working in your favor instead of secretly against you?
Let’s talk about it…
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2015 Guide to Sales Optimization: Restoring Sanity to Sales