Going Down the Wrong Path With Your Sales Analytics?

Joe Weinlick
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Without sales analytics, it would be almost impossible to forecast sales, effectively manage your sales pipeline or identify the buying habits of your best customers. Many companies are even using sales analytics to determine which employees are performing well and which employees need additional training. Unfortunately, not every company uses sales data correctly, and the analytics these companies are using to make decisions might not be the right ones.

It doesn't matter how much sales data you collect if you are measuring the wrong things. Tracking the length of the sales cycle is important, but it doesn't help you identify the most lucrative opportunities or determine if your salespeople are effective at their jobs. If you want to use sales analytics effectively, you must track the right data. Use all of the systems at your disposal to determine if representatives are straying from your brand message or sharing the wrong content with prospects. Measuring the right things can help you determine which employees need further training and which ones deserve bonuses for their efforts.

Another reason some companies fail at using sales analytics effectively is because they don't track interactions between prospects and salespeople. When you focus on data related to your sales pipeline or forecasts, you miss out on the opportunity to see which sales methods are the most effective. You should be tracking interactions to know if you need to replace outdated sales techniques with techniques that produce better results.

If you want to use sales analytics effectively, everyone in your company must be on board. Some organizations fail because they review data only once or twice a month or because some departments don't know what they are supposed to be tracking. Big data is not just for managers, so you need to train employees to gather and analyze data properly. Make sure every employee in your organization, from marketing managers to brand-new sales representatives, knows why sales analytics are so important. Emphasize the importance of analytics by reviewing data several times each month.

Some companies struggle with analytics because they don't have all of their data organized in one location. Disorganized data presents a good opportunity to campaign for a robust customer relationship management system. This kind of system makes it easier to store customer data, identify sales trends and determine which sales representatives are doing the best job turning prospects into customers. If you don't already have a CRM system in place, form a committee to determine if you need a custom solution.

If you want to make more sales, you should be gathering data every time your salespeople meet with prospects. You also need to collect data from people who have purchased your company's products and services. Once you have all the data in a central location, use sales analytics to make forecasts, determine which sales methods are producing the best results and identify the most successful salespeople in your organization.


Photo courtesy of David Castillo Dominici at FreeDigitalPhotos.net



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