We get it. Sales can be a high pressure place to be. There are months when you fear your department won’t hit their number, and you’re not adapting to market shifts quickly enough. There are also months when you sail through your goals and your sales department can do no wrong. How do we ensure that you have more sailing months and fewer sinking months? Analytics will help you identify where your team can improve, and what successes you need to replicate. These quick steps will ensure that you’re knowledgeable on how your team is performing and empowering your sales reps to make the right data-driven decisions.
Engrain analytics into your department culture
As a sales manager, you already know the benefits of using analytics to make decisions for your whole department. But are you the only data champion in sales? Help sales reps understand how data can address their specific pain points, and make yourself available if they have questions. Encourage collaboration around data-driven KPIs by making your data and charts easily shareable. This brings us to the next point.
Communicate effectively between quarterly meetings
To really track sales metrics, you need to monitor them frequently, and communicate effectively with the entire team. You likely already have a weekly one-on-one with your sales reps, so make them informative and effective by sharing dashboards and letting them see what you see before the meeting. Don’t wait until the next quarterly meeting to make decisions with your team.
Give Leading KPIs the proper amount of attention
KPIs like revenue by sales rep or win percentage are important, but there are other KPIs that contribute to these and allow you to identify an issue in your pipeline before you see a missed sales target from your reps. These are KPIs like calls per week, or rate of follow up contact.
Track your team’s pipeline all the way from opportunity to close
Identify where the leaks in your funnel are by monitoring deals all the way from opportunity to close. See how long it takes reps to move a deal in each stage of your funnel, and see if the win percentage decreases after a certain amount of time, for example.
Align marketing and sales goals
Go even further back, before someone becomes an opportunity and identify the highest value leads from marketing efforts. Combine marketing data with sales data to determine where the best leads are coming from. This helps the marketing team help you. Identify successful campaigns and foster collaboration between departments.
Deliver each employee unique data-driven coaching
With data on each sales rep, you can segment to see their pipeline for any given period of time and compare it to other reps within your department. Identify the strengths of each rep, and figure out how to replicate that across the sales team as a whole.
Ensure each employee is tracking the right metrics for his/her position
Part of coaching your sales reps (and contributing to that data-driven culture) is establishing charts that will be most useful for them depending on their position. Sales reps likely need charts that they can access quickly on the go while they’re out in the field directly from their mobile device. Sales ops, sales engineers, and inside sales reps all have very different metrics that they need to track.
Make sure you’re segmenting properly
Overarching KPIs are of course very important, but segment those KPIs to understand them in more depth. Take a look at expected revenue by region or opportunity owner to determine where your team is excelling and where it could use some improvement. The chart below, for example, depicts revenue by state that instantly shows where your revenue comes from.
Streamline your analytics process
If possible, connect all your cloud services to your data visualization tool and keep the charts you’ve created automatically needed. The days of exporting data to an Excel sheet and recreating the same charts for your dashboard every month are long gone. Take advantage of this simplification in your analysis by streamlining the process and saving yourself time.
Communicate your departmental wins effectively
Presenting to other departments on your sales team’s wins can be exciting. Hopefully you’re the bearer of good news, so make sure your presentation really makes your team and their accomplishments shine. Balance stories with numbers, back up key ideas with charts but don’t overwhelm your audience with data points. Make sure the visualizations are clear and compelling, and preemptively answer any questions your audience may have before they get a chance to ask them. For more tips on data-based presentations check out this post.
Making data-driven sales decisions isn’t hard, just get everyone in your department on the same page about the right KPIs, give them access to the right data, and maximize the data visualization tools you have at your disposal.
What analytics rules would you add to this list? Reply in the comments.
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