Sales Analytics and What to Do with Them
When you make sales decisions, what do you base them on? Gut instinct? Advice from colleagues? Educated guesses? As you probably know, there's a better way. Setting up and monitoring sales analytics allows you to make decisions that are based on data, as well as giving you a consistent and accurate picture of how your sales program is functioning.
However, simply collecting data, even vast mountains of data, is not enough. It's important to make sure you have the right sales analytics set up from the beginning so you don't get lost in irrelevant data. But you also need to know how interpret the data you gather, and what conclusions you should draw from it.
Defining Your Sales Analytics
Defining the sales analytics you plan to collect and how you will use them is an important part of your overall sales strategy. Before you put a sales team in the field you should be sure that your sales objectives are supported and enforced by achievable sales quotas. Only after you know exactly what your expectations are (and whether they are reasonable) will you be able to clearly communicate them to your sales team.
Once you have established the quotas that will help your organization reach its sales goals, it is important to define all the different metrics you need to collect. Your sales analytics should give you a complete picture of how your sales team is doing in each stage of the sales process.
Sales productivity metrics fall into two different types: activity metrics such as number of attempts, number of decision makers contacted, or number of sales; and ratio metrics, such as closing ratio and sales mix ratio. By identifying the metrics that are applicable and useful for your business, you set yourself up to make management decisions that are based on data and produce measurable results.
Collecting and Understanding Your Sales Analytics
Having decided which sales analytics you will use, you need to decide how to collect them. Whether you decide to use commercially available software, an internally designed system, or just old-fashioned pen and paper, you need to make sure your sales representatives know exactly which analytics to collect, how often they need to be reported, and what is the accepted reporting procedure.
The final step is understanding how to pull all your sales analytics together to make a useful picture of the health of your sales function. To properly analyze your data, you need to be able spot relevant trends, understand what they indicate, and place your sales analytics in the context of your industry and specific market verticals.
If you're having difficulty wrapping your mind around how to design, organize and use your sales analytics, a sales consulting company like Netpique sales outsourcing can help! Tell us about your company and sales objectives, and we'll help you sort out which sales analytics you need to focus on, how to collect them, and how to interpret them effectively.