How to benefit from your sales data

“Analysts spend much of their time preparing data for analysis and relatively little time on the analysis itself.”

Recently, everyone everywhere is talking about the potential in data. Business magazines, blogs and publications are significantly enlightening the potential of analyzing data that leads to reducing costs and improving quality, to enriching existing products and services, to optimizing sales performance as well as innovating by bringing big data and analytics to the formula.

“With all the excitement surrounding data, big data and advanced analytics, it is not surprising that many organizations started thinking of naming a Chief Data Officer (CDO) to manage their data needs.” – HBR Chief Data Officer. Further, companies are investing like crazy in data scientists, data warehouses, and data analytics software.  In fact research has found that companies that consistently use data to guide their decision making tend to be more successful than companies that don’t have that kind of culture.

But still many of these companies don’t have much to show for their efforts. And the biggest reason that such investment in data is still not paying off, though, is that those companies:

  1. Don’t do a good job with the information they already have, or even they don’t know how to manage it, based on set metrics.
  2. Don’t invest the efforts to analyze it in ways that enhance their understanding, and then make changes in response to the new insights.

Heed thought of elaborating  on those drawbacks by tackling the issue from one specific corner, sales data.

Set Clear Metrics

Lot of companies run into implementing a CRM system and pushing their salespeople to continuously feed the system, but one of the most  common thing companies end up doing, is feeding the system with subjective information rather  than data that could be analyzed in the future. This is mainly due to the lack of scientific set metrics that salespeople should follow when inputting any data and information about the their customer, status of any of their leads and prospects, or inputting any of their sales activities and efforts.

Thus we should build the below fundamentals that would be the language and terminology spoken by all salespeople similarly within the organization

  1. Building a Lead Management System: Is a methodology that creates an architecture for organizing and scientifically categorizing all data related to the generated leads. Such metrics should include but not limited to, the various statuses of a lead (ex: qualified lead, hot prospect…) within the sales process. Those statuses should be defined according to tangible milestones and linked with a certain progressed percentage.
  2. Designing a customer segmentation and product categorization: Such practice involves organizing a diverse group of customers and prospects into meaningful homogenous segments.
  3. Defining and mapping sales process: Is purely a way of planning out all sales stages, steps, tasks, actions and their identifying abilities required to take a sale from beginning to close, and follow-up. Such metrics should include but not limited to, the various stages (ex: presentation, negotiation, …) a salesperson go through with each of his leads. Those stages should also be defined according to set milestones and linked to a certain progressed %.

Building Sales Formulas:

What sets this analysis apart from common sales analysis and some excel comparative sheets, is building up the right formulas, coming up with the right hypotheses for the set objectives. Such act should be derived from the strong business acumen, coupled with the ability to communicate findings to both numbers, science and the art of selling in a way that can influence how an organization approaches any sales challenge.

We thought of sharing below some sales formulas illustrated in a mind map skeleton derived from the main formula of Sales. Check it out here.

How We Could Help

HEED comes in to aid in building those sales fundamentals and set the metrics required as well as the structure needed in order to get the best out of your sales data.

Further our engagements include building up all formulas and hypothesis needed to do the required analysis. Such scientific analysis will draw a better picture and good insights for better planning and decision making.

As a boutique management sales consulting firm we leverage on our discipline to execute the set plans that link together people, plan, processes and systems.

If you are facing such challenges or any other uncertain sales challenges, and interested in optimizing your sales performance feel free to contact us, or directly respond to mazen@logicshape.com.

For case studies that have been drawn  from  Heed’s recent engagements Read More ….