Traditionally, sales teams have often relied much on being intuition-led, using your gut, but more and more research is telling us why your sales team should be more data-driven.
That doesn’t mean throwing intuition completely out the window, but re-focusing the base of your approach to rely on data so you know what is working and where things may need to change.
So, what is a data-driven approach? In its simplest form, teams collect data and then use it in every aspect of their decision making; what they are selling, who they are selling to and even what time of day they reach out to specific customers. A data-driven approach is vital in helping to achieve business goals, helping teams to work more efficiently and reducing the sales cycle meaning better results more quickly.
There are a myriad of benefits to this data-driven approach to sales, some of which we have listed below.
Singing from the same hymn sheet.
Having a single place for your sales and marketing teams to look through established goals, KPIs and the data needed to follow through on them makes sure that, at every point along the way, your teams are working together towards the same outcome. Larger goals boiled down into actionable strategies allows teams to know what point they are at, where they are heading and gives them the information they need to get there. Keeping everyone on the same page makes goals more streamlined and easier to reach. Giving sales and marketing teams access to the right data can also empower them to see the bigger picture and openly communicate thoughts or patterns they see that may have been overlooked.
Streamlining sales processes.
Collecting new data, but also examining data you already have will give you a clearer picture of what is working and what isn’t for your sales processes. Once you have that information, you can begin to change or modify asales process that isn’t working well, leaving you with only solid sales processes to take forward.
There are many different data points you could take into account, so start with identifying the overall business goal. Next look at what questions arise around that business goal and how to achieve it. Answers to those questions will start to identify which sales metrics you need to be paying most attention to.
Each individual business goal will be different which means key sales metrics may change along with them. That is why having a centralised sales tool is indispensable to sales success.
Knowledge is power.
Data is knowledge and knowledge is power. Data can help identify unqualified leads and also find new sales opportunities that may not have been seen otherwise. Analysing your data can help you to look at how the team is performing as individuals and as a whole, helping to identify strengths and weaknesses and how to best address them.
Taking a data-driven approach may at first induce some anxiety about where to start and what sales data is most important to analyse but remember you don’t have to make use of every metric, it is about identifying those that are useful and using them to create better sales processes. The more information you have about sales funnels and processes that work, the more you can incorporate that data across the company as a whole replicating the success on a larger level.
For those who are used to an intuition-led approach to sales, working from a data-driven point of view may feel intimidating and that is why having the right sales tools in place is so important. A centralised tool that allows you to view the data you need will make you work more efficiently without too much fuss. It gives a feeling of ownership to the sales teams so they feel more involved and motivated to reach the business goals and help you in honing your sales objectives and putting in place actionable plans to reach them.
If you want to read how to be a more highly effective sales manager then visit our blog. And if you want more information on how to streamline your sales processes take a look at our sales accelerator tool.