There are numerous ways that sales leaders and their teams can make use of data and analytics to strengthen performance.
These range from gaining a clearer picture of the needs, interests, transaction histories and opportunities of existing customers and prospects to using analytics to identify gaps in sales performance and take actionable steps to work with salespeople to achieve their goals.
Still, some old school sales chiefs are accustomed to relying solely on relationship building and other historical tried-and-true sales techniques to win new business.
However, sales leaders would no doubt be impressed to learn that companies that place data at the center of their marketing and sales decisions improve their marketing returns on investments by 15% to 20% based on study by McKinsey & Co. of more than 250 engagements over the past five years.
There are a number of different ways that big data analytics can benefit the sales organization and catch the attention of sales chiefs.
One important way is by using near real-time data to help identify coaching opportunities with individual salespeople based on performance trends and other insights.
These types of analyses can help sales leaders identify skills gaps before they have detrimental effects on sales performance. They can then use these insights to develop action plans for training and recruitment.
Sales chiefs can also use data and analytics tools to monitor sales forecasts and compare them against actual sales more closely. Sales leaders can then identify and drill down on any gaps in sales performance that need to be addressed and take corrective action during the current sales cycle.
Data analytics can also help sales teams become more productive.
Sales teams can make use of customer and market data to focus their energies on those customers and prospects that offer the greatest likelihood to convert based on insights such as product gaps in a customer’s purchasing history, his current lifecycle status and his likelihood to acquire new products to meet current needs and interests, along with the share of wallet that a company has with that particular customer.