The great philosopher Francis Bacon once claimed that “a wise man will make more opportunities than he finds.” Though it’s safe to say that sales management wasn’t on his mind, never have his words been more true for the business world than they are today. We’re inundated with information, and every bit of it might be sheltering a hidden diamond. It’s knowing how to recognize what you’ve got, and how to cut that diamond so it returns more light than anyone thought possible, that requires tireless practice and… leading edge analytics.
How can creating opportunities become second-nature, and what does sales analytics have to do with it? By automating data processing and combining the many available data sources you draw from, a robust sales analytics platform enables you to pinpoint the richest input – the kind that has the potential to significantly improve your business practices. It will also clue you in to what information can be simply scrapped.
Your guide through this mountain of insight? The multiple tools available to you when you automate sales analytics, including the personalized report. This convenient resource can help sales managers make better and more informed decisions by providing information and analysis geared solely toward the recipient. By using it, you can help sales prioritize their activity; you’ll also be able to spot underperforming teams and discover new ways to increase motivation and sales performance. In other words, you’ll get reliable answers to the questions you never had the time or the resources to ask.
However, to actualize the advantages referred to above, you’ll first need to let go of some traditional management methods, the same that get you caught up in countless meetings and planning sessions. No more reports littered with redundant information, no more spreadsheet collections, and no more piles of e-mails. No more routines that slow you down. In other words, you’ll need to abandon dogmatic ideas about how things “should be done.” Here are some ways of thinking that simply don’t work in today’s fast-moving, competitive business environment:
1. If you want something done right…
You should do it yourself, claims an old proverb. And that’s fine, if you’re writing a postcard. It becomes less impressive when you’re leading hundreds of people. You can, indeed, do things “right” by drawing on your own business prowess and skills. But let’s face it: those who insist on doing everything themselves end up with results that don’t live up to their expectations or those of others. If you want something expertly performed, you should leave it to experts. People who have spent their careers developing and refining sales analytics technology know that spotting a particular pattern or a growing trend early on is essential. They know you need immediate access not only to individual reports, but business-unit and company-wide reports as well. The analytics software you use should be designed to facilitate these key activities.
2. When in Rome…
Do as the Romans do, right? Wrong. The Romans were masters of planning and infrastructure, but, as history has shown, mere planning is never enough. When it comes to sales, access to factual details – the numbers, past and present – can make all the difference in choosing your path forward. You need to have a complete overview of all your statistics, especially when you’re trying to stay ahead of your competition. Also, getting quick, customized, reports allows you to respond with sound judgment to both planned and unplanned changes.
3. Too many cooks…
Spoil the broth? Let’s face it: is broth even a thing anymore? When interpreting data, a second opinion is always welcome. An expert’s opinion is even better. With a dedicated team of consultants at your disposal – preferably a group of people experienced in multiple industries – evaluating compensation plans, for instance, becomes an easy task. Such an expert can easily distance him or herself from the daily routine of your industry, and bring objectivity that insiders can’t offer. She can see how well your company scores on an incentive/result scale, compared to its direct competition and compared to companies with similar structures. Add expert insight to a data report, and you’ll end up with a fully accurate audit with recommendations and ideas to increase profitability.
4. Good things come…
To those who wait. The problem is, sometimes we wake up to find we’ve been waiting so long, we’ve atrophied. Just like opportunities, new ways of doing things need to be discovered. Data mining, for instance, enables you to understand the inner workings of your sales department. The right sales performance platform can help you use that info to motivate your sales team. Simple bonuses, rewarding gamification systems, complete transparency, and the sales force’s ability to track their own performance can lead your reps to make the kinds of changes that result in more sales – and higher revenue for the company.
5. Tomorrow is another day…
Unfortunately, tomorrow is another day for everyone else too – including your competitors. To get a head start in the daily quest to deliver flawless services and maintain a steady profit, you should always have fresh insights at your disposal. For that, you need excellent sales management tools and a solid understanding of your own data flow.
In other words, don’t settle for “good enough” results when you can achieve great ones. Choose a complete sales analytics solution and start turning that mountain of data into a genuine diamond mine!
A New Perspective on Sales Analytics
To help you achieve quotas more consistently and maximize the potential of your territories, Ventana Research has compiled this insightful sales analytics report. Get your copy.