Use Sales Data Analysis to Drive Sales Success
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Answer key questions around trends, risks, and past performance through snapshot reporting for any period and any subset of data.
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Using Sales Data Analysis Software to Drive Sales and Success
Running a successful business isn’t only about making sales–it’s about knowing how to sell. As all products will eventually become obsolete or go out of style, different methods for outreach, funneling, and closing will also become less effective over time. Competitiveness and profitability of a company, therefore, pivot on its ability to keep its sales team and model current and flexible in dynamic market landscapes. But how is this achieved?
Markets and the buyers which make them up are given to rapid and unexpected shifts in behavior. What they will want to buy and how they will want to be sold to are constantly changing. Being able to predict these movements and trends, in the past, required an attunement to the market verging on clairvoyance. Today, however, these predictions can be made with greater specificity and accuracy thanks to the advent of sales data analysis software. By gathering and analyzing vast quantities of information relating to a company’s sales model and pipeline, this technology makes it easy for companies to keep up to date. Client and prospect preferences and needs are monitored and sales teams regularly retrained and retooled to effectively meet them. This means both a better buying experience for clients and increased revenue for companies.
These tools are not new, but as the technology behind them has improved and become more efficient, more and more businesses have chosen to integrate them into their sales models. This means that in many segments of the market, owning and deploying this software is becoming an increasingly vital part of remaining competitive. In order to help business owners take part in this growing trend, in this article, we will cover some of the basics of sales data analysis. We’ll show how the whole process works, from data collection to insight generation; we’ll explore some sales analytics use cases to show how these tactics can be used in the real world; finally, we’ll look at some of the best types of sales analysis tools and what they can do.
Sales Performance Dashboard
Sales data analysis begins with the collection of data and culminates in the presentation of KPIs and other vital metrics to upper management through a sales performance dashboard. The management team can then decide what changes to make and which strategies to employ moving forward.
The types of data which can be useful for optimizing sales are varied and complex. The most common place for businesses to start is by tapping into their CRM databases. A CRM, or customer relations management database, contains information about individual clients and prospects. This can include the industries buyers belong to, their contact information, and their specific needs and interests in purchasing your products and services. If they have made deals with you before, the CRM will also hold data about how long they took to make their way through the various stages of your sales pipeline, what their preferred modes and styles of contact and communication are, and how large the deals they made with you were.
These data will be combined with information about your own sales team and pipeline structure. Performance quotients for individual sales reps, advertising strategies and initiatives, and target segments/demographics will all be collected and fed into your analysis software. This will help you determine where the strengths and weaknesses on the internal side of your sales process lie. This is especially important, as this is also where change is most easily effected.
Once all these data points are fed into the software, they will be analyzed, sorted, culled, and finally displayed on a dashboard. A sales dashboard is an extremely useful tool which uses charts and graphs to show management the most important pieces of information–those which act as a pulse for the entire sales apparatus. The best sales dashboards will compile this data in simple and straightforward graphics so that management is able to understand and respond to shifts in market and buyer behaviors quickly and efficiently. Sales dashboard design templates are numerous and usually customizable to fit the unique needs of any type of business.
To better understand how sales analytics might be used and useful in a real-world setting, some examples may be helpful.
A company has been noticing that a large number of potential deals have been falling through during the later stages of its sales process. Data shows healthy interest in the company’s product offerings and a steady stream of new prospects. Competitor strategies have not changed either, so it is concluded that rival ad campaigns or product feature-sets are not to blame. Upon closer inspection of data relating to client preferences, management notices that the clients which are seeing deals through to the final stages are also those whose preferred means of communication is email. It is then deduced that implementing conference calls and in-person meetings with clients may help to build trust and confidence, driving prospects through the pipeline more effectively. Management introduces new training for sales reps which focuses on interpersonal communication and product promotion. Once this is implemented, sales are seen to rise once more.
Another company has noticed an influx of new clients and wants to be able to cater to their needs as best as they can, driving sales and attracting more buyers in the process. Their sales analysis app indicates that this new demographic comes primarily from a new market segment capitalizing on an emerging niche and in need of the services their company provides. They are all large clients with long sales cycles and a preference for in-person meetings. The company is able to use this information to appoint the most qualified sales reps to these clients, and sales figures grow. Further research and sales analytics projects also enable the company to target a wider portion of this new market segment with new ad campaigns.
These are just a few short examples, but they demonstrate the difference that awareness and tracking of sales analytics metrics can make for a business.
Sales Analytics Tools
The kinds of information which data analysis can make use of are as vast as the different types of sales analytics tools available and the companies which provide them.
The Salesforce sales analytics suite is known for its comprehensive approach to data analysis, offering everything from dashboards to personalized sales team coaching solutions. Domo specializes in industry-leading platform integration, helping businesses connect all their different data apps into one convenient and powerful information hub.
Canopy, however, stands above the rest for its state-of-the-art software suite which combines analysis, prediction and forecasting, pipeline review, dashboards, and revenue analysis. At the heart of this arsenal is their cutting-edge augmented revenue analysis engine. This program uses machine learning and AI technology to take data from various different apps and generate forecasting models of unprecedented accuracy and precision. Sales performance, operational expenses, and CRM client data are all taken into account to produce valuable and up-to-date insights on all aspects of your sales operation.
To see Canopy’s software in action and learn what it can do to supercharge your business, visit our website and watch one of our many demos. For any facet of any business, Canopy has a solution.