Analyzing data is the cherry on top of a perfect sales approach. A data driven approach is a process of sales that most sales representatives stray away from. Since there is so much data, it’s hard to distinguish what data is relevant. Finding the right sales metrics is vital for sales reps to continue their sales growth.

Sales analytics indicate high-performing sales teams since they use data three times more than lower-value teams. Based on Salesforce research done in 2015.

What’s Difficult About Creating a Sales Team That’s Data Driven?

difficulties of a data driven sales team

Most sales teams are naturally resistant to data. What makes data a taboo topic for sales reps?

First, you must understand that most sales reps have a people-oriented personality. These personalities crave human interaction, instead of focusing on the minute details of an analytical perspective.

CRMs are incredibly useful, but with the lively personalities of sales reps, they have a hard time using them to their full potential. Nothing bores sales reps more than entering data into a CRM.

Below are six steps to help you build a data driven sales team.

1) Create a Focal Point and Decide Who Owns What

create a focal point

Build a route of open and honest communication to better align your company with the common sales goal.

Sales managers must ensure that each sales rep recognizes the agreed upon objective. If sales managers are unclear with their intentions, it’s easy for sales reps to focus on the wrong target, making the sales approach ineffective. The sales managers’ motive is to boost the company’s revenue, not hold their co-worker’s hands each time the sales process occurs.

Having a coherent awareness from everyone involved in the sales process will consistently increase the company’s sales growth.

The data involvement will be cross-departmental, meaning both the sales and marketing teams will collaborate when analytical challenges emerge.

Sales and marketing teams who work together to reach the end goal are 67% better at closing deals. Researched in a 2013 study conducted by Marketo.

Since both teams work closely, it is vital to define who analyzes specific components of the data and determine how frequently the quality of data is evaluated.

2) Incorporate Prioritization

Making these changes to your sales team will not increase sales growth in twenty-four hours. Rather, sales will slowly begin to shift upward on a daily basis after integrating prioritization in the long-term sales goal.

The steps taken towards the new sales process will create small, consistent improvements. Whereas, sales projects that move rapidly on a larger scale, rarely end in success.

incorporate prioritization

The more often you review sales metrics, the more likely you are to achieve your goal. Subsequently, this requires regular status meetings to happen within the sales and marketing teams to continually track progression.

Data driven companies are twice as likely to hit their sales goals. Remarks a Censuswide and Geckoboard’s study in 2016.

Prioritization occurs in two different directions. The design thinking approach swiftly creates ideas for improvement. The sprinting approach involves incremental steps that grapple large complex projects weekly.

3) Don’t Stress! Existing Data has a Strong Impact on Sales Conversations

existing data has a strong impact on sales conversions

Understanding the company’s data assets and present quality allows you to discover “data jewels” that you haven’t noticed before. These “jewels” have the ability to strengthen your sales success rate.

To find these “data jewels” in an easier fashion, draw the buyer’s journey during a company meeting. Encourage each department head to place their data assets next to the buying level their asset ties closest with. This visual will show what data assets you have at each stage of the buying process.

Another example would be looking at the leads of blog posts created by the marketing team. These leads will allow you to understand what stage of buying readiness the client is positioned. This new lead information will create a more personal sales experience for the prospects.

Don’t feel like you need to invest in a year-long resource-intense data integration project. Instead, start off by exporting the existing data and importing it into your CRM on a weekly basis.

4) Measure Your Sales Progress Consistently

measure your progress

Start off by assessing the quality of simple data such as:

  • How many accounts/contacts do you have?
  • What percent of attributes are filled?
  • When were these accounts/contacts last updated?
  • How many contacts’ phone numbers are reliable?
  • What is the bounce rate for sales and marketing emails?

Are you aware of database decay? Data becomes obsolete every month, when clients change titles, move jobs, or a company goes out of business. If you fail to recognize database decay early on, your data will lose 25% of its value within the span of a year.

Constantly organize your data to ensure it stays clean and up-to-date. Otherwise, you’re handling garbage data.

The analysis of whether your data decision has a positive effect on your sales success is the most important statistic to track. Long-term gains will not appear in a flash, instead, measure the quick-wins which will add up to show substantial progress over time.

5) Find Out What Works Before You Invest in the Long-Run

find out what works best before you invest in the long run

Test process changes with spreadsheets to see what is successful. If you add more required fields to your CRM, you could actually be damaging your sales success rate.

After testing prototypes in spreadsheets, find ways to automate it without having to manually input the data. Sales reps’ motivation will decrease and so will your sales progress if they become data robots.

Remove the mental load of the sales reps by finding technology that automates the tedious assignments. For example, an option could be SalesHero’s sales AI assistant.

6) Conversion Rates and Sales Velocity Analytics Should Be Your Top Priority

conversion rates and sales velocity analytics

Now is the time to perfect your sales process by analyzing sales reports and building verifiable information from them. Using solutions like InsightSquared helps build your reports for you and provides KPIs you might have overlooked.

Analyzing your conversion rates will provide informative insights that will continually engage and strengthen your sales approach. Your conversion rate will allow you to see who is interested so you can start the sales process with full force.

If you continuously have low conversion rates, you might need to invest in sales enablement software. As a result, this will help drive your sales process and provide more training to the sales reps.

Out with the Old, In with the New

A data driven sales approach strategy will always outperform the organizations who lack an analytical sales process.

A data-focused process that works slowly, step-by-step, will help keep sales reps attentive to their clients. This creates a deeper, more personable experience during every sales conversation.

Having a high-quality data driven approach will enhance sales strategies and undoubtedly increase sales success and expand revenue.

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