Using and analysing data is the MOST EFFECTIVE way to innovate, improve business performance and retain customers. If you’re not already using data to constantly improve - do it, or you’ll get left behind.
Effective use of data informs better decision making and provides clarity on the performance of not only sales effort but the entire business. There are a number of methods to effectively gather and use data to garner the insight required to inject fuel into your sales team and drive ROI.
Here are a few key points to action and begin reaping the benefits.
Who are you selling to?
Analysing your customer spend data will let you know exactly who your most profitable customers are and who your target audience should be.
The easiest first step to getting this insight is to look at the recency, frequency and value of your clients over a 12 months period (or whatever period is relevant for your business). You may find that your current sales effort is winning lots of new business (recency) but they are churning after their 2nd of 3rd month (frequency). So while your top selling rep for the month may look like a star, the data may show that they aren’t actually bringing on profitable customers.
You can use this insight to help focus your team on the exact type of customer that will provide your business with profitable long term revenue.
Where are your processes failing?
Your sales team should be fully supported by reporting and data insights, letting them know where they’re going wrong and what they’re doing right.
Run an analysis on your current CRM and figure out exactly where there’s a bottleneck in your processes or a gap in sales performance.
- Where in the sales process are we losing prospects and why?
- What are my conversion rates through each stage of the sales process?
- How many calls does it take to close a deal?
- How do your sales efforts relate to wins and losses?
This will highlight where you need to be spending your time, and any pain-points that need work. Most people turn up to work to do their best and insight like this can help identify areas that require training to help unlock stronger sales performance.
As Einstein once said, “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”
Are your decisions based on facts?
Make your decisions based on numbers, not fiction - and if it doesn’t work, you’ve got the stats available to validate your moves.
The key here is using constant data input and analysis to innovate your evolving model. Data isn’t static, it changes constantly and this change should inform your teams day to day efforts as well as your organisation's long term strategy.
If you're looking to use data to make informed business decisions, it's important to make sure you’re measuring the right things. This may sound like a no-brainer but we have worked with companies who produce reports each month showing they’re doing great - when in reality they have problems to address.
For example – a company extracting more and more dollars from existing customers through up-sell looks fantastic on paper – however if you have an aging database then these customers won’t be around for ever. If ‘new bodies’ coming through the door are declining, then you’ve got a real issue.
Sustainable companies use data to stare true problems in the face and find solutions quickly.
This being said your data needs to be as complete as possible so it’s critical your sales team is recording their client interaction and activity in your chosen CRM so you can pull insights on which to base sales decisions on.
Are you using optimisation to boost sales?
Once you understand who your ideal customers are and you have your sales process working efficiently, it makes sense to try and fill your sales funnel with leads as many leads.
The ways businesses find leads have changed and while direct outreach is still effective, the internet is now a rich hunting ground to attract your ideal clients so that your sales team spend their time selling to qualified leads rather than generating cold ones.
Increasing the use of technology such as a good CRM in your business can really enhance your sales team's performance. If they're equipped with the best tools, they'll naturally perform better. However, with an increase in technology, it can be hard to know exactly what insights to measure and hinge key business decisions upon. That's where optimisation comes in.
The use of Google AdWords, SEO, Social Media, email and optimisation tactics are now commonplace and are designed to help boost your sales. If you’re not optimising your advertising or have a way of nurturing leads, you’re losing money.
SEO allows you to get customers on your doorstep by specifically targeting the right people. While you can get results organically, paid advertising will really scale your conversions and allow you to measure who’s buying.
The beauty of combining a good CRM, latest telephone systems, digital and inbound marketing and human roles dedicated to extracting the RIGHT insights are where the gold is and where as a business you really start to see a sales outsourcing partner hit their stride and turn on the magic for your business.
- Measure what's working
- Target your spending to ads and audiences that are proven to work
- Analyse the cost of each conversion
At the end of the day, using data correctly will empower your sales team to deliver real, bottom-line return on investment - and that’s what they’re there for.
If you’re interested in seeing how your company stacks up in data analysis, download our FREE marketing alignment checklist.
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