Analytics 101: Top 2 Sales Best Practices
The term “analytics” has become a huge buzzword in the sales industry. Everybody seems to be jumping on this data-driven bandwagon, rolling toward some kind of happily-ever-after sales pot of gold.
Truthfully, all of this technology verbiage seems a bit complicated. Just the word “data scientist” sounds intimidating.
So, what does this analytics stuff really mean for the average sales rep? What sales best practices do you — a regular person, not an IT expert well-versed in 1s and 0s — really need to know about all this business intelligence (BI) stuff? What’s in it for you?
Here’s the answer: The main reason you should care about analytics, BI other data-driven technology is because they enable you, your team and your organization to understand what’s working and not working.
The goal of analytics is to make sellers more effective. It helps you figure out how to improve using a very methodical and data-driven approach. Say goodbye to the guessing game.
Think about it this way: Without analytics, the only way to discover how you’re messing up is to use instinct. No one is judging the power of your gut feelings, but without a real analysis of quantifiable data, you could miss opportunities for improvement. These tools provide a view into how effective they’re actually being with the long-term goal of being more effective.
Here are the top two sales best practices provided by analytics.
- Test strategies: Analytics allows you to test something with two groups of customers, find which works better and then refine your efforts using the information. In the techie world, this is called A/B testing. You’ll perform some action with Group A and something slightly different with Group B, select which works better and continue from there. That’s not possible without powerful, easy-to-use tools.
- Use dashboards: These tools don’t require a lot of time and effort to learn, understand or use. They’re visual and not complicated. This simplification opens up a different conversation between the sales and marketing departments. There’s an age-old sales problem of criticizing marketing content. “Nobody’s reading it!” the salespeople claim. The marketing department then says, “Salespeople aren’t delivering it right!” With dashboards and analytics, both teams have an objective way of communicating about this issue. Both teams work together to figure out who’s reading the content, who is delivering it and then together decide what’s working or not. It creates a level playing field.
The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): At smaller companies, hiring a data scientist or number-cruncher usually isn’t realistic. This means regular people like you have to be able to surface the data using very simple tools. This is the beauty of many analytics programs; you don’t have to be technologically adept to understand and use them. You’re able to make better decisions and have the data to back up those decisions.