CRM systems and supporting sales technology platforms give sales leaders access to rich amounts of data. The challenge for many sales leaders is extracting actionable insights from the data that can be used to coach your sales team to achieve higher win rates. However, before you’re able to discern these insights, the most important step is ensuring that you have accurate information in your CRM or other platform.
The CSO Insights 2018 Sales Operations Optimization Study found that only 25 percent of organizations report having high confidence in the quality of the data in their CRM system. Additionally, fewer than half the organizations surveyed reported an adoption rate of 90 percent or higher for their CRM. Despite these statistics, it’s essential that you rely on hard data—and not intuition—to drive your team’s approach to selling. Let’s explore three core strategies for making your sales analytics data actionable.
- Recognize Patterns to Influence Seller Behaviors
The potential insights from your CRM are only valuable if sellers put accurate information into the system. Once you can trust your data, analyze it for patterns in how opportunities move along the customer’s path to reveal successful techniques or actions that result in desired outcomes. Sales analytics software, including CRMs, contains many types of data that enable opportunity scoring, which can drive coaching strategies to take specific actions in the sales process. The insights from this sales data analysis can answer questions such as:
- Which reps struggle at identifying all the buying influences?
- What types of opportunities take the longest to move along the customer’s path?
- Are there certain techniques that improve the likelihood of an opportunity resulting in the desired outcome?
This can help you identify how certain actions lead to successful outcomes or where a seller may need coaching. For example, sales analytics can show if an individual seller’s opportunities mostly include contacts in technical roles, revealing that the salesperson needs to work on identifying other buying influences to engage them earlier in the sales process. There is nothing magical about sales analytics metrics. Simply put, it boils down to trusting that your data is accurate and recognizing which patterns lead to more desired outcomes.
- Replicate Your Sales Approach
Your data can provide valuable insights into the performance of your team across each opportunity and for each rep. For this data to provide actionable insights, you need to have a consistent sales process in place. Without it, you won’t be able to compare the performance of one rep to another or trust the patterns revealed in the data. For example, a highly effective seller shares a specific piece of content with a particular buying influence that usually contributes to getting the next meeting confirmed. With a consistent sales process in place, you’ll be able to replicate successful patterns across your team. This includes knowing at what point to share content that may increase conversion to the next stage of an opportunity. Once you measure the outcomes of these specific activities through your sales data, you can coach other sellers on how to emulate top performers.
- Coach Performance Based on Results
Why do professional athletes require coaches? Because even at world-class performance, athletes can make career-costing mistakes. More importantly, even the most accomplished athletes need a system of accountability for sustained success.
Reps need a proven system to follow. They need accountability. And there is always room for improvement, even for those reps who achieve President’s Club status year after year. With sales analytics tools, you can provide specific guidance by sharing patterns of success at the team level. Insights such as knowing when to engage a specific buying influence or how to deliver a message to overcome competitive threats can make a big difference in win rates.
For example, applying analytics to your data may reveal that when top performers engage with the economic buying influence earlier in the sales process, they are more likely to achieve wins. By analyzing the patterns of successful deals, you can coach your reps on specific techniques that other sellers use to engage the economic buyer. You’ll have more confidence when coaching reps to engage all the buying influences because your sales reporting supports the strategy.
Using sales analytics and data to identify specific patterns in previous wins and losses significantly improves a sales leader’s ability to influence their team’s success. The steps outlined here include ensuring that your reps input accurate information, deploying a consistent sales methodology and coaching individual sellers on techniques based on the successful patterns of others.
Ready to learn how Scout, Miller Heiman Group’s sales analytics platform, combined with our sales training programs, can make your sales data actionable? Contact us to discuss how to pair methodology and technology to see the move that moves the deal.