This is the second of the SalesQuants 4 part series depicting the benefits of building a cohesive sales analytics and reporting strategy ( Click here to see Part 1 ). The same beautiful sales data that would otherwise collect dust in daunting Excel files could very well be the defining competitive advantage that sets your sales team apart from the pack. You’ll notice a theme of accountability, reliability, and consistency in our recommendations for best-practices. Our research and experience in the field of sales analytics has made it clear that these are critical indicators in determining the extent of the benefits and latent success a sales team could derive from their sales data.
This week, our focus is on the often over-looked and under-valued benefits behind Real-Time Visibility. We’ll discuss the dangers of static data and it’s stark contrast in comparison with the overwhelming nature of sales data that is continuously and consistently up-to-date.
Allow senior company leadership to monitor the health of the business in real time.
Many companies have a goal of pushing out their sales reporting on a weekly basis. Problem is that the data very well might be at least a day or 2 old. While that may seem like a tame and understandable age for reliant data, I’m here to tell you that data is now garbage. Using static data (frequently in a daunting spreadsheet format) becomes stale very quickly. Leaders get quite frustrated and will follow up with analysts, usually via a rather pestering nature, asking for updated views more frequently. Analysts will then have to manually and painstakingly update their analytics in an Excel environment. However, the beauty of an effective sales analytics campaign is that leaders will have this info at their fingertips at all times, and will not need to distract analysts who typically have plenty of work of their own to focus on.
Eliminate multiple versions of the truth by creating single centralized repository.
With multiple teams and multiple products and multiple systems/processes comes multiple sources of the truth. Needless to say this can cause the leadership quite the headache when banking on data accuracy in their strategic decision making process. Data integrity is compromised when people are looking at various documents without realizing which one is correct (or at the very least, the most correct). Emailing spreadsheets and having people dig through emails frequently leads to complications and migraines for all involved. If an analyst does a report for one leader and then completes a similar but slightly different reports for another leader, they both might claim that their data addresses issues that it might not necessarily address. Having one source of truth (e.g., one data source) that is clear, concise, easily understood by everyone leads to cleaner data and overall communication efficiency. Everyone knows where to go to get the data, and there is no ambiguity or unnecessary round-a-bout conversations.
Empower management with fingertip access to key sales metrics and figures.
When sales leaders are on the road, they are frequently involved in heavy critical conversations in which they need various pieces of data immediately. Setting up an environment in which they can proactively and effortlessly look up essentially any KPI or measurement they want, when they want, gives them incredible power and a competitive advantage. Instead of being in a meeting and telling a client or team member that they’ll get back to them with the info, they’ll have it at their fingertip and can continue conversations on the spot rather than revisiting them a few days down the road once they obtain the data. This can lead to a faster sales cycle and quicker close.
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