Sales managers have a thankless job; they are expected to stretch their efforts beyond the ordinary, often with limited resources at their disposal. However, great sales managers keep on rollicking along with times, backed by their industry experience, ability to motivate their colleagues and teams, and the keen eye for opportunities. However, what most sales managers often leave on the back burner is – data. It’s the most trustworthy and fundamental tool available at their disposal. Here’s a quick guide for every sales manager, on using data to drive better sales decisions.
Be Transparent With Data
Sunlight, they say, disinfects the best. In sync with these words of wisdom, sales managers need to be very transparent with their numbers. Sales employees are known to work more productively when they have clear and tangible goals, and also know why their supervisors have arrived at those numbers. The smart sales managers know that there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by maintaining transparency.
To this effect, look to share data on key parameters such as CRM data, pipeline numbers, revenue figures, market benchmarks, etc with your team. This is best done via interactive dashboards and then sharing them with your people. When they’re exposed to a certain system of consistency with data, they are much likelier to buy into the goals given to them. You can trust Cyfe for this; the cloud-powered dashboard application helps sales managers prepare forecasts, plot actual numbers versus expectations, create advanced dashboards with sales KPIs, and share it with their teams.
Empower Your Sales Personnel With Data Analytics Tools
No, this doesn’t require your salespeople to attend expensive and extensive training. Data analytics tools are so intuitive and visually impressive that anybody with a basic understanding of working with a computer and basic software can operate them. SAP Hybris, for instance, lets sales managers enable business users to access basic reports for their daily productivity and operational efficiency management. The key is to:
- Empower sales personnel with clear understanding of the most important KPIs and their inter-relations
- Motivate them to record and analyze their real data using pre-made templates and self-service reports
- Encourage them to reach out to supervisors for clear guidance on how they can align their efforts to meet the KPI baseline numbers
Look for flaws in your strategies by comparing the real data collected and reported on a regular basis by your people with your expectations
Spread the Word About Lessons Learnt and Secrets Unveiled
Measurement of essential sales KPIs – such as quota attainment average, the percentage of an organization achieving quota, average annual quota per field salesperson, average annual on target earnings, average new deal size, and length of the sales cycle – becomes surprisingly easy with an advanced data analysis tool.
By evaluating the data available for each salesperson, from each stage of the sales pipeline, sales managers can significantly improve their understanding of the nuances of each salesman’s work style. This can empower their coaching and mentorship efforts. Use data to reinforce your coaching, and to enhance your intuition.
Lessons learn by analyzing extensive data for one salesperson can automatically be applied to all other. Similarly, what’s working for one salesperson could be replicated across the team to scale up efforts and get better results.
Sales managers can’t change their quotas. What they can change is how they treat data (that’s being tracked anyways) with more care and extract the invaluable insights hidden inside to bring in major improvements in the sales team’s performance.