How To Turn Mountains Of Data Into A Lean, Mean Sales Machine

February 16, 2016 Andy Nathan

We live in an era of data. Everything we do can be tracked, measured and analyzed. While that makes it easier to improve sales at your company, it also presents another challenge.

How do we manage all of this data?

Four out of five businesses today are now at least somewhat, if not very, challenged by the overwhelming amount of data coming into their business. This is why sales people now spend 25% of their day searching for information in order to make their sales calls.

By organizing and improving data collection, Fortune 500 companies can claw back approximately $2.6 billion - per company. Even if you’re not in the 500 - yet - you could turn a big productivity leak into a huge advantage.

Strategies To Turn Data Into A Lean, Mean Sales Machine

1. Start With Customer Profiling

Having your customers’ demographics and contact data is essential for turning your company into a lean, mean sales machine.

This means you not only need to collect the data, but cleanse it too. Lists decay dismayingly fast:  62% of companies change some contact information over the course of the year, so contacts need to be updated at least twice yearly to avoid junk data accumulating.

Accurate customer profiles ensure that your sales team spends more time talking to your ideal prospects. By collecting more data, you can also continually refine your target market to laser in on the best prospects.

Finally, using tools like the Datanyze Insider help you be more effective with your marketing efforts. 

2. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) & Data Collection

Next, you need a process for collecting information. CRM solutions help you organize your information more effectively.

Currently 89% of sales professionals miss key information that results in a lost sale. CRMs help you manage your database and score your leads according to both timing and importance, when you should contact them and how important the lead. But that only works when they’re used right: make sure your CRM is propelling you forward and not holding you back by making sure reps know how to use it and optimizing it for the bare minimum of manual activity, so compliance is the easiest course and reps aren’t wasting selling time manually entering data or laboriously searching through silos for it.

3. Analyze Sales Reps Activity

Next, having a smooth sales machine means that you also need to score the activity of your sales reps.

Only 57% of sales reps meet or exceed their quota. While it could be a lot worse, it could also be a lot better.

As a leader in your company, your job is to review the data to help guide your sales-people to get the most accurate leads for your company.  

By understanding the data behind your company’s sales activity, you can effectively coach your sales team—to turn the challenges they face at certain points in the sales cycle into opportunities.

For example, most new sales people have trouble closing the sale. Sales people are usually outgoing and friendly. That means it is easy for them to create a rapport. However, when it comes to closing the deal, good rapport isn’t enough. Managers who study the statistics by analyzing their sales team’s activity can start to see the trends. What communications are sales people doing, or not doing, that is tanking their sales calls?

4. Prioritize Leads

Most sales people’s greatest challenge is knowing how to prioritize their leads. Once they have a few leads come in, they have to be able to know which leads are the most valuable at the moment.

A significant portion of leads are lost, because no decision is made. Rather than risk losing them, coach your team to score leads and focus their time on the highest probable conversions first.

To do this you need to re-evaluate the traditional sales funnel. AIDA - Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action - is a thing of the past. Like BANT, AIDA has been used by sales professionals for more than 100 years, but it’s a bad fit for longer, more self-educating buyer cycles; it just doesn’t represent how B2B customers currently view offerings.  

Current sales processes are more elliptical; they’re aligned to those longer buyer journeys or they’re clashing with them and actually standing between clients and sales. To improve your sales team’s ability to drive in leads with your data you need to use a lead scoring system that works with the new sales funnel.

As you can see from the diagram below, most consumers today start by evaluating a company’s website and gathering information about their product.

While customers might not be ready to purchase immediately, it is important to continue feeding them information that can be beneficial to their buying process.

To do this, you need to stop advertising and start educating your prospects on your products and services. Customer loyalty today happens when customers limit the list of products they will consider buying.

By helping your prospective customers, you can begin to gain their trust. If you are a data-driven sales company, nothing brings in more data than being trustworthy.

the consumer decision

Image Source

5. Turn The Data Into A Better Sales Process

This might sound like common sense, but the data is the key to improving your sales process.

CSO Insights did a study that shows how companies with a dynamic sales process increased their “closes” by 11% and decreased their “no decisions” by 8%.

By effectively utilizing your data, you will know what works and what does not. Therefore, every new salesperson who joins your team can learn the best practices of your sales funnel, step by step.

The more confidence your team has in the sales process, the more they can sell your services. That all starts by discovering what works by studying the data. It is a cyclical process that creates a dynamic and ever-improving sales process.

Final Thoughts

Data can be a very powerful ally to your sales team. When managed and stored correctly, your sales team can improve their sales process, save time and close more deals.

However, you need the right processes in place to make sure this happens.

If you want to improve your sales intelligence, then we ask you to connect with our team to discover a whole new way to find and reach your perfect prospect at the perfect time. Request a demo of Datanyze today to learn more.

About The Author:

Andy Nathan is the founder of Smart at the Start, a blog and social networking consulting company that helps small businesses grow. I successfully worked with hundreds of entrepreneurs in over 75 different industries over the past five years.

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