Although “data” might be a dirty word around your office, it’s one of the best and easiest ways to clean up your sales act this year. Take some time and peruse these data-friendly articles. They might just give you inspiration to invest in a pro-information attitude and CRM program that will slim down your sales processes and build a better conversion strategy.
- Analytics: The Backbone of On-Demand Sales Training (The Sales Management Association)
Writer Ann Lambert explains how on-demand employee training can give you valuable insights into your sales force. While face-to-face training helps develop community and cohesiveness, on-demand (or computer-based) training can help you know how well they understand the training, how fast they’re learning, and how likely they are to follow-through.
- Sustaining an Analytics Advantage (MIT Sloan Management Review)
Peter C. Bell, a professor of Management Science at Ivey Business School at Western University, highlights 5 ways that managers and business owners can use analytics to edge out tough competition. He supports each of his rules with case studies from organizations like Amazon, Wal-Mart, and ABB Electric, making a powerful case for deliberate usage of analytics as an integral part of the business-building process.
- Sales Analytics: Data-Driven Forecasting for Better Quota Attainment (Business 2 Community)
This article, penned by Peter Ostrow, discusses one of the biggest flaws in the current sales industry – sales quota attainment – and how data-driven forecasting is a balm for this pervasive ailment. He cites a report from Aberdeen that shows 43% of non-quota-attainment is directly related to insufficient data about current prospects. He also suggests that increased and open data communication is the only way to make sure reps are hitting their sales goals.
In this blog post, writer Wendy Covey suggests that email marketing is basically worthless without a clear process of gathering data from your campaign’s opens, click-throughs, and shares. This article also includes an infographic from Implisit that shows data-driven solutions to increase all of these email analytics, as well as a couple of good suggestions for overall email marketing tactics.
- Sales Manager, Are You Using These Metrics to Measure Social Selling Performance? (Alex Hisaka, LinkedIn Sales Solutions Blog)
Business author Tom Peters once said, “What gets measured, gets done.” In this article, content marketing phenom Alex Hisaka explores 6 actionable solutions to both measure your LinkedIn social selling growth and to increase it at the same time. She suggests setting benchmarks based on items like New Connections, Key Account Connections, Group Participation, and Engagement Rate.
Anece Ahn shows how an outdated technology policy can be devastating for your sales organization. Savvy business managers will look forward to the advent of the “paperless office,” and take advantage of the fast data, inexpensive overhead, and time-saving measures that updated technology bring. He specifically explains how investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) program can bring your office into the 21st Century.
This week Anne Lamber has two great sales articles on the Top 10 list. In this Brainshark exposé, Lambert cites a Docurated statistic that typical sales reps only spend 33% of their time actually selling. In order to increase this number, she suggests investing in productivity solutions, measuring the solution’s productivity gain, and mentoring staff on using them correctly.
- 5 Ways to Unleash Your Sales ‘Secret Weapon’ (Sales Initiative)
Mike Saliter, the VP of Global Industry Solutions, shows how sales leaders use analytics (the ‘Secret Weapon’) to dominate their markets in 5 distinct ways: Advanced customer analysis, access to a better understanding of their data, more accurate sales forecasting, agile response to market need, and a better understanding of sales accounts and territory. He also highlights CRM as a vital differentiator between sales leaders and followers.
- 5 Tools to Boost Your Social Media Productivity (Social Media Examiner)
If there is one area in which analytics are king, it is in the world of social media selling efficiency. This article, written by Pratik Dholakiya, highlights a few key apps to increase engagement and help you see better numbers of followers, fans, and warm leads. He suggests apps like Cyfe (for easy analytics monitoring), Brandwatch (for keeping tabs on brand mentions), and TubeMogul (for monitoring and analyzing video-related marketing data.
Catherine Clifford shares an interesting infographic from Big Data analytics company Datameer that shows how businesses can benefit more from good information about their customers. Some of the insights include how Big Data can help sales organizations increase sales, keep more customers, and develop more innovative products. They share some great examples in this colorful, and easy-to-read infographic.
In the world of 21st Century sales, data is both the beauty and bane of the selling process. Even though you know it can mean better-qualified leads, more dynamic marketing, and a higher conversion rate, there is often an overwhelming amount to look at. Take some time to incorporate these articles on how to use your data to improve your sales processes. They might help you build a leaner organization without feeling like you’re drowning in numbers.