Good sales leaders already have many tools in their motivational kits, such as mentorship, industry experience, and being able to identify new opportunities. However, in some cases experienced sales leaders are missing out on one of the most fundamental tools available in modern business: ANALYTICS.
In Part 1 of the post, we looked at the first two traits that we believe a Sales Leader needs for optimising how they manage their sales teams in a data and analytically driven way. Below are the last three traits in this series.
3. Learn from their Mistakes
Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That mantra should drive all analytics-minded sales management decisions, as sales leaders pore over reams of data to identify correctable mistakes. Analytics provides managers with a second chance – it highlights specific areas where managers or reps erred and gives them another opportunity to rectify this.
Sales leaders can also use analytics to learn from the mistakes of others. Studying the conversion rates of each sales person at different stages of the sales funnel is perhaps the best example of using analytics to learn from your mistakes. Advanced sales analytics on the sales funnel highlights specific areas of weaknesses among salespeople. For instance, a salesperson with a high conversion rate from stage 1 to stage 2 but a precipitously low rate from stage 2 to stage 3 might be struggling with the nuances of that specific stage and need additional coaching. The sales leader who brings this actionable information to a sales coaching session with that salesperson will find that the they are more receptive to the constructive criticism, given its support by the analytics.
4. Recognise the importance of high-quality data and invest to improve
A commitment to an analytics-driven sales life entails a serious devotion to ensuring the highest-quality data across the board. Effective analytics-driven sales leaders must be strict in their enforcement of data entry and having reliable and accurate data sources. After all, decisions made using inaccurate data are essentially bad decisions.
To ensure the highest data quality, sales leaders must enact a culture of total adherence to data entry and data quality at all times, across their entire team. Every salesperson must follow a strict process of entering the appropriate information for every opportunity they work with. Without a uniform data entry and data quality process, there will be too many inconsistencies in the information, rendering it ineffective and possibly leading sales leaders to make wrong, and sometimes catastrophic decisions.
5. Bring as much diverse data to any situation as they possibly can
The most analytics-driven sales leaders refuse to take anything at face value. Instead of merely looking at the sales team’s overall sales cycle, for example, that sales leader is insistent on bringing more diverse data, finding more information and breaking it down into even more specific, meaningful segments.
Did our sales cycle change over the past quarter? The past year? What is our sales cycle among opportunities that are closed/won compared to opportunities that are lost? Which salespeople are most adept at closing opportunities in a small window and which ones are dragging things out? How do sales cycles in various segments of customers or industries differ? Do specific lead sources provide shorter sales cycles than others?
Asking these types of hard-hitting questions – and seeking the appropriate data to answer each one – can drive truly meaningful, actionable insights that lead to immediate and positive change. Sales leaders who have this type of information are simply better-armed and well-prepared to keep on fighting the evolving sales battles ahead of them.
Missed out on Part 1 of 5 Analytics Traits for the Sales Leader? Go to part 1 for 2 more analytics traits.
Managing your sales leads, having visibility of your pipeline, being able to forecast accurately and enabling your sales team, has never been easier. Contact Karabina to discuss a customer engagement and analytics solution for your sales department.