Data driven sales

5 Ways to Keep Up with Data-Driven Sales

Every new year brings with it trendy buzzwords related to sales – (like freemium), but one word has show up time and time again: data. With phrases like data analytics, sales data, big data and data sets, the collection of information is driving everything from sales coaching and productivity to predictivity technologies and marketing campaigns. No matter how big your business, if you’re not using data analytics to drive your sales, you’re going to fall behind your competition.

Old-school data collection was one dimensional. Knowing how long it took to close a deal after initial contact with the lead was helpful, but not necessarily full of deep insights into the sales process. Today’s big data is so rich with information that it touches every corner of sales – even before a prospect enters the picture!

If you’re eager to dig into data-driven sales but feel overwhelmed by the many ways to implement data-backed tools, start by focusing on these five areas.

1. Lead generation

You can invest in the best sales reps, sales training and sales coaching available, but if your marketing team isn’t generating strong leads, you’re expecting too much from your sales team.

If you consider that, according to HubSpot’s “State of Inbound 2018” report, only 5% of salespeople said that the leads they receive from marketing are “very qualified,” your first step should be to get marketing and sales in agreement about what constitutes a sales qualified lead (SQL). If their definitions don’t match, congratulations! You’ve just figured out one of your biggest problems. SalesFusion offers a helpful template to help you identify and distinguish between a marketing qualified lead (MQL) and a SQL.

If you need some help setting data-backed parameters on what’s a qualified lead, turn to your Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Demand Metric Research Corporation found that 84% of companies say their CRM system is beneficial in determining the quality of leads.

By giving your sales team better qualified leads, you’ll increase their efficiency and conversions, which will boost your profits.

2. Website navigation and landing pages

One of the easiest ways to make your investment in data analytics pay off is through the insights you apply to your website.

Making your main site more appealing though improved navigation, stronger branding and mobile optimization will yield a high ROI. Likewise, investing in your landing pages to make them more effective through high-conversion optimization (think SEO and data collection forms) can pay for itself in no time.

3. Customer analytics and insights

Knowing what your customer wants, when they want it, what device they use to research and shop, and how they want to be marketed to can help level the playing field for smaller businesses.

Thanks to customer analytics that can provide insights to create sales opportunities, marketing is no longer about how much a brand spends, but how well they invest it.

Big data helps ensure that whatever your budget, you’re using the best tools to target prospects on their terms when they’re most likely to buy. It’s personalization at its best.

Increased sales volume, higher per-customer spends, greater customer satisfaction and increased trust in your brand can all come from customer data analytics.

4. Sales coaching

Using data to create change doesn’t just apply to your prospects and customers. Sales coaching has just as much to gain from data analytics.

The right data can help you quantify sales reps’ behaviors to determine where and why they have success, as well as where and why they fall short. It can also help you track growth across competencies, such as accountability, time management, organization, emotional intelligence, adaptability and achievement motivation.

Like most everything else in your company, your decisions about sales coaching should be based on what you’ve learned from data, not hunches or mere observations. 

5. Procedure and process improvement

Another buzzword that’s not going anywhere soon is automation, and just as manufacturing and accounting can benefit from the help of computer-generated tasks, so too can sales and marketing.

Modern software can automate virtually every task in your sales and marketing processes and procedures: sales forecast analysis, order processing and tracking, contact management, inventory monitoring and control, information sharing and more.

By streamlining your marketing and sales processes, there is less room for mistakes, more cohesion between departments, fewer bottlenecks in the sales funnel, more efficient use of time and resources, a renewed focus on selling rather than procedures, and improved customer satisfaction.

Don’t let data analytics intimidate you. There are a vast number of affordable sales enablement tools that can do the number-crunching legwork to turn information into insights. With that knowledge, you’ll have the wisdom to keep up with data-driven sales as well as – or better than – your competition.

Limor Wainstein
Limor Wainstein
Technical Writer & Editor

Limor is a technical writer and editor at Agile SEO, a boutique digital marketing agency focused on technology and SaaS markets. She has over 10 years of experience writing technical articles and documentation for various audiences, including technical on-site content, software documentation, and dev guides. She specializes in big data analytics, computer/network security, middleware, software development and APIs.
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