Smarter Sales Analytics for a More Effective Sales Team

 

Posted By Alex Schutte | Oct 14, 2013

 

Last week, Qvidian attended the Sales Management Association’s annual Sales Force Productivity Conference in Atlanta, GA. The consensus was… selling isn’t getting any easier any time soon… but savvy sales leaders can take advantage of analytics and data to improve sales effectiveness and make smarter decisions like never before.

Every sales leader out there is looking for ways to improve their sales force and consistently drive revenue growth. However, there are a number of issues that drive the effectiveness of a sales force—and many are interrelated:

  • Customer segmenting, targeting, and effective value propositions
  • Sales process
  • Sales force size and structure
  • Territory alignment
  • Hiring, training, and coaching
  • Incentives
  • Goal Setting
  • Performance management

When you tweak one lever, it often causes disruption in another driver of sales effectiveness. So where do you start? How do you know which levers to pull and how do you measure the impact of your changes on your sales team? With smarter sales analytics.

Activity Does Not Always Correlate to Positive Results

Jim Benton, COO of ClearSlide, had a great presentation where he looked at engagement vs. activity to measure and predict the effectiveness of his sales team. The top sales reps in many sales organizations are not always those with the most activity recorded in their CRM (emails, calls, and touches). It’s possible to be super busy doing all the wrong activities or using an ineffective approach or process. According to CSO Insights, only 7.5% of sales activity is auto-logged into a CRM.

Jim analyzed 20 reps on his Sales team and found that those with STRONG CRM Activity, but WEAK customer engagement, produced WEAK RESULTS. While those who had STRONG customer engagement (actual time spent with the customer, open rates, responsiveness, etc.) produced STRONG sales results at 150% to goal for the sales period.

Next, Jim sat down with his 4 top performers to find out what they were doing different and realized that their interactions with prospective customers were more authentic, customized, and relevant to the customers’ needs than their peers’ more canned approaches. He then coached the rest of his Sales team on how to replicate these best practices.

The bottom line is that comp and incentives are not the only drivers of an effective, happy, rain-making sales force. Successful sales organizations need to focus on enabling their sales teams to succeed at their jobs by developing the right competencies in their people, optimizing their processes, and arming their teams with the data and tools needed to effectively execute in the field.

Did you attend SMA’s Sales Force Productivity Conference? What were your biggest ‘aha’ moments?

              It's time for Smarter Sales Analytics