Decades ago a forward-thinking manager, Peter Drucker, said “if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it”. At that time, we were far from imagining the amount of data we would have at our disposal, ready to be transformed into insights and than to action. Sales Analytics have become a gold pot of opportunities that is fueling forward-thinking sales managers and their high-performing teams.
We are used to see successful sales people following their gut feelings and trusting their instincts, but things have changed. A new generation of sales leaders seems more interested in dig deep into company data, leaving feelings in the back row seat.
These sales managers understand the numerous opportunities that analytics can bring: accurate forecasts, being able to avoid dead-end deals, improve individual and team performance, shorter sales cycles, are just a few examples. In other words, sales teams gain visibility, productivity and time.
How high-performers use analytics
On the “2015 State of Sales” report, Salesforce provides useful insights on analytics adoption, comparing results and practices between high, moderate and low performance teams.
When it comes to analytics adoption high performance sales teams are beating underperformers by a wide margin of 57% against 16%.
Leading teams use data to make more informed decisions and find improvement opportunities.
Analytics also help them gain more visibility into accounts. This way they can easily understand in which deals should they focus their energy on, choosing the most productive and promising conversations. As we said before it’s about visibility, productivity and time.
Going beyond the numbers
Sales teams can have all the analytics tools in the world and still be an under-performer. Some behaviours, like gather insights across the customer lifecycle, are common among all the teams that took the survey. The difference is that while the leading teams not only collect data, but also analyse and act upon those insights, under-performers still prefer gut feelings over informed, data-driven decisions.
Having a great sales analytics tool can be half the path to improve performance, but a cultural shift is also needed. Dashboards, reports and even predictive analytics are nothing if teams don’t act upon insights to boost customer success.
Who wants to become a high-performer?
More sales organizations seem be opening their eyes to this new reality in sales. According with the survey, there’s a 58% increase in planned sales analytics use from 2015 to 2016 among all the sales organizations that took part in the survey.
What about you? Are you a high-performer who cracked the code on analytics or are you still relying solely on gut feelings?