Power in Numbers: Simple Ways to Use Sales Data to Boost Business
Most businesses are concerned about sales figures. It’s only natural. When you’re in business, you have to worry about whether your company is profitable or not. Here’s how to look at the sales numbers and use them to boost the bottom line.
Simplilearn salesforce administrator certification will help your IT team get better at the quantitative side of business. If they aren’t already quantitative specialists, get them there. Data is usually a simple issue of math and science, mixed with a little engineering. The number of qualified leads you get for your company, for example, is compared to the number of wins and losses, or sales and no-sales.
In order to get real answers about why your products or services aren’t selling, ask buyers why they didn’t buy. Do an exit interview with them. Then, keep a running log of all the no-sales versus sales. Over time, you’ll a picture will start to form. You’ll start to understand key drivers for your business, whether you’re pricing your product correctly, and whether representatives are doing their job.
Qualitative analysis is informational in nature – but it’s expressed in language instead of numbers.
It’s the experience of everyone involved in the sale. This type of data helps you understand the “why” and the “how” of the sale – what actually happened. When you gather this data, you have a basis for making improvements.
The best way to do this is to interview the customer, use an objective person inside the company to conduct the interview (not the salesperson). Set up the interview soon after the sale is lost, so that you get fresh information.
Identifying Where You Lost In A Deal, Even When You Won
Even when your company is making sales, it might be losing out on additional revenue. Maybe the sales process is too long, or it’s happening but it’s suboptimal. Are there any bottlenecks or areas where prospects drop off in the sales cycle, never to be picked back up again?
Identify trends, whether good or bad, and find ways to improve them. One loss might not mean you need to overhaul your entire sales process. But, a series of losses involving a particular process, or that seem to happen at a certain stage in the sales cycle indicate a problem.
Focusing On Processes
Most sales losses happen because of a faulty sales process. Look over your entire sales process. How easy is it for customers to buy? How easy is it for customers to get service after the sale?
If you offer a service, whether one-time payment or subscription, how easy is it to cancel or get service after the sale?
If there are any bottlenecks, fix them. If you notice them, your customers are feeling them and it’s causing friction during the sales process.
Getting Information Out Quickly
Once you’re done with your analysis, it’s time to disseminate information. Share reports in real time, consider hosting a conference call online and inviting core members of the sales staff to the meeting. If possible, invite all sales and marketing personnel.
Make sure you prepare specific actions for your sales directors to take. Use collaboration tools to disseminate this information.
Describing Data With Quick Statistics
Sometimes, data can be relayed using basic functions inside excel or other similar spreadsheet programs. For example, “average, sum, count, min, max, and median can show sales figures in meaningful ways. It doesn’t have to be formatted in a fancy or expensive program.
Using heatmaps, you can color-code data series to highlight usual trends. This is particularly helpful if you have benchmarks you’re trying to meet. The sales team can easily see where they are underperforming and gives them direction on where to focus their efforts.
Using Pareto Analysis
The Pareto Principle says that 80 percent of your results come from 20 percent of your efforts. Or, said another way, 80 percent of the outcomes are governed by 20 percent of the factors involved.
Let’s say you own a website. What you may find is that 20 percent of your visitors are visiting 80 percent of your webpages and interacting with your brand. In sales, perhaps there are only 20 percent of the total activities you’re doing that are contributing to 80 percent of your sales.
How do you use this data? You build a table with percentages. You map out total product sales and customers. Or, analyze customer service requests using percentage of calls coming in versus reps handling calls.
You could also map service requests against services. What you’ll find, in nearly every case, is that the bulk of your service requests are for a small percentage of your products. Likewise, a large portion of your sales are being generated by only a handful of actions.
So, learn what those things are, and optimize them.
Chandana is a Senior Content Writer for Simplilearn.com. She has a M.A. in English Literature from Gauhati University and is PRINCE2 Foundation certified. Her unique and refreshing writing style continues to educate and inspire readers from around the world.