I read somewhere that data was the key to boosting sales. Really? Says who?
When you look into the "who", it should come as no surprise that it's the companies that provide data analytics that say so. Don't get me wrong; data (and especially the right data) can be very useful. But data, by itself, doesn't boost anything.
If you are getting the right data...
- where opportunities stall in your sales process,
- why they stall,
- conversion ratios from first contact to closing,
- win rates by salesperson and opportunity type,
- length of sales cycle by salesperson and opportunity type,
- % of opportunities where there is true traction,
- % of opportunities that are fully qualified,
- % of opportunities that get demos, proposals, quotes,
...and you know what to look for, you can discover what and/or who needs to be fixed. But you still have to fix it. The data won't do that for you. And you need to know more than what and who. You must know why. And the why could be different for each and every salesperson.
Data can help you identify bottlenecks, trends and problems. The importance of those cannot be understated. However, can you actually fix the problem once you know what it is?
For example, one of the common trends, being illuminated by data, is the dropping win rate. So you know you aren't closing enough business to hit plan. Why is the win rate so low?
It could be:
- Poor sales selection,
- Ineffective sales coaching,
- Lack of accountability,
- Unqualified proposals or quotes,
- Unqualified demos,
- Inconsistent messaging,
- Lack of onboarding,
- Skill gap,
- Poor consultative selling skills,
- Lack of listening and questioning skills,
- Lack of effort,
- Inability to sell value,
- Rushing through the sales process,
- Ineffective sales process,
- Poor sales DNA,
- Poor closing skills,
- Lack of relationships, and/or
- Failure to reach decision makers.
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