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Sales managers encounter many challenges in the development, oversight, assessment, and motivation of their representatives. Among these,  measuring and tracking the ongoing performance of their sales team so as to ensure the consistent delivery of all required objectives is one of the most important. A deep examination of key performance data is vital to achieving that end, and once a careful analysis is performed, it will reveal a true snapshot of the actual performance not only of each sales member, but also of sales team results as a whole.

According to the latest Salesforce statistic, 81% of sales reps believe it is important to have a connected view of data across the entire customer journey. However, a lack of integrated systems that effectively links each data source is preventing many sales members from having the complete picture they need, resulting in inferior sales performance and a loss to the bottom line.

Unfortunately, the need for a holistic data overview hasn’t translated into a majority of companies adopting the technology they need to achieve it, as only 49% of businesses say they have the fully integrated systems their sales team needs to thrive. The impact of failing to equip sales departments with the right data tools is clearly felt in the evaluation of their productivity, as high-performing sales teams are 2.1 times more likely than underperformers to have such systems in place [1].

The takeaway by now should be clear: good data analysis is a vital component to both sales managers and their team if they want to improve their performance. When applied, intelligent data analysis can lead to actionable insights that allow for a precise diagnosis of any inefficiencies that sales members may be experiencing, and a clear conclusion on how they may be solved.

Tactics

With the importance of integrated data analysis being clearly understood, the question then becomes how best to implement an insightful data analysis system. Here are a few practical steps that can be taken to develop an effective way to measure, monitor, track and report on your sales team’s performance.

Step One – Set Expectations

Don’t be afraid to have a goal-driven personal gathering with your sales team. Setting sales expectations for individual salespersons, teams, and the organization as a whole begins with identifying sales performance factors such as:

  • Motivation – Increase the drive of your team by setting realistic incentives, goals, quotas, and forecasts to drive revenue expectations to maximize the organization’s success.
  • Barrier identification – Reveal internal and marketplace obstacles that are preventing your team from reaching their goals and projection targets.
  • Integration – Develop an effective sales process for all team members to adopt a coordinated playbook that executes the vision and strategy of the company.

Step Two – Define Your Driving Points

Knowing where you are in your sales campaigns requires a roadmap that coordinates and pinpoints the performance of your sales journey. Before this can be achieved, however, identifying the types of metrics you should be tracking is a must. To achieve that, establish the following:

  • Set goals – Define clear performance metrics based on daily or monthly quotas of activities that impact the movement between each stage of the sales pipeline.
  • Describe success – Identify the type of outcomes that drive the success of the company.  To best achieve this, base your desired outcomes on revenue and profit objectives as a result of deals won and closed.
  • Statistical evaluation – Management must set assessment benchmarks to measure the effectiveness of sales reps in accomplishing sales-related activities and determine their productivity. Metrics to look at include the number of calls or appointments made or contacts that lead to conversion — though many other metrics exist for evaluating the productivity of each team member.

Step Three -Utilize a Better Mousetrap

Be a Horcheal Alger and have your data beat a path to your door. Employing an intuitive dashboard platform will provide up-to-date measurable indicators to monitor, analyze and track, thereby offering true and total visibility into their business. Having done so, these are just a few things users should be able to see more clearly:

  • Pipeline flow – Track the process, progress, and results of activities occurring in the sales pipeline to make data-driven decisions more quickly.
  • Results analysis – Examining the right KPIs and metrics data points will tell the complete story of a company’s courting, conversion, and revenue outcomes.
  • A clearer picture – Build forecasts and customized sales analytic reports that offer deep insights that reflect the company’s sales process and performance.

Technology to the Rescue

CRM and ERP applications today have become the software of choice to ensure that a manager’s decisions are backed by good data. With 79% of sales teams currently using or planning to use sales analytics technology to increase their efficiency, the marketplace has clearly taken notice of the importance of data analysis to inform a manager’s decision making [2]. Even more telling than that, 76% of sales professionals today say using sales analytics has significantly or somewhat improved their ability to provide customers with a consistent experience across every channel, so the results of the benefits of integrated sales analytics are conclusive [3].

Between the two testimonies of marketplace adaptation and improved customer support, the verdict on sales analytics is in: a comprehensive data picture for sales teams is no longer a luxury. It’s a requirement. 

Work Harder and Smarter

With the right strategy and management tools, technology can monitor performance in real-time, helping organizations hit their targets with deeper insights and visibility to optimize their sales opportunities. Implementing the tools required to reach this endpoint does take an investment, but the unleashed potential and optimized performance a sales team can realize make it more than worthwhile.

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