The last 2 decades experienced a sea-change when it comes to how organizations handle business development. While ERP and CRM put process rigor and discipline to the sales management process, the era of Data Analytics, Big Data and Cloud Computing have empowered sales managers with data that can enable them to make informed decisions. The future looks exciting with 5G mobility, Machine Learning, AI and Quantum Computing bringing in more and more information & insights, instantly for decision making. However, such opportunities come with their own share of risk and threat. Sales Managers who used to bank on their interpersonal skills, negotiation skills, etc., to deliver stellar performance have to accept that without adequate up-skilling on Sales Analytics, their extinction is indispensable.
Here are top 5 reasons to up-skill sales teams on sales analytics:
Many sales managers lack sufficient data analytical skills. The skill sets are vastly across organizations. Some can’t make charts in excel while others are more versatile. It is not an aberration to state that most of them cannot independently analyze data to come up with breakthrough insights. They are either dependent on the sales analyst or their managers to provide them an action plan, given a scenario.
Today, ample data is available in finger tips and business intelligence (BI) tools are also within reach of every employee. Analytics savvy sales managers utilize these resources to independently analyze the data to define problems, identify factors driving the problem, unearth patterns in the data for planning and execution purposes. They not only save time due to reduced dependency on others but are also more confident because it’s backed by data or facts.
Many times sales managers deal with ambiguous situations such as lack of information on competition’s plan, customer’s behaviours, economic drivers, product acceptance in the market, etc. Asking the right questions, at the right time, to the right person gets the right answers. Those who are skilled in Sales Analytics will analyze the data to understand the situation better, frame questions or problems that are specific and relevant to the circumstances. Without doubt, this will enable them to become better decision makers.
Locating an oasis in a desert is much easier with a satellite imagery. It can pinpoint exactly how to get there faster too. Solving problems in sales and unearthing business opportunities are much easier with data analytics. Sales managers with Sales Analytics skills are 3 times more likely to tap on opportunity or solve a problem than those without such skills.
Sales folks are brave hearts who deal with objections and resistance day in, day out. Whether it is a client, business partner, sales director, internal stakeholders such as supply chain, product development, marketing, etc, they are more likely to convince such stakeholders with insights, charts, evidence, etc than otherwise. Storytelling, backed with data and analytics is more likely to get buy-ins, approvals, endorsement and support.
The business world looks very different from it was 2 decades ago and be assured it would be even more different in the years to come. Digital transformation is being led by data, analytics, cloud computing and fast networks. Sales and business leaders are expected to only be an active user of data and analytics but become a power user to survive in future..