Data has become an important part of all organizations. With all decisions now based on data, the challenge lies in how to analyze and measure it. The volume of different types of data available for use by a company is just so enormous and the key lies in sifting through this data effectively to dig out insights. In fact, even sales professionals of this day are spending 25% of their time to search for data based insights that will help them make their calls effective.
So, the challenge in front of us is to manage this enormous pile of data. If a problem exists, so does its solution. Here are some of the ways in which data can be managed effectively to make a positive impact on your sales:
Deep Dive into your Customer Profiles
All customers are not the same. In fact, no two customers are the same. Therefore, the customers need to be segmented as per their demographics, behavior or any other aspect crucial to your business. The job does not stop here.The data also needs to be cleansed periodically (at least once in six months) to keep its relevance alive. 62% companies have shown that their contact information changes over a period of one year. Therefore, tokeep your data updated, you need to cleanse it regularly. Maintaining the hygiene of the data, which includes ensuring that all fields are complete,is also as important as the accuracy of those fields. Professional help and tools can also be used to do the same.
Find CRM Solutions
Once your data collection is sorted, you need to look for Customer Relationship Management solutions that will help you to manage your entire database and indicate useful leads. Almost 89% of sales teams are unable to find any useful inputs from the data. This means that there is a need for an expert on data management who can look for insights in an organized manner and provide it to the sales team for further action. If not manual, automated processes under the umbrella of CRM can also help.
Special care needs to be taken that the sales representatives are spending their time constructively towards conversion of leads and not just lead generation. Along with this, the data input expected from them should also be totally automated with minimal manual intervention so as to make it user friendly and practical at the same time. No sale representative is happy entering data manually or searching papers to find information. So, the objective should be to make it easy for him.
Have a Scoring Mechanism for your Sales Reps
It is important to assess the activity and performance of your sales reps periodically to understand what is their success rate. A successful intervention must be shared with other sales reps, and if possible, replicated by all. Research says that only 57% of the sales reps can actually meet or exceed their targets. This itself shows the amount of opportunity that lies in it for you as a leader. Creating a standard template for your sale reps, assessing their activities through trackers, sharing their success stories and rectifying problems, if any, are the basics that are expected out of you as their leader.
Apart from this, you also need to engage your sales training team to improve the quality of your sales pitch and also to improve your sales reps' knowledge and presentation skills. There should also be a sounding board or an advisor that can help the sales reps to solve their day to day problems, like closing a deal, final convincing of a customer and so on. An experienced sale professional who has been on-the-job for many years is the best person for this and giving access to your sales reps to this person may just help them bridge the gap. Not just a spike in sales, this will also translate to higher engagement amongst your sales reps and also a higher probability of earning incentives.
Teach Prioritization to your Sales Employees
Since the sales reps have a huge customer base to handle, prioritization of leads may not be a natural process to them. This is where the organization has to play an important role to teach them to assess all leads on certain important parameters and channelize their attention and efforts in that direction. Going after tentative leads may not lead to results all the time, and in the process, you may lose another lucrative lead.
This usually happens since the sales rep does not want to take the risk of losing a probable lead. Here is where you have to play an important role in coaching them to go for highest probable conversions rather thanpursuing all probable leads in a hope that they will lead to a conversion. For this, you need to educate them about the sales funnel and how it is digressing from the traditional sales funnels. It is no longer about the way you convince the buyer about your products/service but more to do with the information you are sharing with them to educate them for taking an informed decision.
B2B customers generally start their purchase/collaboration process by looking at the website of the concerned seller/partner for information. They may not take the decision at that very instant, and therefore, you need to be careful that once an interest has been shown in your offering, your sales rep must feed the potential customer with information, data and success stories about your company.
At this time, they may also seekfeedback from some actualusers about their experience with your company/product. This process should continue in auto mode with emails, white papers, invitations to webinars etc. being sent to your potential customer. There will be a moment when either he gets convinced and chooses your over others to partner with or there could be a situation where he is pushed to make a decision and at that time your company would be a top-of-mind recall for him. Either way, you get the business. The mantra is to be alert and to educate your customer based on data findings.
Use the Power of Data
Data is the most important source on which you should base all your decisions. Data backed decisions are sure to increase and improve your sales process. Most of the businesses ignore the power of data and go by their 'gut' feeling. But, these are a thing of the past. For a growing business, data based insights are the only thing that is going to work.
Conduct data mining classes for your sales reps and coach them to find insights through data. Since this may not be the forte of many salesemployees, you need to be extremely precise in imparting this training to them. Teaching them to identify the key points to be evaluated fortaking data based decisions is the first step. This training, however, cannot be a one-time exercise but needs to be done on a regular basis,keeping in mind the triggers for sales at that time.
Educating the sales reps about the market conditions and environment is also extremely important. They also need to have sound knowledge about their competition and activities. The objective is that when your sales representative engages a potential customer in a conversation, he should be well versed with his offerings, the USP, the benefits to the customer and the edge you offer over the competition. In essence, confidence has to ooze out from your sales reps.
Utilization of data is an important part of your sales process. If the capability does not exist within your team, you could also use professional help for the same. There are many tools and companies available on the internet that can provide you with proper guidance and advice for this purpose.
Techno Data Group is b2b marketing firm in Wilmington, Delaware focusing on business success. We can help you targeting key accounts using real time verified data; we can identify your buying personas, analyze your existing database and fill in the missing information.
We work with some of the world's leading brands and Fortune 500 companies. We are proud to say that we are their preferred database partners.