Introduction to sales metrics
When it comes to sales, most people don’t immediately think of concepts like data collection, metrics, or analytics.
When most people think of sales, they picture an upbeat, maverick salesperson who woos customers on the golf course through sheer wit, charm, and natural instinct. In reality, this fast and loose approach to sales is losing out to a more methodical approach.
Like everything else in business today, sales is quickly evolving. Sales organizations today are incorporating new technologies and data analytics capabilities to help them adapt to these rapid changes.
This new, systematic, data-driven approach helps salespeople hone their skills, check their gut instincts against hard data, and leverage technology to automate repetitive tasks, become more efficient, and close more deals in less time.
More importantly, business leaders can now rely on data and advanced sales analytics in order to make smarter decisions, rather than basing important business decisions on mere guesswork and intuition.
That’s not to say that there’s no art to the process of selling. Salespeople must still be people-oriented, engaging, and charismatic. They must be able to think quickly on their feet, be sympathetic to the needs of their customers, and be highly-aware of the logical and emotional motivators of each stakeholder involved in the buying process.
While these “soft skills” are still valuable and necessary, increasingly, the organizations that refine their selling practices using hard data end up coming out ahead. Relying on imprecise methods of decision-making leaves you vulnerable to disruption by smarter, more data-savvy competitors, no matter what industry you’re in.
In order to continue driving higher revenue and profits, you must be able to identify and collect data on the right sales metrics that can help you spot risks and opportunities for growth.
“Everybody gets activity metrics at this point. I think that’s an old story. What you’re seeing people do a better job of — though it’s still not good — is really understanding which metrics are making a difference.”
- Steve Richard CRO, ExecVision [Source]
Fortunately, a sales analytics program is relatively easy to set up, and it can deliver drastic profit increases by improving decision-making, increasing efficiency, and expanding your capacity to satisfy more customers and close more deals.