Business intelligence blog

    Increase your sales by asking these six questions


    Business intelligence software allows you to interrogate various data sources depending on your job function or need. Let's consider the current objective to increase your sales and the criteria you need to know to make changes within your business. In this blog, we discuss six fundamental questions to increase sales and all the answers can be found by analyzing and drilling into your data.  

    Q1: Are we meeting our revenue goals?

    The majority of businesses measure their growth by setting quarterly and annual revenue goals. The ability to accurately track your goals and forecast sales based on current trends in real time is essential to success.  Phocas allows you run a live budget with customized dashboards and refer to them at anytime to check financial performance. 

    You can customize the dashboard by setting up widgets that enable you to immediately see your revenue statistics in comparison to your revenue target. Your data can be segmented further by branch, rep, or other relevant information.  You can also measure the revenue growth rate which is an indication of how well a company is able to grow its sales revenue over a given time period. While the revenue is an actual number, the revenue growth rates simply compares the current sales figures (total revenue) with a previous period (typically quarter to quarter or year to year).

    Q2: Where are we missing opportunities?

    Revenue tracking has been traditionally done through  ERP and CRM systems. However, these systems do not easily reveal missed opportunities. This is due to the days-long wait for an IT generated report or the need to manipulate data in an external source such as a spreadsheet to do the analysis.

    In Phocas, customer buying trends are readily available. Now you can identify which customers are in decline, and which are buying one product, but not its complimentary product such as buying a lighting without the fixtures.  Once a problem is identified, it’s easy to resolve. It may be the customer is buying the product from a competitor at a reduced price.  Sending over a sales rep to talk your customer improves customer satisfaction and retention.

    Q3: Why are some sales reps not meeting their individual targets?

    There are times sales reps don’t meet their individual targets. With Phocas, you have the ability to divide metrics by filters, such as individual sales rep. This enables you to quickly see whether your reps are meeting their targets and, if not, why not? How much they are selling of a certain product? How much are they selling into a specific industry? Is the rep aware of the complete product range they should be selling? Are competitors affecting sales in a certain region?  By understanding the root cause, it’s easier to find the solution.  In the end, it may be that your sales rep’s overall performance is under target. They may benefit from further training or mentoring to improve their sales figures. 

    Q4: Where are our competitors hurting us?

    By identifying if your competitors are taking away business and by pinpointing how, you are able to quickly intervene before they have a serious impact. With Phocas, you can use a heat map to monitor your sales data. A heat map is a graphical representation of your data that will show you how much you are selling of a certain product in a specific region. If you find your sales have dropped significantly, it’s likely a competitor is affecting you. Armed with this information, your sales reps can meet with your customers in the region to check in and negotiate a better deal.

    Q5: How many customers are we losing?

    Most businesses lose a few customers a year. It becomes a serious problem when these customers aren’t identified until it’s too late and their loss impacts your bottom line. Using a dashboard in Phocas, you can set up a widget to track customers who haven’t purchased anything within a designated time period.  Keeping an eye on your customers allows you to respond quickly by sending in a sales rep in between visit cycles. Your rep can discuss your customer’s concerns and offer an appropriate solution, such as a new agreement, or suggesting products better suited to their unique needs. By actively managing the care of your customers, you increase their loyalty to you.

    Q6: What does our most profitable product mix look like?

    A profitable company is a healthy company with growth potential.  Each product has its own profit margin. Therefore, selling a mix of profitable products is vital. BI quickly shows which products have the greatest profit margins. From there, it’s easy to decide which products to bundle that will benefit both your customers and increases your margins. Now your sales reps can push your high-margin products with low-margin products to sell the most profitable product mix.

    To learn more ways to query your data, please download our free eBook: 10 Metrics Every Sales Manager Must Know and Measure.


     

    Written by Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
    Successful Business Intelligence - Phocas Software
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