Sales managers are resilient folk. For many, adapting to leaps in technology, economic volatility, and radical shifts in buying behavior is the norm. Often they emerge stronger and better equipped to succeed. Not surprisingly then, this Covid era, with any number of unforeseen business challenges has prompted many sales managers to examine themselves and their teams and to commit to up their game. One given— in this tumultuous time — is a data strategy.
In this blog, we reflect on the year, and argue rather than treat data as superfluous to the sales team, we suggest you treat it as an asset.
Lesson 1. Must have a data strategy for sales
The veil of comfort of a pre-Covid world, where growth is infinite, resources are boundless, and the only perceived limit to success is one’s level of ambition…. for many, that veil has been lifted. And for some it has revealed some blemishes that in more comforting times would be easier to ignore. One such organizational blemish, for many, is the lag in their business to adopt and employ a data strategy that can empower its sales people and improve results.
Let’s face it. Doing what you did yesterday is a good approach if you believe that tomorrow will look similar to today. Not many sales managers share this view of the world anymore. Things are changing, they are changing fast, and many sales organizations that haven’t adopted a data strategy find themselves slow to react and at a disadvantage to their competitors.
Lesson 2. Data helps sales team understand subtle changes in customer behavior
The contrast in talking to sales organizations with a data solution and those without is striking. Sales organizations committed to data, use buying trends and behaviors of their best customers to educate and inform the rest of their customers as well as increase add on sales and wallet share across their customer base. In a few mouse clicks, a rep can see what upsell and add on opportunities exist and prioritize their calling efforts.
Data driven sales organizations can react to the pulse of their customers, often times pro-actively to head off issues before a customer is fully at-risk. Subtle changes in purchasing behavior can reveal at risk accounts and trends that the salesperson can address pro-actively to retain a customer rather than trying to win them back after they leave.
Lesson 3. A data strategy is necessary to compete in a shrinking marketplace
Further, as competition for a lesser number of customers in the marketplace heats up, data driven sales organizations have 360 degree view of their customer that allows them to share insights, improve customer experience and add value to every interaction. Customers have come to expect a higher level of communication and experience from their vendors that mirrors what they have experienced online.
Companies that have not embraced a data strategy for sales find themselves at a tremendous disadvantage. In these rapidly changing times, sales managers of those organizations may be asking themselves how long they can afford to wait before they level the playing field for their team.
To learn more about creating a data strategy for your sales team, download this free e-Book, Digital transformation with data analytics
Mark has spent more than 20 years helping companies on various ERP systems solve their accounting, tax and technology needs. He likes to demonstrate the functional application of business intelligence software like decision-making enablement and reduced administration.
Mark Giddens Sales Enablement Director - USA.