The art of sales transformation with data science
TODAY’S buying environment is propelling businesses to adapt to digital tools such as data analytics to tackle ever-increasing sales targets.
Data analytics can help executives capture sales growth in the right places with its predictive features.
According to a report by McKinsey, analytics is the very component that’s been missing in sales transformation formulas.
For years, sales transformation efforts have been struggling to achieve what it sets out to do despite the investments in training and sales technology.
It is a big loss and may even be a downfall that businesses risk when they do not approach sales transformations the right way given the impact on the bottom-line.
Here are the steps that the McKinsey report outlines in order to use data analytics to systematically support sales transformation efforts.
#1 | Reverse-engineer the design of sales
Data analytics can give sales campaigns a head start by showing sales leaders where and how to reap the highest market growth, by matching existing products and expertise to the right market.
A global chemical company used data analytics to gain deeper insights into why the team was not hitting campaign targets.
Turns out, organizing reps by regions instead of expertise translated to an insufficient technical understanding that was necessary to deliver results.
The report also stated that this approach helped the company increase the size and quality of sales pipelines by more than 30 percent within the first three months.
So, sales teams can actually reverse-engineer the design of campaign using data analytics to ensure for higher closing rates and sequentially, retain market position.
#2 | Trial and error, real fast
Not every formula will work out. Also, not every formula that worked before will work now.
This is because of the ever-changing buying environment due to fast-paced technological and social changes. New merger and acquisition plans will also change what sales reps have to offer.
Fortunately, data analytics will show when a strategy weakens and will guide sales teams towards the next strategy in line.
Over time, machine learning-enabled data analytics will be able to help sales reps automatically identify what works best across different roles, levels, industries, and even geographies.
The data-driven trial and error approach will keep sales teams’ agility on point, preparing them to always be in a position to close sales.
#3 | Bring out the salesperson in everyone with data analytics
Besides having a targeted market and keeping the sales team agile, data analytics can also improve reps individually.
Similar to what data can do for collective goals, it will close the gap between sales reps and their targets simply by having a dashboard to assess individual sales performance.
A data analytics dashboard charting the performance individually can help sales reps build and track their own progress without distractions. This will be based on real-time data and so, will reduce the time spent by sales managers in the attempt to mentor their executive-levels.
This comes in handy whenever there are new targets and business opportunities, that each rep will have to recalibrate their strength for.
On top of that, having a dashboard that highlights and tracks sales performance can help C-suites gain insights on the team’s struggles so that the management can alleviate where necessary.
#4 | Balance automation and the human workforce
Let’s face it; Robots are better than the human workforce when it comes to repetitive tasks because they can output more with less input.
However, there are tasks that cannot be automated for years to come, showing the need for businesses to find the balancing point between automation and the human workforce.
While sales teams continue their pursuit of digital transformation, they will need to rely on data to show how much they can automate and how much of the human touch will be necessary to maintain balance.
Each group will vary and that’s exactly why businesses should have data backing when deciding on the necessity for each sales campaign.
Sales leaders should first form the systematic foundation, a modus operandi, that which executives can always fall back on if when irregularities do occur.
In this digital era, it will be wasted to not leverage the abundance of data to gain a deeper understanding of customers, markets, competitors, and trends.
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