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How to use analytics to improve sales and get the most out of your salesforce

Feb 28, 2017

Organizations produce and collect immense volumes of data, but many are not using this data to its full potential. With the right analytics tools, it is possible to gain insight into the behavior and needs of both customers and salesforce, and use this to allocate resources in the most efficient and effective manner.

While many organizations are beginning to use analytics to better understand their customers, they are often overlooking other areas that could benefit from similar investigation. It is important to consider what tactics the salesforce is using, and evaluate factors such as deals, messaging, and other forms of customer interaction. By taking a detailed look at this data, it becomes possible to predict what strategic approaches will be successful and under what circumstances. Analytics tools can process very large, diverse pools of data and find connections that an individual would miss.

There are a great many decisions to be made in terms of salesforce makeup and administration. Analytics can help determine what size of salesforce is most efficient and how best to structure it. They can also give insight into incentive models for employees, such as how effective they currently are, and one will produce the best results. Turnover rates and exactly who is leaving and why are also very important factors to consider, and examining these can reduce hiring costs and retain more high-performing employees. Planning and strategy also benefit from these tools, as analytics can help establish things such as optimal sales territories and personalized goals, and identify how best to train and manage the salesforce.

It is easy to make decisions based on past performances and current budgets, but this approach lacks depth and can overlook valuable customer segments and products. By focusing on its strongest areas and ignoring underperforming ones, a company risks missing out on many opportunities. If a product, strategy, or sector is not doing as well as expected, analyzing data can produce valuable insights, either in terms of how to improve its performance, or how to proceed with future projects. Analytics can identify underserved customer segments, or help find a better strategy or market for a struggling product. Failures are just as important to examine as successes.

This data can also then inform sales efforts, giving salespeople feedback on what to push and how to promote it. It can help determine what customers they should focus on and when, as well as what techniques will be most effective. Customer reaction to these products and strategic approaches can then be taken into consideration when designing or improving new products and processes.

There is a wealth of information available about every aspect of sales. The in-depth analysis provides feedback that would otherwise be difficult or impossible to discover, and feedback from one area can be put to use in so many others. By utilizing this data and applying it strategically, it is possible to improve organizational efficiency and profits significantly.

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