What is data-driven sales and what outcomes can you expect? Overview for B2B Leaders

What is a data-driven sales culture? Do data and culture go hand-in-hand?

Yes! Without data to help us measure how sales is performing, we don’t know what to improve.

A data-driven sales approach provides a clear, consistent and reliable way to track key KPIs and metrics based on facts. It helps us understand past behavior and make predictions about the future, so we have better control.

A data-driven culture goes beyond merely tracking goals or monitoring processes, it penetrates the way we work and think. With meaningful data on hand, every salesperson can check relevant facts and then make decisions, rather than working the other way around.

3 key characteristics of being data-driven include:

  • Measurable
  • Consistent
  • Reliable

Clear connection between goals, actions and outcomes

Companies with a data-driven strategy have a clear connection between goals, actions and outcomes.

This involves.

  • Defining clear strategies and goals
  • Capturing and optimising the use of data – wherever it may be
  • Measuring and communicating key performance metrics underway
  • Using the insights to guide behavior, coach and motivate

In general, there are 4 types of data:

  1. Goal data – what is the budget, target or goal (overall through to personal level)
  2. Sales opportunity data – the details of potential sales as it develops through to won/lost
  3. Sales activity data – times and states of selected activities (e.g. calls, meetings, demos etc.)
  4. Lead sources – the source of the lead

The data comes from the CRM system or other systems or databases. It provides the basis for calculations which are performed by sales analytic tools.

Goals, status updates, key metrics and key wins or achievements are shared and viewed from digital dashboards or other digital channels. Dashboards ensure everyone knows what’s going on in real-time, rather than waiting for weekly or monthly meetings. If you’re running a race, don’t you want to see lap times as you’re running?

What outcomes can you expect?

For sales leaders, a data-driven sales approach means greater likelihood of reaching business reaches targets.

Several leaders also report better control of their pipeline and improved forecasting accuracy.

Clear, continuous measurable information about performance is what differentiates this method from other methods.

For salespeople, there are many benefits to a data-driven approach. Not only do they get complete insight into their pipeline, they also gain an in-depth understanding of what they can do to influence their own performance.

In short, the benefits include:

  • Greater predictability – proponents of this method have improved forecasting accuracy to within 98%
  • Clear facts on which to base decisions – answers concrete questions about strengths and weaknesses and what can be done to influence outcomes
  • Helps sales reps view their own contribution in the context of the overall organisation
  • Enables sales reps to assess their own development
  • Encourages teamwork by making achievements visible

How to get started

Getting started is easier than you think. You can do it in steps.

The first step is to connect your data to the reports and review your pipeline requirements.

If data is missing or inaccurate, don’t worry. The more you use data to grow and coach your team, the more attention they will have on data quality. Any errors in the data will be visible and easier to fix.

Get in touch with us to start the first step.