Category: Sales Career

The Power of Sales Analytics

sales analytics with AlteryxThe Power of Sales Analytics is something every serious sales professional must understand. Sales Analytics is the lifeblood of every sales team, big or small.  The data-driven marketplace means teams must leverage their own data, 3rd party data, and do the digital due diligence to succeed.

The Power of Sales Analytics

There many ways which analytics drives success on the sales team:

  • Team Performance
    • well timed performance reports and scorecards across the sales hierarchy is a must
  • Productivity Insights
    • find out how many prospect touches it take on average to develop an opportunity
  • Account and Prospect Insights
    • who are you selling to, what solutions do they need, and where can you reach them
  • Correlation
    • find out the messaging and market relationships which drive your prospects
  • Marketing ROI and Messaging
    • what role does marketing play in leads, opportunities and revenue generation
  • Compensation Design
    • are you reps fairly compensated for the behavior which drives revenue
  • Territory Configuration
    • have you optimized your territories and set appropriate quota

Enabling Sales Analytics

Even before you can take advantage of the above, there are a few steps which the team must beholden before a true analytics program can succeed. These include:

  • Best practice data capture with your CRM (Salesforce.com, Miscrosoft CRM, vTiger)
  • Understanding your sales journey and converting into stages and sales milestones
  • Establish a data-driven culture – reps, managers, and senior leadership must trust the data
  • Use the data to define compensation plans and territory configurations
  • Establish a regular pattern of data cleansing – your reports are only as good as the data you put in

With these concepts in mind, you can leverage the power of sales analytics.  We capture data everywhere. Not leveraging the data is a big mistake which is easy to make.  Whether you bring a team on-board internally, or outsource to a consulting like Spiral Analytics, there is no excuse for missing the power of sales analytics.

Update on Memberships and Content

As Saalun, a product of Spiral Analytics, comes up to speed, we wanted to provide this update on our progress.   We have been working away on creating content, but still have a little work to do.

Content, Courses, and Sales Learning

As an e-learning solution, Saalun’s core product are courses which teach different topics of sales analytics and sales best practices.  We are leveraging the Thinkific platform for these courses.  You can bookmark saalun.thinkific.com as content will appear there as we release course content.

We are also using SoundCloud for our Podcasts.  Please head over to our profile page and listen to our free content.

We have also created a Slack group called “Sales Hangout” for our members. You can get access by purchasing a set of courses, a membership, or paying a one time fee.  For early access at a reduced rate, please send an email to our email address.

To further your productivity, we offer a variety of downloads in PDF and Excel form to help you stay organized.  From our Daily Sales Planner to the Quarterly Quota Tracker, our templates are meant to be printed and filled in.  The Daily Sales Planner, for instance, is a daily worksheet any sales rep could use to manage their day, focusing on what matters.

We feel these three platforms are a great way to start and provide an immersive experience for the sales professional wanting to further their career, be the best on the team or even an analyst wanting to learn the specifics of sales.

Memberships and Pricing

Sales analytics university offers a variety of pricing and plans to fit any budget.  From a la carte options like attending an individual course to one time fee access to our Sales Hangout channel on Slack, users can mix and match our content to build a custom experience.

Alternatively, for a flat monthly or annual membership fee, you can have access to all courses and content.  This includes our full suite of courses on our Thinkific channel, early access to podcasts, access to Sales Hangout on Slack and discounts on downloads.

While exact pricing is still being developed, we are happy to announce an early 2018 release of all content.

In the meantime, signup for early access mailing list and stay up to date on events, progress, and news.  We look forward to hearing from you soon.

 

 

Pipeline Management: Staying Organized

sales pipeline managmentThe trick to managing your pipeline with less stress is simply staying organized. It is true, pipeline management can be easy and even enjoyable. We typically get a reaction of fear and stress when we mention pipeline and management in the same sentence. Did you know you feel fear and stress when you are unprepared?  So, let’s show you how to be better prepared with your pipeline.

These 5 tips come from years of coaching sales reps and sales leaders.  Phenomenal things happen if you embrace them all, but it is okay to start with one or two.

Update and Research

  1. Keep your CRM up to Date: Seriously, enter your calls, fill in those “Notes” fields, follow your team’s best practices and don’t be lazy.  Your CRM is a system of record for not only your activity, but your incentive compensation.  It also helps analysts to analyze the customer journey, create insights, and help you sell more efficiently. Don’t be a lazy whiner at the end of the quarter!
  2. Keep Your Own Black Book of Business: Yep, a black book! While the CRM is the official record is in your CRM, each successful sales professional we have worked with had a black book. They use it for their thoughts, additional notes about leads and deals, and they record ideas. A black book is a great place to free the mind. You can also record your thoughts on your pipeline, leads, deals, and even your sales manager’s birthday!
  3. Know Your KPIs:  Every rep has a set of KPIs which they must know.  From sales cycle length to average deal size to win rate, these are a few of the numbers you MUST know. Track them every quarter.  Oh yeah, do you know what your current attainment to goal is for this quarter and year-to-date?  If not, find out NOW.  Know your numbers.

Create Your Plans

  1. Create a Plan A, but also Plan B, and Plan C: Your black book is the perfect place to record your plans.  The plan includes your quota and other targets, your KPIs (you know them now?), and a list of your top 20 deals in the pipeline.  With this information create a plan and know which accounts make up your quota number. This is plan A.  B is a hypothetical plan, where you ask, “what happens when my top deal drops out and I need $XX in two weeks or I am screwed”.  So B is a list of accounts you can close in the remaining time. Likewise, C is another hypothetical plan to cover your butt. But don’t forget the leads you must work and the accounts which will be adding new deals to the pipeline.  Consider both ends of the funnel in your plan.
  2. Review your Plan Daily, Adjust Weekly: All the best plans are worthless if we left them in the car or the dog ate them for breakfast.  Our final tip is to make sure you review your plan and your black book DAILY! While the plan will not change daily, you must make sure your plan is valid every week!! Sit down with a glass of wine or a beer and make sure your review your KPIs, the status of each deal you are counting and who your promising new leads are.  KNOW IT because your VP or CRO might stop you in the hallway and ask.  Never say “I don’t know” to a VP.

There you have it! 5 tips on staying organized and reducing stress while managing your pipeline.   When you go to work tomorrow, look your fellow sales reps in the eyes and see if you can see stress.  If you do, notice if they are organized and/or have their own black book.  You might be surprised at what you see.

If you enjoyed this content, consider joining our mailing list or check out our podcasts on SoundCloud.

Why a Career in Sales is a Great Move

why a career in sales is a great moveA career in sales is a very rewarding, comfortable occupation.  While you don’t have to be born into it, you do have to learn to manage your accounts and pipeline for success.

Benefits of a Sales Role

Some of the benefits include:

  • Freedom
    • You can set your own hours. Depending on the role, you may even work from anywhere
  • Good Money
    • Experienced reps can make $1million per year at the high end
  • Rush of the Hunt
    • For many, the rush of closing the deal after chasing the client is remarkable experience
  • Solving Problems
    • You don’t just sell a product, but a solution
  • Entrepreneur Lifestyle
    • Use your skills, be your own boss, and take charge of you path
  • Personal Creativity
    • While most roles have preferred scripts and procedures, there is a lot of room for creativity

Make It Your Own

While you may be picturing a car salesman with a nerdy tie and a high pressure manager, that is a bygone era.  From inside sales roles responding to warm inbound leads to the entrepreneurial style of an outside team, there is a role for you.   You can also choose what you sell.  From airplanes to office snacks, combine your passion for a product with the lifestyle and live the dream.

Many professionals we have worked with here at Saalun speak to the creativity they have in accomplishing their professional goals.  While quota goals are often supplemented by lead or new account goals, the variety of tools available allow you to create your own method of engagement, tracking, and time management.

If you love the rush of the hunt, the satisfaction of closing the deal, and building relationships with people, you are in the right place. Start living the dream.