Every company in the sales and commissions world needs data in order to create their annual sales plans. How much are they selling? How much was sold in certain state or country? Which product had the major acceptance in the market? Which sales representative sold the most? How can we compensate our sales force based on their performance? These are some of the questions that can be answered with the use of data.
Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion. You cannot make liable decisions if you don’t have a tool that provides you information about your sales. In the market you can find many companies that offer reporting and analytics tools. In order to pick one of those, you need to make sure that the system they are offering provides:
- Use analytics and custom sales dashboards at every step of the sales process, from prospecting, territory analysis, and lead management to pipeline coverage, pipeline quality, account management, forecasting, and more.
- Track and analyze real-time or near-real-time indicators to make sure that you and your sales team are top-performers, and keep key sales metrics in sight.
- Interface with the spreadsheets, databases, cloud data of your company.
- Blend cloud data with sales quotas, demographics, market sizing, and more.
- Shift between different views of data, add maps, and enhance with table calculations for more insights.
- Have an automatic forecasting feature that can be use to estimate progress toward making quota.
Sales managers and reps should be able to track their daily sales activities. That way they can be aware how far they are from their sales goals, a big part of managing sales is planning. How do you know whether you will meet your revenue goal? How much should you plan for compensation this quarter? How well are you rewarding top performers? What will happen if you change the sales plan? The reporting and analytics can help you walk through possible outcomes and manage your risk.
The data can also be used for managers to make decisions on marketing and publicity. Depending on the sales performance of a product, they can decide whether to adjust more budget on publicity in order to increase sales.
Understanding corporate sales performance is key to determining what adjustments you need to make to your business today. Typical comparative analysis, such as year over year growth, is easy to do as a single calculation with these tools. But you also need to look at your performance historically, cumulatively and for every slice of your business.
Take the time to make the necessary studies and comparisons between the tools that the market offers. Take into consideration your budget and the company’s needs on commissions and sales analysis. What information you need to see and measure? What reports would be helpful? It’s worth the investment since your job will be easier and you can spend your time on other important tasks.
- On April 28, 2015