Amidst all the chaos and capricious business cycles, if there is one thing that has quietly yet rapidly adapted and evolved itself in a hyper-competitive business environment, that would undoubtedly be the sales function.
A Holistic Approach to Sales Using Analytics
Before we adopt a holistic approach to sales, it is important to understand the evolution of sales. It all began with sales 1.0, which was heavily dependent on the salesperson. The kind of experience they brought to the organization mattered because the sales strategies were built on these experiences, making the sales function very subjective. Then came sales 2.0, where technology augmented sales. There were a lot of tools flooding into the market, tools for prospecting, networking, monitoring and communicating, and more. A large chunk of the sales process moved online, and it was digitized. Surprised to know that even gamification is gathering steam in sales, 2.0 and sales 2.0 is the era we are currently.
The big question is, what lies ahead? We foresee a holistic approach as the way forward in sales 3.0. Sales 3.0 will be defined by the right mix of leadership skills backed by powerful technology and driven by insights.
Sales 3.0 comprises the right mix of leadership skills backed by powerful technology and driven by insights.
As a leader, you should be able to groom your team holistically. As a sales leader, you should be able to lead proactively and clear the way for your sales teams, and apart from that, you should guide them to achieve set targets. You should also be the lifeline during a crisis for your sales teams, and finally, as a long-term strategy, you should be able to empower your sales teams to make better decisions.
The right mix of leadership skills and powerful technology insights is key to sales 3.0. We are going to focus on the powerful combination of CRM and analytics as the key driver for sales, 3.0.
The Key Ingredient for Sales 3.0
Grooming Your Team Holistically
The first thing that we understand about grooming your team holistically is that sales numbers are not the sole performance indicator. Depending on your business needs, you might also want to analyze your sales team’s performance across numerous other parameters. For example, in this situation, amidst the covid-19 pandemic, your business may not be making the kind of sales that you were doing earlier. Your priorities might have shifted towards collecting your payments. If you were to assess your sales teams on the sales numbers, that might not be the right thing to do at this given point in time. As the business needs keep shifting, you need to flexibly build a system that can groom and analyze your team’s performance across multiple metrics.
When you do not groom your team holistically, you are creating a vacuum in your team, which could harm your team in the long term.
With analytics and insights, businesses can shift their focus from a unilateral approach to a multi-dimensional assessment of teams—the movement from assessing a team on their sales numbers to assessing them across multiple parameters. You get to groom your teams on those specific aspects that are very important for your business. You can drive focus on business-critical metrics by assigning those metrics, and finally, you can build a very versatile and flexible tracking system that can help you add more KPIs or remove them depending on the needs of your business, this is how analytics can help you groom your team’s holistic.
Proactively Leading and Clearing the Way for Your Sales Teams
When there is a problem in sales, it’s not always a people problem; it could also be a bottleneck in the sales processes—leading to a drop-in sales or stagnation of sales. It’s essential to have a holistic view of improvements. It would help if you had a holistic picture of what’s happening in your sales teams to lead and clear the way for your sales teams proactively. With analytics, you can find these bottlenecks that can help you proactively lead and clear the way.
With analytics and insight, you can monitor your potential progress, which could also be your leads in real-time. You can also spot the bottlenecks at a case-to-case level in different stages of your sales process. And you are also able to suggest some smarter workarounds, depending on the kind of bottlenecks that your sales teams have. Finally, all these put together can help your sales teams to speed up the conversions.
Guiding Your Sales Team to Achieve the Targets
Sales numbers are the end objective. Your teams might be working on many unproductive activities that you and your team might feel could get you better conversions, but that may not be the case. As a sales leader, are you aware of what your sales teams are up to, and are you in a position to guide them to achieve their targets? Analytics can enable your team knock on the right doors to boost conversions.
You can do a granular analysis of your team’s activities with analytics and insights. You can break down various activities and analyze and understand which ones yield a better result. You can also get insights from the geo map on what works where to guide your regional teams on what they need to focus on to beef up their conversion percentages.
What activities can you focus on to beef up results? Calls were discovered to have the highest conversion percentages.
Being A Lifeline During A Crisis
When there is a drop-in sale, who takes the blame, the sales team is held accountable for that. Now, with this analysis, you can get a different perspective. You need to safeguard your team genuinely during a crisis. With this analysis, you can identify the problem and try and find out the source of this problem.
To wriggle through a crisis, it’s important to have end-to-end insights into your sales. For example, your sales teams work closely with your marketing teams to mop up leads. They also work closely with your customer support team to ensure good satisfaction rates for your product. They also work closely with the finance teams to ensure they look after the payments they have received into the system and have a broader view of the outstanding payments and more. Your team’s work with multiple other teams and having an end-to-end insight can be the lifeline during a crisis.
Empowering Your Team to Make Decisions
Good insights should be broken down; they should be in a form that your sales teams can easily consume. They should be able to digest it and trigger actions based on these insights. As sales leaders, you should be able to shorten the learning curve and also cut down the time to insight. Finally, the most important thing is maintaining transparency within your sales function.