Sales analytics represents many things to different sales teams. It could mean hard data, or the various numbers and information put together through your CRM system. It could also pertain to pipeline forecasting, lead scoring and customer information analyses.

Whatever it’s come to represent for your team – how it’s used (or not used, in some cases) to set goals, motivate and assess sales performance – it is something you shouldn’t take for granted. The optimized utilization of marketing and sales analytics is a guaranteed way of forging ahead.

Sales analytics is not just about numbers. It is there to help you put together and manage a formidable sales team.

Sales Analytics Tip 1: Use It To Set Proper Goals.

It is master salesman Zig Ziglar who first said: “A goal properly set is halfway reached.”

Goals motivate your team. It spurs them to work towards something attainable and measurable. However, an unclear or improper goal does the exact opposite, providing only spurts of unsustainable progress.

Sales data analysis provides you with the information you need for setting long- and short-term goals that are clear-cut, measurable and timely. Because it is data-driven, your team will see your goals as something they can achieve. It gives them something they can focus on and measure themselves against.

Look to your sales analytics and then apply the SMART standard of goal-setting, wherein your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Rewarding and Timely.

Sales Analytics Tip 2: Optimize Your Sales Team’s Performance.

Again, we turn to Mr. Ziglar to start things off: “Don’t count the things you do, do the things that count.”

Why keep doing something that’s ineffective and adds little value to your sales efforts? Sales analytics provides you with the best insight into your team’s performance, and what works and what doesn’t.

Because, the reality for many sales teams is that there is no need to increase the frequency of calls nor the number of agents on the job. What’s more important is to be better at what you do. Make more effective calls. Maximize the value of each call and shorten sales cycles.

Improve your conversion rate by devoting more time on prospects who are likely to buy, based on lead scoring and customer information analyses. Use these same analyses to improve how your team members engage with prospects and customers.

Sales Analytics Tip 3: Gamify Sales.

Sales analytics is a way to make several aspects of your sales processes and data visible to your team members, such as the number of calls, new accounts, and sales value. This can be used as basis in “gamifying” your team’s sales efforts.

Provide incentives and prizes for sales leaders. Assess which sales metrics lag, and reward efforts there. Even the simple act of making ranking visible can ignite each person’s competitive spirit.

Sales Analytics Tip 4: Turn Visibility and Access Into Action

With performance metrics visible and accessible, your team members know exactly where they stand. They know how far they’ve gone to achieve sales goals. Through leaderboards, they can compare themselves with their team mates. They know where each of their prospects and clients are in the sales funnel. They have in-depth insight on their own progress, and if they’re meeting their target calls, close rates and what-not.

This makes your sales analytics a great motivational tool. You could be a sales manager who needs personalized insight on the performance of each of your team members. Or, you could be a sales person who want to take proactive control of your career. When you know how you’re doing, you can take control and work towards improvement.

Sales Analytics Tip 5: Use Your Sales Analytics Tools To Empower Your Mobile Workforce.

It makes a huge difference when you provide your mobile workforce with real-time access to up-to-date information and performance metrics. They don’t suffer from information lapses that might cost them a sale or waste their time on bad visits. When they have the information they need when they need it, they can be more effective in their work, even while in the field.

As Donal Daly, founder and CEO of global sales transformation leader The TAS Group/ Altify, says: “Allowing your remote salespeople to perform the same tasks on the road as they do from their office with a mobile CRM helps them work smarter.”

Sales Analytics Tip 6: Use Your Sales Analytics Data To Identify New And Underserved Markets.

There are several ways to enhanced your sales analytics data. For instance, at the basic level, you can integrate your CRM with Google Adwords when you want to be on top of your online advertising and keyword optimization.

You can also take advantage of third-party information sources, such as Dun & Bradstreet, for industry-specific data. This data, when assessed alongside your internal sales analytics, can provide you with priceless insights to pinpoint emerging and underserved markets.