Research shows that the most successful sales organizations are embracing analytics. I recently sat down with Ralph Lentz, a senior sales executive with 25+ years of sales management experience, to find out how analytics are changing the industry and why sales leaders must pay attention.

Here are my two key takeaways from our conversation:

1. Sales leaders can gain a lot more knowledge and increase confidence about their pipeline by using analytics.

2. Sales leaders can better understand their ideal targets with new sales analytics tools.

Sales managers always want to know the likelihood of reps making their numbers – and the effect that has on their own committed number. It’s difficult to believe that as little as 10+ years ago, sales leaders managed the pipeline solely on gut instinct!

Today, with CRM systems, sales analytics, and sales acceleration tools, sales leaders have access to tons of data. And sales leaders can gain immense value by looking at the trends and correlation uncovered by the data captured by these solutions.

Say, for example, you have a rep saying a deal is going to close. But a report generated by your sales acceleration tool shows that the rep hasn’t engaged with the prospect for over three weeks! This would make most sales managers think twice before adding the deal to the pipeline.

On the other hand, if you can see frequent engagement between your rep and the prospect, the validity of the deal goes up.

There are dozens of tools to collect data, analyze trends, and make correlations on a variety of pipeline metrics. By harnessing this information, sales leaders can:

  • Get answers to key sales questions about their pipeline
  • Improve decision making for the business
  • Refine sales processes with insight into prospect engagement

What makes a good prospect for your company?

Do you understand why people are buying – or not buying – your product or services? What process do you have in place to review your sales wins and losses?

As a sales leader, analytics that capture data about what types of companies did and didn’t buy can be extremely valuable. By correlating data, you can put together a target persona or target vertical or another target cross-section that’s important for your company. Many companies offer analytics tools to help you leverage data for more effective prospecting.

On top of this, with sales acceleration tools, you can quickly filter marketing’s good leads from the poor ones. With visibility into which prospects are most engaged, your team can narrow the funnel to focus on the most promising opportunities.

As a sales leader, you need to track patterns to gain insights into your pipeline’s accuracy and improve prospect outreach. Analytics give you a more complete picture about your sales organization, the biggest trends, and your ideal targets, so you can build more predictable and repeatable sales processes.

Sales will never be a complete science, but analytics have become an essential part of a sales leader’s skill set. Learn more about how analytics benefit sales leaders in this White Paper “Why Sales VPs Are Turning to Digital Listening to Accelerate Sales.”

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