At Systemware, we approach the design of our technology with a commitment to constantly improve; our internal sales strategy is no different. Our team’s efforts are under constant evaluation to determine best practices and change course whenever necessary. We make a habit of never settling into an “approved” process, but rather learn as we go to ensure we’re connecting the best we can with our prospective customers.
This iterative approach wouldn’t be possible without strategic analytics. Analytics lays the foundation for determining the success of an internal sales strategy. Data from our sales efforts is like a gold mine, which is why we’ve learned that it’s truly necessary to record everything. It’s better to have too much data than not enough – even if you think you won’t be able to use some of it. You can’t force or overanalyze an insufficient amount of data and make an informed decision, so don’t let any data slip by your attention. Ultimately, this data can help you improve your strategy in reaching out to prospects as well as managing your own team.
Understanding your targets and what resonates with them is becoming much easier with analytics. These days, you have insight into qualities about your prospective customers that can help you make informed decisions about which individuals to reach out to moving forward. You can answer questions like: Which targets are making it to the end of the sales funnel? How were those leads generated? What were the titles of these individuals? Is there a pattern based on target industries?
Analytics can also help you determine success rates of calls and emails. Statistics on forwards, opens, click rates can be valuable indicators of which strategies are working and which are not. A/B testing, too, plays a vital role in determining if one strategy is working better than another strategy. With these kinds of insights, your team can fine tune emails and narrow down on the ones that are producing the best success.
The other side of the analytics coin is internal-facing. Analytics is just as valuable in helping guide strategy about potential targets as it is in guiding strategy about managing your team’s resources. You might start with a few key questions: How many calls were made? How many emails were sent? For every 100 calls, how many turned into leads? Tracking emails and calls (in real-time, if needed) can help you understand how your team members spend their time and where there’s room for improvement.
But don’t let analytics speak for themselves. I really can’t stress this enough. While analytics lays the foundation for determining success, an additional layer of examination by a human eye is absolutely essential. When you’re looking at your team’s performance, measure the quality of interactions, not just the quantity. Sometimes, the teams that meet target metrics on paper aren’t the ones that are truly making the biggest impact. Analytics has a bad tendency to desensitize us a little, so make sure you’re relying on your instincts as well as the numbers. Understand the data before you start making critical business decisions based on it.
Ultimately, it’s important to realize that sales strategy is not a by-the-books game that’s solely based on reaching certain targets. At Systemware, we’ve learned that a combination of insights from analytics and careful human validation is the key to determining success.
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Eric Callahan is the Director of Internal Sales at Systemware.