Guest Post By Anna Kayfitz
You have probably wondered how analysts utilize data or how territory planning is done. It all starts with having good data and looking at the data to gain advantage. Here are some key data points that can really help improve sales:
Probably the most important piece of data after contact information such as phone number or email and the person’s name is their title. If you are speaking with a VP or a C-Level Executive you would probably speak about your product or service in a higher level and not go into details, however, if you were speaking with the person who will actually use your service or product you would probably talk about their pain points in a very detailed manner. If the title field is missing in your prospect a quick search on LinkedIn or the prospect’s website can reveal that information.
Once you have a title for the person, your next step is to make sure you have all the necessary titles for that company before you can make the sale. For example, if you were selling a marketing tool and were talking to the Marketing Manager, you realize that they have no authority to sign off of a tool without having their CMO’s and Manager of I.T.’s approval. Therefore, it would be helpful to get details of all the people involved in the purchasing cycle and fill that information in your CRM so you can mention the people by their names and help the Marketing Manager sell them on your tool.
2. Company Information
Depending on your sales team you may be selling into companies of specific size (based on either number of employees or revenues), based by industry or geographic location. Depending on the data that you are provided with you can utilize your list to your advantage. If that data is missing you can look for it online or using third party data providers to append that data for a larger scale. One way to utilize the data is to provide examples of their competitors or similar sized companies that are already customers therefore creating trust. Just make sure the companies that you mentioned gave you or your company the right to use their name.
Another way is to run analysis by industry, size or other company characteristic to establish what is your probability of winning that client. To do so you would download both customer and prospect accounts that you have sold into or have an opportunity to sell into them, make sure you include the company ID and the attribute. Then simply count how many accounts for that attribute are customers versus how many are prospects. You may find that your win rate for one industry for example is 10% versus another industry is 5%. This will allow you to focus your energy on the accounts that you are more likely to sell into.
Dates are critical when trying to optimize your time and improve your sales record. You probably already know that to sell into certain industries or certain size companies may take much longer than others. Therefore, you can structure your day to take advantage of this.
The way you would analyze your data is by calculating the number of days it took to sell into each account. Summarize the data by average the days by certain attributes such as industry, company size and perhaps source of data and so on. This will help you identified prospect accounts with the same attributes that probably have fast closing dates versus others that may take a while. Therefore, you would be able to have a strategy to tackle both fast and slow customers to maximize your performance.
These are just a few ways you can use your data to your advantage. There are of course other sales analysis that you can perform, such as scoring your accounts based on multiple attributes, identifying competitors of accounts you already sold into, doing funnel analysis, looking at what products/services are best performing for what type of account and so on. By only taking a day to look at your pipeline and historical sales, you can improve your sales performance and surprise analysts and your colleagues.
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