In today’s business landscape, data should inform every decision a sales director makes.
A data-driven sales strategy is a simple concept – however, it is more challenging to implement. Often, the sales director of any given organization will not feel empowered to make business decisions informed by high-level, accurate data. Despite a pervasive climate of uncertainty, there are some fundamental techniques that can make a data-driven sales strategy a reality.
1. Prioritize data literacy
Every team member should feel confident interpreting data. Creating a data-literate culture needs to be a top-down process; if C-levels are not comfortable analyzing and communicating data-driven business decisions, then data will never become an organization-wide priority. As a result, this can diminish a business’s ability to make evidence-based strategic moves.
To ensure data literacy permeates all levels of the organization, management should implement data-driven sales coaching programs. With dynamic training content, team members can determine which strategies are most effective. Subsequently, the sales director can use the data captured to define areas for optimization. When compared to traditional training approaches, data-driven sales coaching delivers faster results, with augmented productivity and shorter sales cycles.
2. Be goal-oriented
Data alone cannot drive innovation – it is how it is analyzed, interpreted and implemented that counts. Before beginning a data project, company leadership needs to define lines of inquiry, set goals, and reward success. When approaching data, the sales director should ask: “What do we want to achieve? What’s the endpoint? How will we get there?” Once leadership defines metrics, they can determine how to use these insights to boost revenue. From here, management needs to share a common objective and make sure all staff commit to that vision. Once the data project is complete, directors can roll out insights across departments, so all sections of the organization can benefit.
3. Cultivate quality data
A business strategy is only as good as the data that informs it. Ultimately, the impact of bad data can be catastrophic, leading to wasted resources and missed opportunities. High-quality, hygienic data practice means less time mining data stores and more time driving sales.
4. Invest in technology
Today, commerce generates an enormous amount of data. Therefore, it is critical that companies have the technological capabilities to process this information quickly and accurately. Companies have to invest in data-processing infrastructure to make sure that they can put their data-led sales initiative into practice. Further to investing in infrastructure, organizations also need to focus on integration; different systems and platforms need to work seamlessly in order to deliver timely insights.
5. Enable proactive decision making
Once the technology, training, and protocols are in place, the sales director can turn data into action. Through a greater insight into customer behavior, executives can make evidence-based business decisions. Leveraging data can help a company upscale their sales operations, drive revenue and continuously improve. Accurate, actionable sales insights allow management to strategize in a proactive as opposed to reactive manner, streamlining the sales process.
Why you have to be a data-driven sales director
Technological developments and the availability of data are changing the way sales directors broker deals. Now, business decisions based on intuition do not make the grade; in a highly competitive environment, sales executives need to make sure their strategy is informed, functional and impactful.