Written by Guest Writer: Lindsey Patterson
Organize Your Sales Data To Make It More Useful
Data is an essential part of sales management. Without the correct data, you might miss opportunities or spend time on relationships that are not a good fit. Looking at stacks of raw data, though, can intimidate any sales representative, especially one who is used to taking a more intuitive approach to sales.
While you need data, it’s essential to learn how to sort it and focus on the most important information. Here are ways to organize your data to maximize its benefit.
Set Your Objectives
Before you decide how to organize the data you have, you need to know what you’re going to use it for. In other words, you need to define your business goals and how your sales team members can achieve them.
Say, for example, you want to focus on customer retention in the second quarter. Your sales team can create a database of repeat customers from the past five years. From there, you can set a goal and assign customers to each team member for relationship nurturing. You can meet with staff regularly and see how their plans are progressing. If they need help organizing their data, show them some sales dashboard examples to help them assemble a presentation.
Define Your KPIs
A key performance indicator is a method of measuring your sales success by meeting objectives. When you know what KPIs you want to use to achieve goals, you can organize your data into those KPI categories.
Using the example of focusing on customer retention, you can turn it into a KPI. You can define and organize data for your Customer Retention KPI using a few metrics such as:
- A goal of 20% higher customer retention than the first quarter
- The database of repeat customers is divided evenly among sales team members
- The sales team leader is responsible for checking in on team members weekly
- Monthly sales meetings are held to review progress
- At the end of the quarter, the team meets to evaluate best practices and challenges
Other key performance indicators you might set include cost per acquisition, customer retention rates, the average revenue for each account and sales targets. Whatever goals you set, make sure your sales team understands the objectives and their role in meeting them.
Invest in CRM Software
Customer relationship management software saves your team members from looking over manually created spreadsheets. A good CRM software package allows your employees to view and share data across departments and functionalities. It can also do a lot of data organizing for you.
Customer relationship management software can break down and segment data into customer insights to help your team see trends and identify areas for improvement. You can view and organize data by subcategories — industry type, location and company size, for example. You can also create custom categories as needed.
Know When To Eliminate Data
You don’t need to keep all customer data. Some of it can be disposed of or reorganized. A good lead disposition strategy, for example, can help keep your data clean and updated. Your team can break down your list of leads into contact and sales opportunities or prospects in your marketing system. Lead disposition can help your sales team focus on selling to a pared-down list of the most qualified leads.
The term for having too much information is data saturation. It can overwhelm your sales team and prevent them from making decisions. It might be helpful to collaborate with your team members and decide what data you really need. Try putting data types in the framework of a few key questions:
- How will this data help the customer experience?
- How does it help our company meet its goals?
- What questions does this data answer?
You may discover that some of the information your sales team gathers is not relevant to your goals, and you can save time by disregarding it.
The data your sales team collects is there to help your company meet its objectives. Once you organize it in a helpful way, you are better positioned to use it as a helpful tool.