Focus on customer relationships to increase sales wins
Strengthening customer relationships is a key way for sales organizations to improve sales performance and win more deals.
A sales data strategy is a documented plan that gives sales organizations a structured framework and helps them turn sales data into an asset. Executive sales leaders should own this strategy, and they should partner with sales operations and IT to execute that strategy.
By itself, sales data lacks meaning and isn’t useful. That means you need context — you need to know what you want to use your sales data for before you can decide how to analyze it. A sales data strategy can provide that context.
Sales data delivers insights to help sales organizations make better decisions and achieve better results. Yet only 30% of participants in our recent study agreed they have a clear sales data strategy as an asset for their organization.
This is a problem. Sales organizations are inundated with data.
The average sales organization has 10 sales technologies in place — and plans to add four or more in the next year, according to our recent research. With all this sales data scattered across disparate systems, sales leaders can quickly be overwhelmed. Even worse, many sales leaders worry about their sales data quality. More than three-fourths of organizations that participated in a recent Korn Ferry study indicated that they don’t have a high level of confidence in their CRM data.
With so many sales technologies, each with its own set of sales data that organizations can’t rely on, it’s no wonder that many list sales data as one of their top challenges. But the reasons why sales data is so challenging are the same reasons why executive sales leaders need to define a clear sales data strategy.
If you’re wondering whether a sales data strategy is essential for your business, the answer is yes. In recent studies, we found that organizations that had a clear sales data strategy reported higher quota attainment and win rates than those that did not.
But studying your sales data takes more than simply asking your CRM to send you a report on your sellers’ performance. You need a formal sales strategy that maximizes the value of the data that you’re collecting in your arsenal of sales technology tools.
Here are four steps that will help you build a framework that supports a sound sales data strategy.
Sales leaders should be responsible for your sales data strategy. They should take charge of assigning ownership of different parts of the strategy to different people. For example, your IT team should help you maintain data security and integrity. And your sales operations team should help you determine what data you need and what sales technologies you need to analyze that data.
Before you set a data strategy, you need to know what problems you want your data to help you solve. Once you’ve decided on the information you need, you can select what metrics to measure and how to collect and analyze your data.
It’s likely that you’ll need more sales technology than just a CRM to deliver the data you need for meaningful insights. You may need to collect data from other teams, such as marketing or customer service, if you need information on lead conversions or customer churn.
A predictive analytics tool such as Korn Ferry Sell can add value to your CRM data. Korn Ferry Sell supercharges your sales data, turning it into a powerful tool that sellers can use to determine the best steps to take to close deals.
Today’s sales organizations have more data than ever before because they keep adding new technologies that capture even more data. Where does all of this data go? It’s likely to be overlooked or lost unless you have a data governance framework designed to manage your information.
A data governance framework improves your data quality. Higher data quality leads to better insights and a more successful sales data strategy. To be effective, your data governance framework should:
Your sales data strategy should be an ongoing project; you can’t just set it and forget it. Your ownership plan and framework should build in periodic reviews of every element of your strategy, including your systems and technology, processes, data roles and responsibilities, data quality and data usage.
To ensure buy-in and richness of thought, establish a data governance committee. Your committee should include representatives from each function in your sales organization. Members should meet at least quarterly to review your progress and assess any gaps that have opened as a result of shifting market or customer conditions.
Organizations with a formal sales data strategy make better business decisions. They excel at using their sales data to design coverage and territory models, optimize their pricing, build talent profiles and improve their coaching and selling efforts.
If you haven’t yet established a sales data strategy, what’s holding you back? If you already have a strategy, take a look at your reports and ask yourself these questions:
If you need help managing and analyzing your sales data, contact us. We can help you create a new sales data strategy that will accelerate your growth.