You don’t need to be a number cruncher to understand that measuring and interpreting data can increase your profits. Just think about how basic data—like a prospect’s job title or behavior on your website—gives you direction. Now multiply that by 1,000 and you’ll get a better idea of how data can drive sales by identifying opportunities, streamlining processes, predicting the likelihood of a prospect converting and generally increasing your ROI in terms of your team’s effort and money spent on sales enablement tools.

But for companies who don’t have the budget to hire their own data analysts, how can you keep up with data-driven sales? The good news is, you only need to use the sales enablement tools that are already out there. Here are five ways to grow your business to be a leader in data-driven sales.

 

1. Shift from gut-driven decisions to those based on data-backed insights.

Taking the guesswork out of decisions is both freeing and profitable. It’s not only enough to gather data though, you need to apply it and turn those insights into actionable changes.

For example, your lower-performing sales reps may be outstanding with customers but running into issues with procedures at a certain point in the sales funnel. Likewise, analyzing data may give you clues as to why one particular sales rep is excelling. Do they receive all the hot leads before anybody else? Are they using sales enablement technologies, such as finding relevant content for prospects, more effectively and efficiently than other sales reps?

Basing promotion and firing decisions on hunches instead of data may cause you to lose some perfectly capable sales reps who might otherwise help your company’s profits soar if only given the right tools and opportunities.

 

2. Choose sales enablement tools that streamline processes for your sales team

Just as using the right people can make or break your profits, so too can the right technology and processes.

Today’s sales enablement technologies are so advanced that’s it’s often difficult to know where to start. But there are companies that can help you determine what you need to best streamline your processes, maximize leads, offer robust onboard training, automate marketing to work seamlessly with sales and much, much more. Can you guess what most have in common?

That’s right, they use data to increase your ROI.

From content, marketing and sales analytics to gamification, project management and automation, data is the lowest common denominator in recognizing where there is room for improvement and what’s working well.

 

3. Choose sales enablement technologies that grow with you

You’ve finally implemented a sales enablement tool that seems to be improving your processes. Great! But since it took you four years to make the decision, your competition has already moved on to the latest and greatest sales enablement tools.

While no one is suggesting that you constantly change your technology stack, look for companies and tools to allow you to add new features and benefits as you grow. Ensure that the sales enablement tools you’re adding work seamlessly with your existing CRM and platforms, and make sure you’re getting updates on game-changers, like predictive technologies, as they become available.

 

4. Continue training your sales team members

Axiom reports that companies using post-training reinforcement see 17% more of reps achieving quota. That means that training right after a hire simply isn’t enough. So where should you put your efforts in terms of ongoing sales training? And how does big data play a role in sales training?

Training Industry magazine found that surveying sales reps wasn’t providing accurate results to determine what reps were good at and where they needed more training because respondents often overestimated how good they were at some things. It’s a phenomenon the magazine referred to as “self-grade inflation.” But data doesn’t lie, so they used analytics determine which selling skills offer the greatest leverage for performance improvement. They were: buyer/seller relationship, sales call planning, questioning/listening skills, presentation skills and gaining commitment (closing).

Continue training your sales reps in these five areas to produce the greatest ROI for your company and use data analytics to measure the results.

 

5. Ensure that your insights from data are used to respond to your buyer’s journey

Data that you gather from prospects should be used to personalize their experience based on their wants, needs and where they are in the buying process.

A prospect who is just starting to look at a product or service may not need to hear the details of a warranty yet. They may just have figured out that they have a challenge and are learning about different solutions. On the flip side, a prospect who has already started researching and comparing solutions may need to hear about your short implementation time and extensive customer support.

From decision-making and sales training to sales enablement tools, data can provide insights and solutions to shift your sales from mediocre to top performing.

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