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Building a data-driven sales team

Did you know that many successful sales teams are using analytics much more than under-performing teams?

Such a fact would convince me to use data instantly, but that isn’t always the real world.

In this article we refer to the office printer business, but the concept can be used on any given industry. As long as there is data :-)

Photo by: Frame Harirak

It seems that data has been down prioritized to other less successful sales tactics. But on the other hand, you can’t just give unprocessed data to account managers and expect quick wins.

You need to implement the use of data from the ground and build it up to be a natural flow of the sales funnel.

But How to Get Started Building Your Own Data-Driven Sales Team ?

There are many things to consider before you can start using the data-based approach.

At 3manager we believe that with the right use of data, (amount, timing, relevance) you can achieve great results.

One of the most important aspects when working with data is that, your clients will have the same view as you. They will not doubt the current status. Fact is a fact.

We can compare this with a visit to the doctor. We have access to the same data about our health, but the doctor has the knowledge to recommend solutions to get better.

Using a data-driven approach puts everyone on the same page.

We recommend taking your current sales funnel and add milestones for the data-driven steps.

Some thoughts:

  • In your first sales presentation, what kind of stats would you like to show your client?

  • Do you have statistics you can re-use for demonstrations? If yes find the report / dashboard in your system that supports that fact and show it.

  • Show your client/prospect what you would like to show them again, but with their own data, if they give you the chance to perform your data-based audit.

Next step, presenting the same reports again, but this time with your client's data and with recommendations on where and how to optimize.

Take every step of your sales funnel and define your goals. Then, find the report, data or statistic in i.e. 3manager which will support your claim.

Before you jump into the data game

Recommendation: Walk through all the reports/data available with your sales team and point out which ones can be used to support your sales funnel.

Its always a good thing to test each report/view with the classic "Why is it a good idea" question.

Example for first time meetings:

  1. How will this feature support our goal at first time presentations.

  2. What's the value for the client?

  3. How complex is it to make?

Answers could be:

  1. Our goal is to start collecting data and this report will be the motivation factor for letting us get started.

  2. The value is that the client will get a clear overview on how current printers are performing without any time waste.

  3. It's not very complex as its 90% automated. We just need to add our conclusion.

How to use data for status meetings.

The most important thing is to make sure that expectations are met and from here the client stays on track.

In 3manager you have a lot of different data you can use depending on your focus.

Start by having a workshop with sale teams, tech teams, management and define what should be covered in a status meeting.

For example:

  • General performance printers (errors, downtime, etc)

  • Toner waste (are toners used 100% before replaced)

  • Costs (are we on track or could we optimize)

  • Green profile (are we getting more or less green)

  • Documenting savings (are we utilizing the best of our investment)

  • Trends documenting that actions are needed to avoid costs from increasing

These are just examples, but by walking through systems like 3manager, you will be able to quickly define, what should be included in the status meetings.

Best of all is that 3manager will do most of the hard work so you "only" need to do the conclusions. But this is the fun part right?

This preparation step is very important before you start working with data. If not done there is a high risk of confusing clients with data overload.

It's easy to be wowed by the fact that you can measure on practically anything. Question is, does it make sense? (The why question is perfect for this again).

Preparation, Preparation and Preparation

A piece of good advice is to take the time needed to define which data should be used and how, and from here streamline your processes.

Take small steps and implement them in your selling cycles.

Keep improving. Stay Sharp

We recommend to have retrospective meetings where you can optimize the process.

  1. What went good,

  2. What went bad

  3. What would be easier to do in the future.

This will keep your sales process, funnel, goals sharp and lean.

Data is data. Fact is a fact, and regardless if you are in the office printer business or fashion business, data can help you understand true behavior which gives you the ability to navigate much clearer and direct.

I hope you have enjoyed this article, and if you have any questions feel free to contact us.

All the best.

Henrik Lundsholm

Founder, 3manager


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