Sell Smarter: 5 Key Tips for Building a Data-Centric Culture
Data is a valuable asset that touches nearly every aspect of modern businesses. If used properly, it can help make important decisions and give your company a competitive advantage over the opponents. Be that as it may, deriving relevant, valuable insights from the constant flow of information available, is quite challenging. Such a task calls for a team of data-driven professionals, who realize how data influences their work and are able to put it to use.
When it comes to sales, the importance of embracing a data-centric approach is often overlooked. Many sales people choose to carry on with more traditional methods, storing the bits and pieces of information they have on the handwritten notes and assessing the performance by their best guesses. Therefore, it is crucial to highlight the benefits and develop effective ways of cultivating data-driven culture. Here are a few useful tips to help you with the task.
1. Gather as Much Diverse Information as Possible
The first step to building a truly data-oriented team of sales reps is actually gathering some various data points. The rule of thumb is not to take anything at face value. Rather than exploring simple general indicators, bring in more diverse information. Dive in deeper into the specifics of each data point, break it down into categories, analyze it across different time periods, etc. Segmentation and comparison can go a long way to providing the sales team with previously unexplored actionable insights.
Remember, though that the quantity of data is never more important than it’s quality. Don’t drown yourself in the sea of useless information, gather and measure only relevant indicators.
2. Ensure High Data Quality
As it has been mentioned, data quality should be the number one priority in every data-driven team. It is essential for sales managers to use only reliable information sources and ensure strict rules of data entry. All in all, it is highly advisable to implement data stewardship - the development of data handling and management strategy. In addition to that, it is necessary to constantly perform data cleaning to avoid duplicated or orphaned records.
Failure to follow data quality procedures may lead to great inconsistencies and as a result, negatively influence the decision-making process.
Assuming that the required amount of high-quality data is gathered, the next step would be to make sure that all team members have access to the relevant information. Collaboration across the department can help discover valuable details and simplify data maintenance. Moreover, it will contribute to the development of open communication and exchange of ideas within the team.
4. Set Clear Data-Driven Goals
One of the core tasks of implementing a data-centric culture is the discovery of weak points and development opportunities to act upon. By having access to relevant information, sales reps can understand their performance better, but, what’s more important, see the reasons of why one or another result occurs. All of this will allow to set substantiated data-driven goals and pave the way further to success.
5. Implement CRM Systems
Finally, it is necessary to mention the tools that can effectively help in moving through all of the stages as mentioned above. CRM technology contributes to reducing the manual data entry efforts and improve accuracy. It also allows to carry out data quality monitoring and compare the added records against trusted sources. Moreover, these modern solutions provide an ability to add and manage information even on the go through mobile CRM apps.
Because establishing a data-centric culture requires a shift in perspective and some initial efforts from all members of the team, it can be quite challenging and, in fact, often fails. However, if you approach the matter with enough preparation, choose a suitable CRM solution and systematically follow the advice mentioned above, the results will be truly fascinating.