Why Is Having a Data Driven Sales Approach so Hard?

Sales teams are not data-driven, and I think this is because they don’t want to be. 

The reason for this is because companies tend to hire ESFJ types, who are usually good at interacting with people but less data-driven.

For any salesperson, there are many skills that can help them do their job. This article lists some of the most important ones.

CSO Insights reports that less than 37 percent of sales reps actually use their companys CRM system.

It’s even worse when we hire someone who is great at communicating with others, but then force them to become a data entry robot. It can be especially difficult for people working on CRMs.

As you promote these personality types to managers, they will continue the cycle. But if you break it, things can change.

The following six steps will help you build a data-driven team and sales process.


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LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€

1) Alignment with Overarching Goals and Metrics Ownership

You can’t emphasize enough how important it is for a company to have data driven sales approach and to communicate clearly and directly with each other.

The first step is to get everybody on board with your goal. Sales reps are often confused about what managers want from them, but their real intention is boosting revenue.

It’s important for everyone to understand the goals and benefits of sales and data driven sales approach, as well as how those fit into company expectations. Article: When I first began hiring salespeople, I just assumed pay along with commissions and bonuses would be enough motivation.

According to Marketo, when sales and marketing teams are aligned, companies become 67 percent better at closing deals.

Its also important to understand who is in charge of what data and how it will be measured.

It’s not uncommon for larger companies to appoint a member of each team as the person in charge of data from other teams. This cross-departmental team can then solve any challenges that arise.

2) Streamline the Data Driven Sales Approach

It will take time to see an improvement in sales success. But once you start prioritizing, there should be incremental gains every day.

The best way to succeed with a large project is through incremental improvements. Its rare for an entire big project to be successful right away.

To ensure you are meeting your goal, have regular status meetings to track your progress. The more often you review a metric, the better chance that it will be achieved.

A study by Censuswide and Geckoboard shows that metric-driven companies are more than twice as likely to hit their goals.

Design Thinking is a process that can be used to come up with improvement ideas. Designers use their creativity and skills in the design of products or processes.

3) Use Existing Business Data Sales to Help Conversations

When assessing your companys data, it is important to see the quality and value of what you have. I saw companies find data jewels that helped them improve their sales success.

One example of a company that is focusing on diversity during the hiring process, your marketing team has metrics for different stages in buying readiness. They have blog posts about what big data means and how to put it into production. This will help improve sales conversations with prospects.

One way to find data assets is by running a brainstorm session with all departments of the organization. I usually draw the buyer’s journey on a whiteboard and let people add their ideas as sticky notes. This lets me see which data we collect at each stage of buying something.

You dont need to spend a year on an enterprise data warehouse project. First, make sure these assets are necessary before you commit to investing all your resources in this type of resource-intensive data integration process.

4) Assess Your Company Data for Quality

You need to measure your progress so you can show the success of this project and motivate all stakeholders.

I would start by measuring some basic metrics to see how the data quality is doing.

  • How many records do you have?
  • What percentage of jobs are currently filled?
  • What’s the last date these records were updated?
  • How many numbers in a prospect list are actually usable?
  • What is the email bounce rate?
  • Who is responsible for converting leads to opportunities?

Only 23 percent of companies believed that they had reliable data in their CRM.

Database decay is a big issue. After just one year, 25% of your database could be out-of-date.

If you want to make decisions based on good data, it’s important that the organization prioritize clean data.

A successful data initiative will have an impact on your sales success, but it wont be instantaneous. You need to measure the quick wins at firstthey are small gains that will eventually add up and show substantial improvements.

I’ve been very successful with running small AB tests to assess which version of a lead or account list is more effective. For example, I might split the team into two groups and give each one that’s sorted differently for a call blitz.

5) Use the Right Tools to Automate Your Data Driven Sales Approach

Testing new processes is the key to success. Making any changes without first testing it out, like adding more required fields into your CRM or starting a big project for data warehouses, can be too much of an undertaking and might not work.

If you have a prototype that’s successful, think about ways to automate it. Your sales reps are expensive data entry clerks and their tasks hold them back from selling.

Sales reps only spend 37 percent of their time selling according to research by InsideSales.com.

Find a software that automates tasks and reduces the cognitive load, like SalesHeros sales AI assistant. More products are coming out with artificial intelligence to save reps time on repetitive tasks.

6) Analyze Your Conversion Rates and Sales Velocity

If you have reasonable velocity and good data quality, it’s now possible to tweak your sales process. I suggest using a solution like InsightSquared which provides KPIs that might not be considered otherwise.

When you break down your conversion rates or sales cycles by industry, size of company, product type and deal size it can provide insights that are transformative.

For example, you might find that for a certain industry your conversion rate is twice as high and sales cycles are much faster. You can take this information to load similar targeted accounts into the CRM system

You can also help your sales team and increase their success by giving them opportunities to learn more about the company’s products, as well as provide them with extra training so they are able to sell better. You’ll be able to measure how successful your company is at providing this education.

Winning Teams Use a Data Driven Sales Approach

The teams that use data-driven processes and data driven sales approach do much better than those who don’t.

Extroverted sales reps are usually not interested in data or process. But an iterative, incremental approach will help move your organization into a successful culture of using data.

Data is the key to success for sales leaders. The more they know about their customers, the better off they are.


Need Help Automating Your Sales Prospecting Process?

LeadFuze gives you all the data you need to find ideal leads, including full contact information.

Go through a variety of filters to zero in on the leads you want to reach. This is crazy specific, but you could find all the people that match the following:Ā 

  • A company in the Financial Services or Banking industry
  • Who have more than 10 employees
  • That spend money on Adwords
  • Who use Hubspot
  • Who currently have job openings for marketing help
  • With the role of HR Manager
  • That has only been in this role for less than 1 year
Just to give you an idea. šŸ˜€
Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? Iā€™d love to hear from you!

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Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.