How to Convert Data Into Decisions to Boost Sales

By 

Ura Verma

Published 

Jan 3, 2022

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SquadIQ joined forces with Anand Biswas (SME-Director, Delhivery) on 14th Jan’2022 for its first webinar - ‘How to Convert Data Into Decisions to Boost Sales’. Through this expert webinar, we wanted to convey the importance of data-driven decisions and how it can transform sales and boost company revenue.

Here are some key takeaways from the session:

  1. Importance of data in decision making and how it can accelerate growth.
  2. The best metrics to analyze for sales growth.
  3. Challenges in current culture and organizational mindset; how can a team be more data-driven?  
  4. Importance of processes and automation.

Unfortunately, understanding data and leveraging it for a company’s advantage is a huge challenge for team leaders. Most sales managers/leaders manage their team through their result metrics, which works till the team performs well. As soon as the team’s performance starts declining, the same sales managers are unable to identify where the problem is and how to fix it since no activity metrics have been tracked.

Activity Metrics: How much effort an agent has put in to close a lead.
Result Metrics: Signifies the impact an activity metric has made

A lot of sales managers also fail to understand that there are certain ambiguous situations where result metrics cannot be the source of truth. Eg. The start of COVID-19, where sales result metrics were all over the place because of uncertainty.

In situations like these, understanding and analyzing activity metrics is fundamental.

From the start of the webinar, Anand was focused on the significance of both these metrics. He uses data, driven from these metrics to make decisions in all aspects of his operations. He says, “The metric numbers will always differ. As a leader, you should know the benchmark for your team i.e. what is a good [number] and what is a bad [number] for your team.”

Important Metrics to Track

Anand then moves on to talk about essential metrics that should be tracked at the sales manager as well as the overall campaign level -

  • Connectivity - How often are leads being called? Are they being called at all, or are leads falling through the cracks?
  • Speed to lead - How quickly are sales reps reaching out to new leads??
  • Attempts per lead & follow-ups - How often are leads being called? Are the followups being done frequently? Is there a touchpoint plan for different kinds of leads?
  • Average handling time - For how long is the lead being spoken to?
  • Conversion, activation, customer satisfaction
  • Track the outcome of each conversation with a lead and match it with your assumed outcome.

How Often Should Metric Tracking Happen?

According to Anand, tracking a metric depends greatly on when it was introduced. When you have just put a new metric in place, it has to be tracked at the highest frequency, i.e., Daily. Once this metric is established and driven, frequency can be reduced.

Some outcome metrics where longer lead time is needed can be tracked daily, but that doesn't mean interventions will also happen daily.

How Do You Ensure You’re Able To Drive Changes In A Team And Check If They’re Being Followed?

“You need partners; changes cannot be driven only through top management and leadership,” says Anand. Not only do you need champions in your team who believe in the change you’re bringing forth, but you also need a strong feedback loop.

Connecting with them frequently, listening to their concerns, and then making changes to new data and metric inputs will help make them feel like a part of the solution.

What Are The Biggest Challenges That Sales Leaders Face When It Comes To Using Data?

There are mainly three broad sets of challenges Anand talks about in the webinar:

1. Cultural and mindset

A salesperson feeling like it's another metric to keep them in check - is the first pushback you get to any new data tracking addition.
In a situation like this, it is crucial to show how it's helping early adopters of the metrics enhance their sales process. Not only this, but you need to show them the bigger picture.

How this new addition will enhance the entire sales funnel is an excellent guide to go through with salespersons to reinforce a change.

2. Intent and capability

According to Anand, this goes back to the “Will and skill issue.” If a salesperson has a high will to learn but lacks the skill, they can always be coached and trained for new processes and changes.

But if there is a will issue where the salesperson is not willing to go ahead with changes, then it’s a likely chance that they belong somewhere else. That’s a tough decision that all leaders have to make at some point.

3. Sales-tech limitations and data entry

Looking at all data for analysis comes at a cost. If your salesperson is filling out 15-20 columns each week as data entry, that’s not efficient at all. This can have a significant impact on the will of a salesperson.

In a situation like this, look for tech solutions. There are various technologies that can pull all the data you need without pressurizing the sales rep.

How To Inculcate A Data-Driven Mindset In The Culture Of A Sales Team?

Anand talks about how a data-driven mindset needs to be culturally driven and should flow from the top leadership.

People are impatient; they usually have a shorter time window to see results. Just because you have a new tool or metric to track does not mean results will start appearing instantly. Hence patience becomes a vital aspect when it comes to inculcating a data-driven mindset.

Best Practices For Sales Leaders To Follow

Finally, towards the end of the webinar, Anand Biswas concluded with some best practices for sales leaders that can help uplift their team.

  1. Having a solid feedback loop - Knowing what sales reps are spending their time on, if they’re enjoying their work, do they see themselves in the same role for the next 6 months, etc.
  2. Making sure that your team is always learning something new. Being invested in growth solves a lot of cultural problems.
  3. Structure plans that can help motivate your middle and bottom players - introduce leaderboards and help them create short-term goals.

The webinar ended with a 10 minute QnA session with Anand Biswas, where he answered all questions and gave advice from his expertise.

SquadIQ's first webinar was a huge success, with over 350+ registrations and 100+ attendees watching us live.

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