Sales data is crucial to your business’s development. Whether you’re hoping to target by potential revenue or you’re looking for new ideas to generate prospects, sales data can help. But using it is one thing, it’s another thing to know how to find sales data that can actually help your business.
Sales data describes anything that you can measure in the sales process. That might include your conversion rate, your sales growth, your current selling time, and much more. Companies use this information in many different ways, some of which may include:
Really, sales data has a lot of beneficial uses for your company and sales department. But it’s not easy to draw insights from the data. You often need strong sales analysis tools to help you find, organize, and manage your sales data effectively.
Here are a few common types of data you can use to improve your sales:
Your sales cycle length is the average number of days it takes you to make a sale, starting from when you first contact a prospect. This information can help you understand how long it takes for you to close sales and help you forecast your future sales numbers based on your number of contacts. It can also help you reach different goals for your sales department. For example, let’s say your average sales cycle was 50 days. If you want to increase your sales growth over the next few months, identifying barriers during the process and reducing that cycle length can help you reach that goal.
Sales growth is exactly how it sounds. It’s the amount of revenue your sales department has seen over a set period of time. It’s fairly easy to calculate if you have the right numbers in front of you. You simply calculate the difference in sales between two time periods, and divide that number by the latter period’s sales. Like this formula here:
For example, let’s say you wanted to calculate sales growth for the year. You take this year’s total sales, let’s say $10,000, and subtract it by last year’s total sales, $8,500, which gives you $1,500. Then you divide that by the latter period’s sales, $1,500/$8,500, and multiply that number by 100. For this example, the sales growth rate of your company was 17.6
Conversion rate is a metric that is shared between the sales team and the marketing team, but it means slightly different things for both. For the marketing team, conversion rate is the number of leads converted divided by the number of visitors (most often of visitors to the company’s website).
For the sales team, conversion rate is the number of sales made divided by the number of sales lost. For example, let’s say the sales team has a list of 500 leads from the marketing department. If the sales team only makes 100 sales out of the 500 leads, their conversion rate would be 20%.
Market data includes any and all data you can find on the current market for your industry. Most often, that includes the pricing of your products and how it compares to your competitors. Having a good understanding of the current market, how your competitors are pricing their products, and current deals or promotions they’re running can help you adjust your pricing and stay competitive. It can also better prepare your sales team for when they’re talking with prospects. They can know what the competition offers and why your products are the most beneficial for the price you’re currently offering.
A lead aging report tells your sales team important information on where your leads are in the current sales cycle. That might include data on when the leads were first contacted, when leads were last contacted, and how previous interactions with them went. Using this report, your sales team can ensure they don’t let leads linger for too long and lose them. They can also see how previous interactions went and what information the leads already gave so they don’t waste time going over the same information again-and-again.
Data is the key to understanding buyer behavior and if your current sales tactics are working. Using data, you can understand more information about your target consumers and stay competitive against other businesses in your industry. The above examples only scratch the surface on everything sales data can give you. By becoming a data business, you can improve your sales growth, increase your conversion rate, and make your sales tactics more effective.
Here’s a list of steps to help you develop a sales data strategy for your business:
Before you search for and organize your sales data, it’s important to understand why you’re doing it. Are you hoping to improve your sales revenue? Do you want to lower your sales cycle length? Defining your goal gives you a clear understanding of what data you need to find and how to incorporate data into your goal’s success.
Because sales data and time go hand-in-hand, it’s helpful to give your goal an end date to help you monitor it as you go. For instance, let’s say your goal is to increase sales growth by 10% in three months. If your sales have only increased by 3% after your first month, you might need to make adjustments for the next two months in order to reach your goal.
Once you have your goal set, you need to pair it with the right key performance indicators (KPIs), so you can track its progress. KPIs work exactly like they sound, they’re pieces of data and information that best showcase how your sales strategy is working.
For example, let’s say your main goal was to increase sales growth by 10% in three months. It would be important to monitor your sales growth. But it would also be important to look at other metrics, like your average sales cycle length, your average conversion rate, and a lead aging report. These bits of data can help you understand what it might take to increase your sales growth and its progress over the three-month period.
Generally, there’s only one effective way to retrieve and analyze sales data, and that’s through the use of sales software and tools. Researching what tools are out there and how to use them can help you learn which ones are best for the job and the goals you want to achieve. For starters, a great place to collect and find sales information on your customers and prospects is through a customer relationship management (CRM) system. This helps you take notes on all your current and potential customers to learn more about their buying habits and forecast future sales.
Outside of CRM systems, some companies offer specialized sales tools that focus on specific industries. For example, RigDig Business Intelligence, is a data product that provides dealers with a lot of information on the trucking industry, including what trucking brands prospects prefer and when they’re most likely to buy. Another data product, EDA, provides data on other industries, like agriculture, machine tools, construction, and more. This data helps dealerships generate stronger leads and gives them insights into their preferences and buying behavior through a detailed prospect profile.
Researching different data tools can help you uncover exactly what your business needs, but it might also help to talk with data specialists, like those at Randall Reilly. We offer quite a few data products for those in industries like construction, agriculture, manufacturing, and more. Whether you’re looking for data to increase your sales numbers or you’re trying to find new ways to improve your sales and marketing tactics, our data products can help!