Confused by sales analytics? Time to improve data management

Managers should keep track of only the most important metrics

By Sathee Brent,

While companies are often looking for the latest sales analytics to maintain their sales numbers and meet forecasts, they may not get all they can out of their software solutions. Without great data management, managers may not be able to concentrate on their performance objectives. Companies should hone in on only the most important sales effectiveness metrics to not only manage their data, but also their hard-working employees.

Here are three ways to improve data management:

1. Determine which metrics to prioritize
Faced with millions of possible data points, it's easy for sales managers to get confused about which metrics are important. To ensure they are able to generate desirable outcomes through effective sales performance management, managers should create a framework of company values and objectives. Managers need to track and prioritize metrics based on their goals, whether it's to increase revenue per sale or total revenue per salesperson. After creating these performance targets, companies should develop key performance indicators and other sales effectiveness metrics to make sure employees are close to accomplishing these goals.

2. Know what processes to automate
Using software solutions to automate processes makes it easy for managers to monitor employee progress in reaching critical targets, gauge any performance weaknesses and more. While sales performance management software can be set to make several processes automatic, managers should be careful not to let autopilot get in the way of getting hands-on with their employees. For example, for reward and recognition programs, companies could choose to automate when they receive notifications that employees have achieved their sales targets. Having automatic notifications could help managers provide their employees rewards immediately, but it's important that they are taking the time to do more to acknowledge employee achievements that go beyond sending a quick email.

3. Combine sales analytics with effective management
Although companies can analyze data in seconds, interpreting reports, gathering insights and putting this information to action is what's important in collecting data. Managers need to be able to communicate employees' sales progress with workers and get them on track with where they need to be if they are falling short of performance expectations. Sales analytics is only helpful if companies are willing to put in the work to change employee behavior and shape favorable outcomes.

With these techniques, managers can be better prepared to manage data and, in turn, their employees. 

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Sathee Brent