Let me start by saying I love analytics.
Yes, you’re probably thinking I’m a sad, lonely nerd, sitting in a dark room drooling over stats and numbers rolling across my screen.
But you’re wrong (sort of).
Analytics are starting to play a major role in almost every aspect of your life, not just in business, and you don’t have to be a super-geek to appreciate the results.
Think about your local supermarket: they use data analysis to set up their aisles for maximum spend from you.
Your car will basically drive itself by analyzing road, tire and engine conditions and Facebook will show you adverts relating to previous search or engagement history.
And you know what, it’s awesome?
You can start to do the same for your business just by utilizing the data that you already have.
You can refine, streamline and improve every area of your business, too, through the use of data.
Still think I’m a nerd?
You probably don’t need to answer that, but my point is that using analytics can be a game changer for your business.
It will give you information that allows you to make better decisions – especially in the sales department.
Until recently, sales and marketing has been a guessing game. One strategy follows another until something sticks.
If sales go up, then the strategy must be working, right?
Well… not entirely.
There are so many factors in play that it’s too difficult to know by gut alone. To know exactly what’s going on with your sales and marketing, you need to embrace the power of analytics. If you do, you’ll be able to:
Predict your customers buying behavior
Sales can in fact be quite predictable.
Think about how you visit the supermarket every Saturday to pick up the same groceries.
Your customers are no different. They will buy products from you, run out of stock, then buy more from you.
The key is knowing when they buy, how much they buy and what they buy.
Armed with this information you can predict their future sales which will lead to better time management, prioritization of key accounts and a realistic sales forecast.
Identify strong and weak products
If you’re a wholesaler or distributor you will have lots of products to sell, but knowing which ones are strong sellers, contribute to other sales or even product lines that are on the decline is a difficult task to achieve.
Analyzing product sales trends from previous transactions is a great way to spot when a product is on the up or quickly declining.
Maybe you’ll find that, due to competition, a product’s profit margin is inconsistent or the quantities you’re selling is changing. Knowing this information will allow you to adjust your sales strategy in accordance.
Spot slipping customers
As mentioned in the point above, you can track your product trends but more importantly, using analytics you can monitor your customers too.
For example: which customer hasn’t bought tires from you for the last 2 months but were buying 400 per month previously?
They may not need the tires anymore, but realistically, they’re probably buying them from your competitor. Time to pick up the phone and ask!
Monitor customer engagement with your company
Knowing when a customer was last called, when they visited your online shop, when they last bought any products or when they last contacted your support team is all vital to ensuring customer retention.
Through analytics you can segment your customers by engagement and prioritize any that haven’t been contacted for a while or any that are at risk of leaving.
Talking about segmentation leads me into this point. The more your sales data is analyzed, the better information you’ll have for your prospects and customers.
The more information you have will allow you to really segment your data into useful action points.
For example, you could create a marketing campaign that targets all the customers who have bought cement from you in the last 3 months but not any sand and gravel, are based in a certain location and where stock levels are high for your products.
As these two products go hand-in-hand, you could offer a 20% discount to anyone who buys both.
Optimize your pricing structure
Pricing your products competitively is an important part of sales, but can be tricky.
Through data analysis you’ll be able to see key financials for each product line from GP, costs, revenue and quantities, meaning you can define the best value price for both you and your customers.
You can go one step further too as you’ll be able to track these price changes and see if it influences your bottom line.
Faster information from consolidated dashboards
If you use the right software to analyze your sales data you’ll be able to consolidate information into a dashboard.
Gone are the days of sifting through thousands of lines of data in your spreadsheet to find that nugget of gold. Seriously, who has time for that. Get with the times and get dashboarding!
Automate tasks based on your data
You’ve probably heard about marketing automation, well the marketers have had it too easy for too long.
As a salesperson, you can now get a piece of that automation pie – if you use the right software.
Based on your data analysis you’ll be able to automate tasks to make your selling life easier.
Just imagine waking up in the morning and your 4 scheduled meetings for the day already have an automated buying history report created, their details added into your calendar and you know their key financials.
Your day suddenly got a lot easier.
So, there are a few reasons why analyzing your data will improve your sales. But, you’re probably thinking “That’s all well and good but I’m not a data analyst and I’m not even sure where to start if I were to use analytics.”
Don’t fret. Analyzing your data to improve your sales can be easy, if you use the right software.
Throw away Excel.
Don’t rely on your back office system.
Forget about hiring a data analyst.
All you need to do is use sales-i.
sales-i will automatically analyze your business’ data and give your sales team the information they need to sell smarter and more profitably.