"There are people who make things happen, there are people who watch things happen, and there are people who wonder what happened. To be successful, you need to be a person who makes things happen." - Jim Lovell
You either get performance analytics or you don't.
Folks, there is a coming "hurricane" in sales. It is called "performance analytics". Performance analytics is going to be a game changer of epic proportions. Most people are using some level of performance analytics currently. It's just not likely to be the depth and breadth necessary to remain competitive.
You can either dramatically improve your performance analytics now and shape your future accordingly or you can be permanently chasing competitors who have.
Show me a good loser and I'll show you a loser.
How you answer this question tells me everything I need to know about your business acumen and your future. Do you make excuses? Do you blame others? Do you blame the lousy salespeople you hired? Do you blame marketing? Do you blame the lack of discipline of your salespeople?
The truth is you lose repeatedly for one of two reasons.
- You find losing acceptable.
- You have not learned your lesson yet.
When I lose a sale, I "fast feedback loop". I identify the pattern(s) that lead to losing the sale. Then I incrementally improve to improve my win rate. Those who "get it" figure out what went wrong, fix it and repeat through the repetition of trial and error. This thinking is what separates winners from losers.
If you are really committed to increasing your sales win rates, then you must understand what is impacting the underlying contributors to sales performance. Performance analytics provides that understanding if you know how to use it.
Flying by the seat of your pants is going to get you killed.
I used to think everyone analyzed losses to identify why they lost in order to improve. But not everyone does.
I used to think that if I showed a CEO, VP of Sales, and/or a Sales Manager what performance analytics can do - particulalry in sales hiring, they would embrace it.
Unfortunately many people are too ignorant, lazy or fearful to make the obvious changes necessary to improve.
If you keep flying by the seat of your pants, it could be a career killer for you.
The coming Performance Analytics Hurricane.
In late April I attended the Sales 2.0 conference in San Francisco where I heard Jennifer Dearborn and other smart "get its" share the future of sales. According to Dearborn, author of Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results, predictive and prescriptive analytics is "poised to change corporate sales, and companies that fail to adapt to the new realitiies and adopt the new practices will be left behind."
In God we trust, everyone else bring data.
Everything can have a number assigned to it. When I say "everything", I mean EVERYTHING. Your sales processes, CRM use, and your sale talent can all be quantified and optimized. Through the power of performance analytics, patterns may be identified and capitalized upon.
I admit that for some people, data analysis is like watching paint dry. If you strive to succeed, you must get over it. Ignore the coming sales performance analytics hurricane at your peril. This "hurricane" is not going to leave you unscathed if you maintain the status quo. The good news is there are fantastic performance analytics tools available right now that can be quickly implemented.
The two critical questions performance analytics can answer for you.
- Do you know how well your sales team is really doing?
- How are the best salespeople wired?
Do you know how well your sales team is really doing?
There is no way you can truly know how your sales team is doing without performance analytics. You must know what is really driving sales performance in each and every salesperson. Through performance analytics, you can identify and bring best practices to every single sales team member.
For most sales teams, the key measurement of success is an increase in sales. Hey, increased sales is good news but the real question I have is "What is pushing the sales increase?" Are sales up because of the economy, your powerful brand, your brilliance, or are 20 percent of your salespeople carrying 80 percent of your sales?
You will not know the answers to these important questions without performance analytics.
You need to know where sales performance is coming from and incrementally improve accordingly.
How are your best salespeople wired?
When you strip away territorial and managerial differences, sales performance comes down to the quality of your sales talent. Ever notice how some salespeople outsell others? Me too. This has been a passion of mine for the last decade.
The great news is sales talent can be measured. The Behaviors, Motivators, Acumen, and Skills of your salespeople can be measured to identify key traits that make sales performance far more predictable. Think about that for a moment. You can actually identify why Salesperson X outperforms Salesperson Y.
Hiring from the gut is about to be ancient history.
So what will you do? Wait until performance analytics becomes more mainstream? That would be a mistake. In a future post, I will share some practical ideas on how to begin. If you are impatient, you can always contact us.