Let’s talk traditional sales. People have been selling and buying goods and
services for centuries, and at the core of it, the process hasn’t changed
Of course, things are more polished and advanced today, buy the sales process, at its most simplified level, has always boiled down to a basic formula: The seller finds out information about potential buyers, and then engages with the ones that are best fits. From there the prospect’s interest in buying can be determined and an offer made.
It was (and for many people still is) based on intuition.
And while intuition-based sales may have worked wonders during the 20th century, in today’s world, businesses must base their sales decisions on rapid market changes, competitor activity, and diverse customer preferences. The rising cost of customer acquisitions also underpins the need for targeted efforts that are efficient and conserve resources.
The Fix: Data-Driven Sales
Data-driven sales involves collecting and using specific metrics to inform
all sales decisions, from lead generation to up-selling.
Utilizing such an approach becomes an invaluable asset to businesses. It helps prevent the pursuit of bad-fit customers, which saves time and money and increases productivity. Data insights can also reveal new opportunities that good old intuition can’t detect.
But it can be intimidating, especially for those still learning to embrace data-based decision making. In a world where you can track anything, what is actually worth tracking?
Below are the sales key performance indicators we recommend keeping an eye on:
Total sales by time period
- Shows whether sales are improving or worsening over time
Sales by lead source
- Where sales are coming from and which sources are worthwile
Revenue per sale
Revenue by product
- How much your product/service is used by customers compared to the overall market
Sales per activity
- How many sales were made as a result of phone calls, email, in-person meetings, etc.
Percentage of revenue from new business
Percentage of revenue from existing customers
- Comparison of sales to the same period in the prior year
Number of sales lost to competition
Cost of selling as a percentage of revenue generated
- How much are you spending to generate sales