Business decision-making today relies on data. Read here to learn how to successfully approach data and implement it into your sales strategy.
What Is a Data-Driven Sales Strategy?
5 Ways to Successfully Integrate Data into Your Decision-Making
Making business decisions can be stressful. The stakes are often high, and choosing the wrong course of action can have a real and significant effect on customer acquisition, customer retention, and overall bottom line. When used effectively, data can help alleviate much of that stress. Decisions become less about gut feelings or educated guesses and more about reasoned, fact-based, number-driven results.
What exactly does a data-driven strategy mean, though, and how can you effectively implement one in your organization?
Data-Driven Sales Strategy Defined
You’ve probably heard the term “data-driven” thrown around a lot. What exactly does it mean, though, and how can it positively impact your sales strategy?
Being data driven is less about the specific tactics your organization takes and more about a mind-set shift. It’s about prioritizing data in order to inform all your sales decisions. It’s a commitment to creating processes and implementing systems not in a reactionary way but based on sound, reasoned, robust data and analytics.
This concept isn’t new or overly complicated, but many companies fall short when it comes to implementation.
5 Reasons Data-Driven Sales Strategies Are Less Effective Than They Could Be
1. Buy-in and Adoption Are Shortchanged
Your endeavors to cement data in your decision-making process are no different than your efforts to successfully implement any new piece of sales technology. Without buy-in and adoption from all your stakeholders, you can’t hope to have sustained, effective results.
(We’ve covered this topic extensively in other blogs. Check out this high-level overview of the best selection process to drive adoption.)
2. Your Strategy Doesn’t Involve Convincing the C-Suite
If your executive team isn’t behind the importance of data, your data-driven strategy will never get off the ground. Make sure you have a plan in place to get leadership excited about data. That means illustrating how analytics can have a concrete and significant effect on the productivity and effectiveness of your sales team and the company’s bottom line.
The onus of proof will be on you. Use what foundational tools you have to gather helpful insight, whether that’s a CRM, a marketing automation platform, or some other type of sales enablement tool.
3. Your Data Is Lacking
The success of your data strategy is dependent upon the available data. If you’re working with bad data, you’re going to get bad results. (What exactly is “bad” data? Learn more here.)
Bad data is a nuisance, an inconvenience, and a time drain—and that’s best-case scenario. In many instances, whether it’s because you’re making decisions based on inaccurate information or you’re perpetrating reputation-damaging blunders, poor data quality attributes to significant financial losses.
This article outlines some shocking statistics about data:
- Organizations lose an average of $13.3 million annually because of poor data. (Gartner)
- It costs $1 to stop duplicates from making their way into your data. When left in, they result in $100 of expense. (SiriusDecisions)
- Businesses can lose upwards of 20 percent of overall revenue due to bad data. (Kissmetrics)
- Bad data is responsible for $3.1 trillion in annual losses in the United States alone. (IBM)
Yes, data is important, but it’s clear that many businesses need to be operating with more accurate, more complete, more organized, and less duplicative data. As the statistics illustrate, arming your company with the right data solutions could have a tremendous financial upside.
Know you need new sales technology but feeling unsure about how to start the selection, implementation, and adoption process? Learn more about how a strategic partnership could put you on the right path.
4. Your Tech Stack Is Working Against You
Nearly every company has a list of technological solutions they use every day. The problem many organizations struggle with is when those tools don’t communicate effectively. When data can’t be shared or integrated across platforms, that’s when you run into incomplete, inaccurate, or duplicative data.
If you’re struggling with the processes and systems that will allow you to successfully and profitably utilize sales technology, discover the core components of any digital strategy.
5. You’re Neglecting Training, Coaching, and Everboarding
A data-driven sales strategy involves many facets:
- The technological solutions that help you capture the data.
- The processes to ensure those tools work together.
- The overarching mind-set to prioritize data.
- The commitment, from the top down, to linking data and decision-making.
Adding to the complexity is the fact that any successful system must be inherently agile. You have to accommodate and change as circumstances require it, or you’re not going to see continued, significant, scalable results.
This means you must prioritize training and coaching within your organization, but it also means you need to approach training in a more time-conscious, effective manner.
For one, training is never a one-and-done proposition. Every organizational member needs regular training to stay current on big-picture objectives (company culture, overarching goals), as well as logistical details (the minutiae of operating a given sales technology solution).
Two, training should align with how people want to work today. They don’t want to take the entire day off to sit in a training seminar. They want microcontent that specifically answers their immediate questions, and they want easy, intuitive access to that material whenever they need it. This kind of just-in-time training can save everyone a tremendous amount of time and resources, and it’s often more effective, resonant, and memorable than the “lecture hall” approach.
Take Your Data Strategy to the Next Level
Interested in learning more about how data can help your organization? Want to hear from industry leaders about how data can help you do everything from make better decisions to increase the lifetime value of a client? Then sign up for our FREE upcoming webinar, Incorporating Data to Dramatically Impact Your Sales Strategy. It’s April 22 at 1:00 p.m. (eastern time), and there’s no cost to register. We hope to see you there!