Understand the Numbers: Why Meeting Sales Targets is No Longer Enough
February 12, 2019
Author: Avora Team
“Hitting those numbers” is a classic line, usually describing salespeople with hefty quotas which must be met every week, month or year. While things are rarely so black and white, all businesses depend on making sales of one kind or another.
But here’s the thing. Say you develop a marketing and sales plan, implement it, then at the end of the year you’ve hit your numbers: great news!
But do you have any real idea why those sales came through? Do you know which decisions paid off and which should be abandoned next year? Is it possible to optimise your sales strategy without knowing what’s working for or against you?
Working hard, not smart
As well as ‘hitting numbers’, we typically think of salespeople as grafters; hard-working Joes and Janes who will put in a shift to drill up the orders they need. Working harder usually means more hours, higher intensity, and cutting back on luxuries like sleep and fun.
But if you’re forced to work this hard to meet your quota, then either your numbers are too high (and you need more staff) or your process is too flawed and should be refined.
The blind cannot lead the blind
If you want to improve your car’s performance, you need to know what’s letting it down. McLaren don’t blindly shave off parts of the vehicle; they analyse, reach their conclusions, then make adjustments to specific areas.
Why would you do differently within your business? During your quarterly reviews, don’t stop at “Good, we’re up 10% on our predictions”. Instead, look deeper and find out why your results don’t match those predictions. If you’re outperforming your own estimate, then there is some valuable potential you should be tapping!
Retrospective analysis and monitoring is crucial if you’re going to identify the logic behind your numbers. But how do you do it?
Start by gathering good data
Modern sales teams don’t use one-size-fits-all marketing and sales strategies and leave them to develop; they tailor the customer experience to the minutest detail for maximum impact.
It could be the word order of email subjects, or the font style in shop windows, or the number of touchpoints required, on average, to convert a stranger to a customer. With the right data, all of these factors can be optimised, leading to an increase of sales without upping the hours and stress of your employees.
The more targeted and efficient the sales team, the faster goals are reached and exceeded.
Plan with direction and purpose
Every business today should be tracking data: the more useful data you can gather, the more easily you can refine and improve your processes. The best part is that there are countless tools and solutions for obtaining and tracking all of your data.
But here’s the pivotal step which most companies miss out: you must put the data into action!
That’s how we get our ‘why’. AVORA’s data analysis solution is powered by machine learning and gives you a crystal clear explanation of all your numbers. Sales are up 10% this quarter? Our Root Cause function provides a simple breakdown of what factors caused this to happen, ranked by priority and weighting.
But that’s not all. Retrospective analysis is undoubtedly useful, but real-time insights are even better.
The power of Smart Alerts
Our Smart Alerts will notify key stakeholders when your predicted activity is abnormal. Previously, we noticed sales were up 10% after reviewing a 3-month period. What if sales were average in months 2 and 3, but sensational in month 1?
The instant your sales start to spike, our solution alerts you. You’ll have the full Root Cause brief and can take immediate action to enhance or prolong this period of productivity. You can then adjust your plan the next month, to reach more customers and deliver superior (and constantly improving) sales numbers.
Share that data with colleagues
Even groundbreaking technology can be rendered useless by bad organisation. With AVORA, teams can centralise all of their data, visuals, and insights within one unified platform. This allows your analysts to instantly share their results and empowers your executives to take action with maximum impact.
In today’s data-fuelled economy, sales teams refine the minutest details in order to maximise the effectiveness of their campaigns. Augmented intelligence and machine learning tools will uncover hidden gems within your data at a speed and consistency that humans can no longer match.
With AVORA, you can access the true power of big data.
To learn more about how leveraging your sales data to generate growth-driving insights for your business, check out the AVORA product page.