Everyone who sells stuff tracks their sales in some way, right? The clue’s in the name – sales tracking. Even back in the days of a physical order book and paper invoicing there was a method. Without a process there would be disorder and little chance of creating sound KPIs or business strategy. That said, even with the advent of super-clever sales software and uber-smart analysts, there are some methods that work better than others. So how do you distinguish the wheat from the chaff and get to grips with the actionable insights that result from all that sales tracking? Worry no more. Varicent is here to help.
What’s a Sales Tracker Used For?
The simple answer would be that it’s something that accurately calculates sales, maybe churns out profit margins and sounds an alarm when targets are in danger of being missed. Maybe if we add the word ‘performance’ in between sales and tracker, we can widen our understanding and expectations?
On an individual basis it can help a sales rep manage their prospects, customers, territory, and quota, as well as giving them a clear indication of how close they are to reaching commission. In a broader context this can be applied across a regional team or an entire sales force. With customizable software, you can also see if a salesperson is more of a warm-up specialist (in other words, they bring in the prospects using some long-term engagement tactics) or a brilliant closer. In terms of sales tracking, how can these be fairly assessed and measured against each other?
Once upon a primitive time these figures and wins may have been literally chalked up on a blackboard or added on an abacus. If you were out in the field, you’d have to rely on the honesty and good math of the bean counter back at base to track and reward your efforts. With the adaptation of sales performance management software, the data, insight and analytics is much richer and widely available. In short, it’s as many or little key metrics as you want it to be, depending on what you’re wanting to track.
What Sales Metrics Matter
This can be broken down in so many ways, but you’ll want to follow how many sales one individual makes over a set period, and how this measures up to their set quota and given territory. How does this compare to their sales record in the last quarter or last year and how do they compare to someone else in the same team? All this comparative data can be monitored in real time or analysed historically. This inherent sales tracking will also form the basis of a performance review and how much commission or bonus can be earned.
Seeing this from another angle, sales tracking is also about the performance of your products. The metrics that provide value are those that inform you not only of sales in each period, but how this relates to a geographical area and a specific customer demographic. What’s the average revenue per customer and what are the wider circumstances that could either damage profit or boost it? Identifying and understanding your customer and their potential needs is just as vital as following the progress of your sales reps, so tracking that sales path from first approach to the signature in the dotted line is a big part of a sales tracking methodology.
To really get more bang for your software buck, a best-in-class sales tracking tool has to offer some striking and useful capabilities. Insight into customer behaviors, competitor analysis and trend spotting are just 3 areas that will provide deeper insight into patterns of sales.
Total sales pipeline tracking is the silver bullet in this field. That means every call, email, and handshake (in a world without a pandemic) is registered and every hesitation or query from a customer can be followed up. With real-time inputs from everyone in the sales process, there should never be a time when a manager is staring at outdated figures or wondering why a previously enthusiastic customer has suddenly gone cold.
We’re a very long way from the chalkboard, but even with the most sophisticated and integrated sales tracking software, it’s only as good as the people that use it. With complete buy-in and a strong sense of trust from the sales force, your sales tracking software can earn its place as the most valuable player on your team.
Find out how your business can boost its sales tracking ability by visiting www.varicent.com today or speaking to your local Varicent rep.