You’ve been watching your sales team work hard and now, it’s that time of year again – the halfway point in your fiscal year to unlock your business growth.
Are your commercial plans effectively shaping the seller behavior you want or are you seeing a disconnect?
Are your sellers still motivated by the plans, their territories, and their targets?
As a sales leader, the mid-year point is a critical time to assess and take action if something is not working.
We are in an unprecedented time of uncertainty and volatility, but one thing remains constant: the need to change and adapt. Although more than half of companies have sales dashboards to assess sales and territory performance, 79% of companies say they do not have an adequate way to evaluate their territories and plans mid-year.
Extracting insights from your sales data is a powerful way to assess your commercial strategy to make more confident, informed decisions and enable sellers to more effectively chase new business, retain customers, and feel more satisfied in their roles.
Learn more about the factors causing volatility and how to build a resilient team in our latest eBook, Control Revenue Volatility with Confidence Guide.
Explore how your business will benefit from a mid-year check-in and how pairing a sales data tool with analytics can ensure your commercial plans work to keep sellers engaged, motivated and successful.
1. Automate Your Sales Data Integration and Analytics
Messy data continues to be a challenge for companies of all shapes and sizes. It takes extensive manual intervention to pull, sort, and make sense of the data from disconnected systems. And it feels never ending. This is where a data integration tool that automates and connects your data becomes critical for getting ahead of the competition.
By automating sales data collection, aggregation, and data visualization, you can save time and resources that are currently wasted on managing your data. Sales data analysis helps in spotting trends and extracting real-time data insights becomes infinitely easier.
You can approach change with new agility and make data-driven decisions faster. For a deeper understanding of the importance of data quality, read our latest blog.
2. Set Realistic Sales Targets with Future Sales Projections
Efficient sales data analysis provides important insights into future sales trends and revenue projections. This, in turn, ensures sales targets are not only challenging, but attainable. By leveraging historical sales data, market trends, and other external factors, you can create targets that are not only challenging, but attainable, fair territories and quotas, and reliable sales forecasts that support your go-to-market strategies. Transparent and well-defined targets motivate sellers by creating an understanding of what is expected and lays out a roadmap for success.
3. Gain Clarity and Insights
At the mid-year point, you may be asked if your go-to-market plan is working. Even if you were confident on day one of the fiscal year, there are often areas that need tweaking or possibly full rewrites. But making changes to quotas, territories and variable comp plans can feel like guesswork, especially in a chaotic market. With better sales performance analytics within consolidated sales data, you remove the blindfold and find clarity. Dive into your sales data insights and extract meaningful insights from sales performance, customer preferences, and market dynamics analysis. Armed with this knowledge, you can make confident, data-driven decisions to improve revenue performance.
4. Stay Agile with the Market
Another advantage of sales data analysis is the ability to uncover emerging market trends in customer preferences, market demands, and buying behaviors. When you identify these trends, you can adapt your sales strategies and stay in line with the market. Whether it's understanding shifting customer needs or identifying new market opportunities, leveraging data-driven insights ensures your team remains agile and outpaces the competition. Aligning your sales plans to reflect market conditions allows you to motivate your sellers with relevant strategies that resonate with customers.
5. Understand Customer Behavior and Retention
Keep a pulse on churning customers by identifying key risk identifiers early on. With sales data analysis, you can take proactive measures to retain at-risk customers before they jump ship to your competitors. Sales data analysis equips you with the ability to implement tailored retention strategies and improve customer satisfaction. This helps transform once unhappy customers to loyal and referenceable. Finally, expand you customer spend with upselling and cross-selling tactics highlighted within your data. Predictable, repeatable revenue growth is always the goal in a volatile market. Maximizing the customer’s lifetime value keeps sellers motivated by unlocking new growth opportunities.
6. Identify the Most Productive Opportunities
A significant benefit of automating sales data analysis is the ability to pinpoint the most productive opportunities within your ideal customer profiles. Place your bets more confidently when you know which products, regions, or customer segments will yield a win for your team. Your sales team can prioritize their time and energy towards achieving successful outcomes that may have otherwise gone overlooked.
7. Predict and Prevent Seller Churn
Sales data analysis isn't just limited to customer behavior, it can also shed light internally on your sales team. When top sales talent leaves your company, it is expensive to hire and ramp new associates, let alone the cost of a vacant territory. Identifying the factors contributing to seller attrition is vital for taking corrective action to retain top-performing individuals. By understanding the patterns that precede seller churn, such as declining performance or lack of engagement, you can intervene and provide necessary support or incentives. Almost half of salespeople are either looking or considering leaving their organization in the next 12 months. Proactively addressing potential issues keeps your team motivated, engaged, and committed to achieving their goals.
Mid-Year Check Ins are Critical for Improving Sales Performance
In a market that remains uncertain and volatile, using your sales data analysis effectively helps you keep sellers motivated and focused on the most productive opportunities. Conducting mid-year check-ins using sales data analysis can be a game-changer, providing clarity and empowering you to make data-driven decisions. In a world where only 28% of reps are expected to make quota in 2023, the ability to assess and optimize your sales plans must be a priority. By continually improving your sales plans, you also empower your sellers to achieve predictable and repeatable revenue growth.
Depending on factors like changing organizational goal alignment and market volatility, your plans may need fine-tuning or maybe even a complete overhaul. See the state of your sales plans and guidance on next steps, by taking our quiz, Mid-Year Check-In: Time to Re-evaluate Your Plans?