How Sales Analytics Tools Can Boost Your Business

Published 30 April 2020 by Lillian Pierson

Thanks to the success of data-informed sales strategies, companies are rapidly abandoning their ‘gut feeling’ approach to decision-making and watching their bottom lines soar. To mark the launch of Circus Street’s comprehensive new sales analytics lessons let’s look at the place of sales analytics tools in this brave new decade. 


Sales Analytics in the Data Decade

Just as the Sun is the centre around which our world revolves, data is the basis from which sales analytics generate business value. Still, there are those who prefer to follow their ‘gut feeling’ when it comes to customer needs, sales processes, and marketing strategies. Those businesses may have ‘muddled through’ up to now, but with data becoming more and more central to customer satisfaction and sales, it’s increasingly imperative for all business units to make better use of sales analytics tools.

As a business owner, you’re likely wondering why your competitors seem busier, more innovative and profitable than you. The answer is probably in their savvy use of data analysis. 

For those who see ‘sales analytics’ as a buzzword or passing fad – mark our words: data analysis is fast becoming one of the most important investments for companies to make this decade.

Good data scientists and sales analysts are already proving their weight in gold. IBM predicts the number of US jobs adverts requiring analytics skills will hit 2.7 million in 2020. Decision-making, however, still ultimately and rightfully lies in your own hands, head, and - dare to say - heart.

 

The Trailblazers of Sales Analytics

Success in sales analytics never stems from data alone, but rather a heady mix of statistics and the creative, fallible lens of human perception and decision-making.

A prime example of these two powers working together can be seen in the strategic sales choices of behemoths Amazon and Apple.

Deciding that market share was their main KPI, Amazon chose to sell their Kindle product at cost – focusing instead on the profits to be made from subsequent Kindle book purchases. Apple, long positioned as the tech sphere’s ‘premium’ brand, chose a very different tactic to Amazon - selling their iPhones at a relatively high price to a more select segment of the mobile phone market. The outcome? Apple may have only 19% of the mobile phone market share, but it enjoys a huge 87% of the industry’s profits.

The story of Apple and Amazon is one of quantity versus quality and of market share versus profit. These companies demonstrate quite opposing strategies, but both are informed by sales analytics and moulded by human venture, perception, and creativity.

 
Stay Ahead of the Pack with Circus Street

In our latest lesson we’ve rounded up all you need to know about sales analytics tools and metrics, and can help you better grasp the following facets of the analytics world:

KPIs

Having a list of KPIs is all very well, but it’s how you rank them that will really make a difference to your company’s performance. Depending on your business needs, you may put sales growth, sales to date, quote to close, time to purchase, sales per rep, average purchase value, or sales by region at the forefront of your KPI strategy. 

As the Amazon/Apple example demonstrates, what may be good for the goose is not always good for the gander, and customisation is key to getting the best results from your own sales analytics.

Forecasting

As that famous quote has it, “insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.” If your company is failing to learn from the past, you’re probably not going to make much progress in the future. Forecasting is an incredibly important sales analysis tool that lets you make predictions not only about customer behaviour, product trends, pricing, and human resourcing factors, but also about local and global economic and regulatory conditions. 

Pricing Strategy Analytics

Pricing of your products may seem like ‘Business 101’, but many companies still seem to operate their pricing model based on a quick calculation and a dose of what ‘feels right’. By moving to a strategic pricing model you can boost your profits by orders of magnitude. Strategic pricing is informed by consumer research and leads to pricing based on the value your customers’ place on each product, rather than more traditional sales methods.

 

Sales analytics can help your company make data-led strategic decisions that are simply not possible through purely qualitative analysis. While emotion-based, human-led decisions will always have a place in sales and marketing, in 2020 it would be remiss to ignore the power of data and sales analytics tools in achieving business growth.

If you’d like to learn more from us about how to ensure sales success through the latest sales analytics methods, our new course has everything you need to know to get your analytics strategy off the ground running.

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