I’m going to start this article by saying something controversial: there are only five sales metrics you need to track right now. That’s crazy talk, right? Sales is all about numbers. I myself recently wrote a blog designed to help you and your sales team refine the way you gain insights from your metrics. The thing is, you really only need to be looking at five sales metrics, but they’re not quite what you might think.
Back when your chief source of personalized data insights was your IT department, it made sense to drum up metrics like your win/loss ratio and your overall win rate week in and week out. Those numbers gave you a sense of how well your strategies were doing over time. Now that you can store all of your data together in the cloud, the work of locating the numbers you need can be done in an instant, saving time for both you and the IT department.
The second benefit of the cloud is that when your unified data is paired with state-of-the-art analytics tools, myriad new data insights are made possible. Metrics like win rate can now be instantly broken down by lead source, region, or product. This means that whether you’re forecasting or looking into past problems, you’ll get a 360-degree view of the issue at hand.
Tracking metrics is about answering today’s increasingly specific questions. That’s why simply looking at the same “most important” data over and over isn’t the way to improve your sales figures anymore. “These aren’t the numbers you’re looking for.” (I had to do it. There’s a new Star Wars movie out). Instead, the top five metrics to look at are those that are most relevant to your current question.
Once that question is answered, your top five analytics get swapped out for five new insights as you move on to your next task. Of course, in a system like this you can’t wait for the IT department to pull all of your numbers for you. Not only will you need a unified home for your data, you’ll need to be able to query that data on the fly.
Understanding your metrics quickly is key, so one of the functions you’ll want from your data tools is the ability to translate natural language questions into reports and graphs. You should then be able to further refine those reports as you drill down by region, team, lead, or representative. The easier your data is to visualize, the more productive your team’s day will be.
Heck, if one of those tried-and-true sales figures that populate innumerable online lists does need your attention, an intelligent data solution will alert you to what’s changed. So, if you’re interested in moving beyond tracking only the “top 5s” and “top 10s” of yesterday’s metrics, check out what a cloud-based, mobile-first data solution can do for you. And for a closer look at the capabilities you’ll need, take a quick tour of Power BI.