this data within your CRM or any of your other tools.

Step 1: What Data Do You Have? Let’s start by figuring out what data is available to use. This is where you can define KPIs and metrics to be analyzed. You want to spend some time with all your data to get a sense of what is available and what could be created through formulas and calcula- tions.

Step 2: Make It Visual

Once you know what data you have, it is time to visualize it. This can hap- pen within your sales CRM, or it might take place through Excel®

. The choice

will come down to your technical expertise and what you feel most comfortable with. Don’t get caught up trying to find

the perfect tool; instead, focus on using the device you can manage. You may be surprised how much you can do in Excel if you know the right functions.

Step 3: Average vs. Segments Once you visualize the data, it is time to analyze it. The first thing you want to do is find segments of your data that could be relevant. Let’s imagine you’re looking at your sales reps to figure out who should be coached. You’ll start by determining the aver- age performance among your sales reps – showing you who does better or worse than the average. These are your segments of rock stars

and diamonds in the rough. For the sec- ond group, you can then work on coach- ing the behaviors that are common among the average or the superstars.

Step 4: What’s Staring at Us? Once you determine your averages and segments, we can move on to tackling the low-hanging fruit. Which segments are performing much worse than the average that we could easily tackle? Which segments are perform- ing much better than the average that could be further improved? You’ll then repeat this process regularly and look for patterns and

ACTUAL ANALYSIS WORKFLOWS YOU CAN RUN THIS WEEK Let’s continue by looking at actual analysis workflows you can run. These are the areas I see the biggest opportu- nities when working with sales teams.

Finding Holes in the Sales Process Let’s start by visualizing the sales pro- cess into some kind of funnel where we can see drop-off rates. You want to end up with something that shows you a funnel drop-off. For example, let’s say you want to

reduce the time it takes to qualify prospects. This could involve more aggressive outreach or using auto- mated communication to reduce the effort needed by sales reps. You can continue exploring your overall con- version process to find large or small tweaks that could be done.

Discovering Weakness in Your Reps I find it helpful to define what a great, average, and below-average sales rep looks like in tangible ways. My list could include factors such as: • How many deals they win per month or quarter

• How many calls, emails, etc., they do on a daily or weekly basis

• How many touchpoints per deal they do

• How they think about their prospects

• How they use the sales process documents

• How they forecast upcoming deals

Based on that, I can start to work SELLING POWER JULY/AUGUST 2021 | 33 © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.

with an individual sales rep to figure out where they are struggling and how they could be coached through these challenges.

Sales Trends and Forecasting Forecasting is an interesting area because it’s looking at something that hasn’t happened yet. We need to start by running our forecast report broken down by month or quarter. I also think it’s helpful to include histori- cal performance. I can then see if my forecast is go- ing to hit my targets – and why or why not. Are the deal sizes too small? Are there enough upcoming deals? Am I projecting issues with specific regions or sales reps? Forecasting is all about diagnosing the variables that go into the model and figuring out what needs to happen for a forecast to take place successfully. The possibilities are endless. Re- member: Data is meant to help you achieve tangible business outcomes. Reject any “quirky” insights unless they will translate into something that will appear in the bottom line. 

Ruben Ugarte is founder of Practico Analytics, providing expertise in data analytics. His new book is The Data Mirage: Why Companies Fail to

Actually Use Their Data. Learn more at

changes in your underlying data.

Step 5: Do It Once, Run Forever Once you go through this process, you can consider automating the bulk of these steps. You can set up tools that will send you regular reports with changes to your KPIs and key seg- ments. This can save you the manual effort of processing your data to get the same results. Look into tools like Domo, Tableau, and Databox to help you achieve this automation.


Our business in life is not to get ahead of other people, but to get ahead of ourselves.


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