Most people think they are more valuable than results suggest. This is true for most areas of life, whether you’re talking about driving skills (93% of drivers believed they were better than others) or in careers (68% of teachers surveyed rated themselves in the top 25%). This is particularly true among Type-A personalities found in sales, and the reason analyzing data behind new campaigns is so important. Following what you believe will work often results in unexpected losses that could have been avoided by keeping an eye on the facts.
Charting data through the development of dashboards – or visualizations of various sales measurements - will give your business the insight you need to make the right decisions (see 32 Dashboard Examples & Implementations). They help you take a figure-based approach to predictions, and base your forecasting on cold, hard facts versus your sales teams’ assumptions.
The best thing about the creation of dashboards is that they can be tailored to fit whatever metrics you need to track. They’re easy to customize for new projects or for the overall operation of your business. They can also be created using a variety of software programs. While some teams may struggle to create dashboards from scratch using basic programs, a new wave of easy-to-use programs are hitting the market so that anyone can see first-hand results of common sales actions.
Use dashboards to…
· Track sentiment analysis before, during and after targeted PR campaigns
· Compare the outcomes of individual product offers (see Excellent Analytics: Statistical Significance)
· Monitor expenses before and after the implementation of policy changes
You can also utilize dashboards to manage potential problems, such as…
· Preparing customer support to deal with new product launches based on launch-related calls
· Predicting employee hours lost to illness based on previous cold and flu seasons
· Improving employee retention based on known factors leading to turnover
The adage that a picture is worth a thousand words couldn’t be truer when it comes to formulating business plans. It’s easy enough to assume that an ad campaign is working, or that employees are leaving because of long hours. Charting metrics in graphical form can present a clearer picture of what is working and what should be avoided in the future of your business. More importantly, it points out to a sales team where their time is wasted.
Face-time with potential clients is of utmost importance. Ensure every minute your company has with a client counts by tracking sales data. Remove the bias of self-assurance from the equation by focusing exclusively on cold, hard facts.