New tools to improve performance
Maham S. Chappal
on October 29, 2020 (last modified on May 12, 2022) • 17 minute read
Your number one goal? To improve sales.
That’s what one of the goals every business is working towards, along with closing more deals, generating more revenue, and scaling your company.
After all, 75% of companies say their top sales priority is closing more deals.
But how do you close more deals without identifying the gaps in your sales pipeline? Are you capturing the right leads? What conversion rates should you be focusing on? How do you fill the leaks in your sales pipeline? Have you correctly identified your target audience’s needs and wants?
This is where sales analysis comes gliding in like a knight in shining armor. Guesswork and your gut can only get you so far – you need solid data to effectively boost your sales and revenue.
And that’s what we’re going to discuss comprehensively in this guide. We’re going to cover,
Sales analysis is the process of analyzing your sales data, understanding it, and using it to make informed decisions. It’s a report that tells you how well your sales team is performing with respect to the sales goals you’ve set, how many sales you’ve made over a period of time, and all the data in between.
“In business environments, sales analytics is a key catalyst that drives revenue growth in any organization. One of the most obvious benefits of sales analysis is the ability to predict future sales based on historical data that give you the following answers:
Based on this historical data, you can get an accurate and realistic picture of how much you should earn within a certain time period. Moreover, it provides business leaders with the opportunity to look at that historical data and make the right moves. Only by using that knowledge can business owners allocate resources and manage the workforce in a more efficient way to drive more revenue.” Alexandra Zelenko of DDI Development aptly says.
“Sales data provides many valuable insights that your organization can use to cut costs and improve your product offerings.” Explains Muhammad Mateen Khan of PureVPN
Knowing this data not only allows you to make good business decisions but also helps you in forecasting your future sales and determining sales activities that will generate the most revenue.
Jarrod Wright of Fi911 says, “A comprehensive sales analysis system can provide sales leaders with a tool to test and understand what works best for their market. By relying on internal analysis rather than external wisdom, a sales team can establish their own doctrines. These internally-sourced techniques are often better suited for their unique positioning and less vulnerable to industry saturation.”
Wright goes on to explain that, “Sales is a dynamic industry with evolving doctrines. Sales leaders perpetually pursue the latest techniques and implement new systems to gain an edge over their competition. Unfortunately, many of these “shiny new objects” are not market-specific. Additionally, these tactics are often popularized and become overused, quickly losing effectiveness as a result.”
Sales analysis is not a one-size-fits-all solution.
There are several types of sales analysis methods and techniques that businesses can run depending on their sales goals.
Some of these methods are sales trend analysis, sales performance analysis, sales pipeline analysis, predictive sales analysis, and so on. Let’s take a closer look.
Sales trend analysis uses historical revenue data to detect sales patterns. It also helps to determine if a business is meeting their sales goals.
As Alexandra Zamolo of Beekeeper advises, “When completing a sales analysis, it’s imperative to compare your monthly sales to those of the previous months, as well as the same month of the prior year. If your monthly sales have taken a change for the worse, then you’ll need to be able to act quickly and devise a new strategy to increase your monthly revenue.”
Sales performance analysis identifies how a business is performing currently and how it needs to perform to meet their sales and business goals.
Check out these free sales performance dashboard examples here.
Related: Visualize Your Marketing & Sales Performance with SharpSpring
Sales pipeline analysis monitors prospects going through your sales pipeline. Which ones are succeeding in reaching the end of the pipeline, and which ones are falling through in the middle.
It helps to find leaks and gaps in your sales pipeline.
Related: 11 Ways to Use HubSpot CRM To Manage Your Sales Pipeline
Predictive sales analysis looks at customers’ past behavior and prospects and helps businesses determine which leads can turn into prospects.
It also helps to increase the accuracy of your sales pipeline analysis so that all the leads going through your sales pipelines are ones who are eager to become your customers.
We’ve already discussed the importance of sales analysis for businesses wanting to scale. But how often should you track your sales data and perform sales analysis?
According to a recent survey we conducted, 40% of respondents prefer tracking and analyzing their sales monthly, and 30% perform sales analysis on a weekly basis.
So how exactly do you track your sales and analyze them?
There’s an easy 2 step process. You can add more steps, depending on how extensively you want to track your data.
What are your sales goals?
Whatever your sales and business goals are, the first step is to outline them.
This will help you figure out the exact data you need to track and save you a ton of time and effort. So, be very clear on what your sales goals and what metrics matter most to your business.
9 in 10 companies use two or more lead enrichment tools to learn more about prospects. So, use one of the many tools available online to organize and analyze your sales data.
Editor’s note: A vital part of your sales analysis is sales forecasting. If you are a HubSpot CRM user, learn how to do sales forecasts in Databox.
Deciding which metric to track in your sales dashboard can be a complicated task, especially when you’re just starting out. Each metric looks more important than the other, but you can’t track them all.
We asked business owners and marketing professionals which sales metrics and KPIs they consider essential, and here’s what they said.
Around 70% of respondents consider lead conversion rate and monthly sales growth one of the most important metrics to track.
50% believe sales opportunities and customer lifetime value to be of the utmost importance to track while performing sales analysis.
Lastly, sales target and pipeline value are close behind, with 30% of respondents deeming them essential to track.
Broadview Digital Marketing’s Mike Yared shares, “Using data generated from the sales process can help set you apart from your competitors. Data such as customer metrics and insights into lead generation are just a few of the things that sales managers can use to help evaluate and refine their sales process.
Using data-driven insights to help support decision making can help sales managers bring their operations to a new level. Key metrics used to evaluate our sales team include total revenue, revenue per sale, revenue by product, and sales by lead source.”
Yared also believes that Customer Lifetime Value is a crucial metric all businesses should track.
“This metric gives us a better understanding of how much revenue we may expect with a client over the course of the relationship. Understanding CLV also helps us prioritize where to spend our efforts. Using CLV enables us to make decisions as to how to best allocate our resources.
You can also use predictive analytics to actively target industries, organizations, or job titles that have previously generated higher CLV for your business.” Explains Yared
Carrie McKeegan of Greenback Expat Tax Services agrees and adds, “The customer lifetime value is a clear indicator of what a company can expect in revenue from each customer. This can be beneficial in a number of ways, including comparing customer service costs to income from products and services.”
Related: The B2B Sales KPIs You Should Be Tracking According to 60+ Experts
There are several ways this data can help you scale your business. We asked 20 sales pros their best tips for using sales analysis data to generate more revenue, and here’s what they recommend.
To decide which goals meet the SMART criteria, sales managers need to look at sales analytics for their teams and monitor sales KPIs, for example:
Based on these metrics, and in light of other revenue-based and activity-based goals, you can identify and set desired goals for future performance, but how to get this information?
Now you can benefit from the experience of our sales experts, who have put together a great Databox template showing an overview of your sales team’s performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in sales reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up this Sales Analytics Overview Dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
“I leverage sales analysis to identify stalled deals and find ways to reignite them. For instance, when the sales analysis shows no activity on a deal for two weeks, I immediately take action to get the deal moving again. Sales analysis ultimately tells us where to focus our limited time and attention.” Explains Bruce Harpham.
Dean Moothart of LeadG2 says, “Measuring pipeline conversion metrics (MQL to SQL, SQL to Opportunity, Opportunity to Close, etc.) helps us identify friction in the sales process. Once friction is identified, then action can be taken to minimize or reduce it. Corrective actions may include new content or revised sales plays.”
Mailbird’s Andrea Loubier agrees with the two and adds, “When incorporating a lot of outbound marketing into your sales strategies, keeping an eye on your lead conversion rates is a must. Building a large supply of regular leads is always positive, but a good portion of those leads must convert to sales. That’s the bottom line.”
Gain visibility into your deal flow and progress towards set sales goals using this business development dashboard.
Ben McLaughlan of Easy Mode Media says, “When creating new content, from an SEO perspective, understanding what pages draw users in organically is so valuable.
What products, collections, and informational posts not only attract our potential customers but convert them into customers? Answering this question is best done through Google Analytics and provides valuable insight.
This insight fuels content creation and how to support these pages already doing well in accomplishing current business goals.”
You can also make use of heatmaps to identify which pages are well and which ones aren’t.
Michael Rewers of ZILIO explains, “We use heatmaps to see where website users stop scrolling on our product pages. based on this, we redesign our pages to fit customer behavior so that they can see all the benefits right away.”
Related: 35 High-Converting Landing Page Examples + Lessons You Can Learn from Each
As Jonathan Aufray of Growth Hackers Digital shares, “To increase revenue, we analyze deeply what made our customers buy from us, and what triggered them actually to take action and purchase. Was it a sales pitch, a call, an ad, a blog post, a video, an email, an offer, a testimonial, a review, etc.
Once we understand what makes our clients buy, we will create more and better content like this.”
Björn Fröhlich of Smallpdf agrees and says, “By tracking and analyzing sales data we can focus our time and resources on leads that are a good fit for our product and therefore have a high likelihood of converting into long-term happy customers. We also use the insights from sales to optimize our product and adapt our marketing strategies in order to keep a good deal flow as well as keep our existing customer base happy.”
“Sales data provides many valuable insights that your organization can use to cut costs and improve your product offerings.
By analyzing transactions, you can spot products whose sales are under-performing overall or under-performing in certain customer segments. You can then investigate why they are under-performing and use the feedback from customers to refine products to meet their needs better.
In addition, you might determine that some products are no longer worth producing or supporting. By cutting these under-performing products, you can decrease costs and focus more time and resources on products that drive the most revenue and profits.” Explains Muhammad Mateen Khan of PureVPN.
Mayank Batavia of QuickEmailVerification agrees and adds, “Recently, we’ve begun looking closely at input costs like, for instance, lead gen costs. We’re trying to ease and economize processes that don’t add value to either our inputs or customer experience. That way, even in months when we don’t have an overall increase in revenue, our net revenue actually goes up because we’ve slashed at least some costs.”
Mike Sadowski of Brand24 shares that their team uses sales analytics data to increase purchases for their existing customers.
“We take advantage of the analytics to reach out to them to upsell. We can also analyze our customers’ behavior patterns – what they previously bought, how much they bought, etc. to create recommendations for them as to what they should purchase next. It’s a great way to give yourself a boost in revenue, as it’s much easier to sell to an existing customer than to find a new one. It doesn’t require that many resources while it can generate a significant amount of repeat sales.” Says Sadowski.
An excellent way to upsell is by moving popular products in the best-seller categories, so they sell even more.
Buzz Carter of DotcomBlinds explains, “Basically, at the end of the month, look at your most popular products for the last month and adjust their positioning in their category pages to be higher up, or collate them in a ‘best sellers’ category.
Your most popular products are popular for a reason, so for products with high demand, make sure they’re prominently listed either in a category page or on a best-sellers page. This will make them easier to find, and you should notice your conversion rate sees a nice bump and brings in more sales.”
Mudassir Ahmed of Blogging Explained shares, “Have your I.T or Digital marketing team sit with your sales manager at least once every quarter to review the website analytics data. It helps you understand how people are reaching out to your website, on which pages they stay for a long time, and which pages are creating high conversions.
You can even have better business analytics tools like databox over G.A. This will help you optimize your website content to better and match the exact intent of your visitors throughout their stages.”
Adam Rowles of Inbound Marketing Agency believes sales analysis data can be used to conduct proper & regular training for sales representatives.
“Training sales representatives is very important. Getting feedback from them and utilizing their experiences helps in understanding the effective processes. All this is possible with clean communication and proper training. The most important thing is to conduct training frequently because we are humans, and we do tend to forget!” Explains Rowles.
This also helps increase lead conversions rate. As Sam Cohen of Goldtreeway Consulting shares, “Our sales analysis from two months ago revealed that while our sales representatives managed the most calls in the year at the time, they also had the least lead conversion rates. This helped us to realize that our marketing efforts of the preceding month had failed to reach the right audience as a result of some ambiguity.”
Once they corrected this and reworked their marketing strategies they saw, “a steady increase in our lead conversion rate for the following months.”
Kevin Vandijk shares their experience at Tree Online and says, “Our team at Tree Online leverages sales analysis primarily to motivate the sales team, and set achievable yet ambitious sales goals. Reliable sales data helps managers see the relative strengths of each sales representative and also identifies areas where certain reps would benefit from coaching.”
“At the end of each year, we export a spreadsheet from our CRM on total sales by client. Then, we rank the rows in the sheet based on factors like total sales volume, time to close, and other metrics to come up with a client score.
For the year going forward, clients with the highest score are given higher priority with our sales team, which has trended towards closing more deals faster.
This analysis is time-intensive but incredibly helpful for optimizing our small team.” Shares Jeremy Cross of Virtual Halloween Party.
Related: How To Close Deals Faster at Your Agency (INBOUND 18 Session)
“We use analysis and especially sales attribution analysis to determine which channels and marketing campaigns are delivering ROI. While we monitor sales daily, we look at attribution monthly with the goal of scaling what’s working, optimizing what’s almost working, and turning off what’s not. If we want to be really agile, we can use custom reporting to review the data weekly and make adjustments.” Mira’s Quincy Smith says.
Ben Walker of Transcription Outsourcing, LLC shares his experience and says, “We analyze which channels are sales are coming from and then pour more gas on it. If a certain Facebook ad campaign is doing well, we will increase the budget to capture more leads and sales. We have to act fast as our competitors and the sales channel, in general, can sometimes dry up fast though. So once we start to see a major downturn, we pull the plug and move on.”
Henry Angeli of Henry Buys Homes recommends tracking KPIs to see where you’re getting the best bang for your buck, especially where ROI and sales volume is concerned. Angeli adds, “Then, spend more on THAT until you are maxed out on the return in relation to volume. If you have a bigger budget for marketing, it might be practical to pick up the top 3 methods that are generating the most return vs. spend and capitalize on those methods more while cutting out the ones that aren’t performing.”
Jeff Brandeis of Brandeis Coaching believes analyzing where your leads are coming from “will tell business owners where to invest their marketing dollars that produce the most ROI.”
As Catriona Jasica of Top Vouchers Code says, “The fact is that analyzing the sales properly can be a total game-changer.
To witness a great increase in revenue and overall profitability, certain key approaches should be followed. Using the sales data obtained from your sales dashboard software to enhance operations. Tracking the labor performance and needs. Maximizing the inventory with inventory data. Keeping up with your customers and tying your data together.
By doing so, you can increase your revenue to a great extent.”
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