Collecting quality data is one of the most effective things you can do to improve sales performance.
Quality data enables you to:
Measure progress toward goals and stay on track to hit them
Identify which sales tactics are working well and which you can improve
Inform your sales strategies through sales forecasting, sales process analysis, and more
But how do you go about collecting this data? In this guide, we’ll discuss four key steps for creating a sales data collection strategy for your team.
1. Decide which data you want to collect
Before you can start collecting data, you need to know what data you want to collect.
To determine this, consider your goals. What are the most important objectives for your sales team? Which targets would make a truly meaningful impact on your organization when you hit them?
Once you know what your most important goals are, consider:
What data would help you hit your goals
What data you need to measure your progress toward your goals
For example, if your goal is to increase average deal size, you need to know which types of customers spend the most with your company. You could use demographic, firmographic, behavioral, and other types of data to determine this. You might find, for instance, that B2B companies that visit a certain page on your website spend more than other customers.
Then, you can determine which metrics you need to track your progress. In our example, you’d need data about closed deal sizes and the number of won deals to calculate your average deal size. You may also need historical data on average deal size.
2. Choose your data sources
Another essential step is choosing the sources you’ll pull your data from. You’ll need to select a variety of reliable sources so that you have a full picture of your sales performance and the interactions between sales and other departments.
For sales teams, it’s helpful to gather data about sales performance and the characteristics of your leads and customers, as well as data from other departments such as marketing and customer support.
Customer relationship management (CRM) software: Your CRM houses a massive amount of useful sales data, including customer profile information, sales process and performance data, and sales forecasts.
Transaction history: Past customer purchase history can help you uncover trends in what your customers are looking for from your products or services.
Customer surveys: Surveys can help you learn about your customers in more detail. Your company might send out surveys via email or host them on the organization’s website.
Customer support tools: Data about interactions with your customer support team can help you learn about your customers’ needs, preferences, and likes and dislikes related to your company’s products or services. Customer support data may be useful for cross-selling and upselling.
Web analytics tools: Using tools such as Google Analytics, you can view information about who has visited your website and how they interacted with it.
Online forms: Whenever a customer submits a form on your website, whether to sign up for your email list, start a free trial, or download resources, you have a chance to collect some basic information about them.
Marketing platforms: Data about marketing campaigns via online advertising, social media, and other channels can also help you learn more about your audience. Using marketing tools, you can collect data about who interacted with your campaigns and what products or services they were most interested in.
3. Choose tools for collecting your data
The tools you use for collecting data play a vital role in how successful you are in creating a data-driven sales team.
When deciding what tools to use, look for options that are user-friendly, have the features you need, and make it easy to collect, manage, analyze, and leverage your data. Consider your goals when selecting tools and choose the tools that will best help you get there.
For sales data, your most important tool is your CRM. Your CRM will help you to:
Collect data about your leads and customers such as their demographic and firmographic data
Track your sales process data, including where leads are in your pipeline and the number of leads and deals
Track sales performance data by individual and by team
Generate reports, including sales forecasts, lead reports, win rate reports, and more