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How to collect, manage and use the data in sales?

I love numbers, data and tracking. From data you can see a lot, learn even more and it gives you means for development in almost any field - businesses, health, travelling routes and personal time consumption are all good examples that can be easily improved by looking at data.
Over the last century society has become more data centric. We are now monitoring almost everything as we understand the true value data, numbers and tracking, evidenced by the fact that the amount of data in the world more than doubles every two years.
I bet you have heard someone say "It might be a good solution, but the data here states differently" - and at the end the solution backed by empirical evidence often turns out to be right. We hunger for statements related to data and research. Our decisions rely heavily on it and people can even feel lost if their steady stream of data is not available.
For many individuals, data is playing a bigger role in their lives every day. There's a big effort in extracting data from a lot of everyday activities, and many people are already tracking their sleep, steps, energy, pulse and even blood values daily. Adjusting your life based on this sort of data is called biohacking, which is growing into a trend that may even rival big trends such as eating organic in the near future. People have always been looking at ways to improve their life, so optimizing their body based on data is a natural progression.
But for companies the data is even more critical. Everyone wants to optimize their business. The world has changed, and so has the way companies operate. Data has gained its popularity in our communication - we share the numbers within our teams, around the coffee table and even in social media. Lobbies are decorated with screens that are showing real-time performance. Data is valued as an advisor, but also seen as a must to compete and survive. At the end, business is a numbers game. 

What are you tracking? 

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The two most critical questions to answer when thinking about data is
How do you collect the data and
How do you manage and use it.

How do you collect the data?
Collecting data should be as easy as possible. Automatic, so to say. Would you follow your steps, daily activity or sleep if you need to do it by yourself, without the help of gadgets? One reason - and probably the most important one - for the increasing popularity of analytics is our increased ability of extracting data through technology.  

During the past years the demand for data management software has grown significantly, and it has become one of the most popular markets when it comes to business tools. Companies are looking for solutions to collect, analyze and learn from data as it's being seen as critical to stay competitive (which it often is!). 

There are costs however. The downside of tracking and collecting data is that it might be time consuming, both in planning what to track and actually collecting the data. Employees want to do their job - but what they don't want to do is use their time typing out stuff they have been working on and talked about. When employees see this just as a pointless extra task, they put as little effort as possible on it and do it as quickly as they can. Which is a shame, as from a managerial perspective all data is useful - the more the merrier. 
Employees should have a solution for collecting data that is both easy and helps them do their job in addition to improving the business. For sales organisations using mobile phones, the solution is LiiD. With it, sales activities are logged automatically, which increases the amount and value of the data in your CRM system many times over. Book a demo to learn more.

How to use data?
When data is collected, it is important to extract as much value out of it as possible. Data just for the sake of data is worthless, even if the process is automatic, and can in fact just confuse more than help if there is no clear reason for it to be looked at.

If planned right, the benefits of data affect almost all parts of the business. We're experts of sales organisations, so we know the key benefits there. In terms of sales activity data, from a customer's perspective, increasing attention to sales data leads to a better customer experience and sales reps more in tune with their customer's needs.
 From a managerial point of view, there is potential to better identify pain points in the sales process and give better feedback to sales teams among many, many other things. And for sales reps themselves, the data helps in their job day in day out as it can serve the purpose of a personal assistant in tasks like keeping notes and reminding of tasks which can otherwise easily be either missed or require more effort to stay on top of.
In our webinar on January 18th we will dig down in more detail into how to improve sales by tracking the activities of your sales reps. Register for the webinar to learn more on that topic.