Congratulations! You’ve succeeded in getting a self-service business intelligence solution into your company. You’ve played around in the program and are confident in your ability to dive right into the sales analytics and sales reports and get the information and actionable insights you need. Now, all you have to do is get full buy-in from your sales reps for them to be as enthusiastic about sales analytics and self-service BI as you are. It shouldn’t be that difficult to empower your sales reps to adopt this new mindset and process right?
You would be mistaken. Most of the value of self-service BI is just that – that any employee can show initiative and take on BI and sales analytics tasks and reports on their own volition. They should require neither guidance nor the services of another team or expert within your company to properly execute their analysis and get what they need out of the right sales metrics. Yet, sales leadership often ignores this aspect of empowerment, leaving many sales reps to simply go through the motions instead of seizing sales analytics – and how it can improve their job performances – by the reins.
Here are 5 tips to better empower your reps with sales analytics.
1. Context is KEY
Most sales leaders might have a clear vision and goals for every step of where the organization is headed. However, all that information is ultimately useless if it is kept in the Sales VPs head, instead of shared with every level of the organization. It is critical to provide the context of what the Sales VP is trying to accomplish by using sales analytics. Share your core values of why sales analytics is integral to your company taking the next step in its evolution. Explain how sales analytics can directly impact their job performances and identify the goals – not just on an individual basis, but organizationally – that you are trying to achieve in using sales analytics. Getting rep buy-in is much easier when they know exactly what they are buying into.
2. Refer to specific PAIN POINTS
The key word here is ‘specific’ – don’t just mention that having sales analytics will make their lives better, but explain which specific aspects of their job will be directly and positively impacted by having sales analytics. For example, maybe your reps’ biggest issue is that they never know which opportunities in the sales pipeline they should be working on and how they should be prioritizing their opportunities. Refer them to the Pipeline Today report and all its associated sales pipeline metrics. Such a report sorts all opportunities by close date, as well as how much engagement has been expended on that opportunity and the risk factors associated with that opportunity. The rep can then take in these various sales pipeline metrics and prioritize the right opportunities, helping them improve their closed-won rates going forward.
3. Foster ACCOUNTABILITY
Sales analytics don’t work unless there is clean and accurate data to work with. Unfortunately (for your reps), most of the data has to be entered and carefully logged by them. This puts a great onus on them to be responsible for the company’s overall data quality. If one rep fails to properly log the right data after getting off a call with an opportunity, that could create a trickle-down ripple effect that affects all other data being entered. Stress the importance of data quality to your reps, give them the proper training they need to confidently enter all the critical information and impose penalties for failure to do so.
4. Encourage INDEPENDENT exploration
Human nature dictates that people are less apt to be excited about what they’re doing if they are being forced to do so. However, when they are given independence and freedom, they will be that much more passionate about the task at hand. Sales analytics works the same way. While it is important to implement a few basic sales analytics requirements of your reps, encourage them to explore and learn independently as well. Give them all the access they need to play around with the sales analytics product. Encourage them to take full advantage of its self-service aspects. Challenge them to unearth new ways in which sales analytics can directly improve their job performances.
5. APPRECIATE your reps’ efforts
The truly empowered of your sales reps will gain utmost satisfaction if they are able to discover, on their own volition, how sales analytics can directly benefit them. As a sales leader, it is important that you show a keen appreciation for their efforts and demonstrate how you value what your sales reps have brought to the table, regarding sales analytics. Show them that it’s ok for them to fail in their pursuit of more effective and efficient use of sales analytics – they will not be punished for thinking and trying outside the box. Your reps will return your appreciation many times over and reward your faith in them with even more sterling job performances.
A sales rep that has been empowered and fully emboldened to the power of sales analytics will be much more effective than one who is merely going through the motions. Use these 5 tips to get your reps to fully buy into what you’re selling with sales analytics.
How have you been able to empower sales reps and employees at your organization? Share your thoughts below!