When was the last time you went to clean out your garage? Are you one of the few disciplined people who somehow manage to only hold on to the bare minimum of must have tools and get rid of everything else, or is your garage piled up with things that you’ve never really used?

The reason that most of us have so much clutter is that we all get stuck on the “what if” question. What if I finally get around to finishing the deck, and finally use that belt sander? What if a tree falls in the yard, and I actually need that chainsaw? It’s hard to predict which tools you will need in the future, and which ones are just taking up space.

Sales operations teams face the same dilemma when they look for ways to enable sales reps. Sales teams are only as good as the tools that they have at their disposal. Analytics give you the ability to identify the exact needs your sales team has to fill, and ensure you aren’t wasting time or money on tools that aren’t helping you sell more effectively.

Because every company faces this same dilemma, analytics are by far the most powerful tool in the sales operations belt. They allow you to pinpoint where the most damaging inefficiencies are in the sales process and invest time evaluating and implementing tools that eliminate the most friction.

To learn how analytics can show you what tools will supercharge your sales team and which ones will end up gathering dust, read on to find out what insights you can get from digging into your sales process with three powerful metrics.

1. Sales Funnel Conversion Rates

What is it? Sales funnel conversion rates are the proportion of leads that progress to each stage of your company’s sales process. They are calculated by dividing the number of opportunities in each stage of your sales process by the total number of opportunities that enter the sales funnel.

How it helps you: Conversion rates are the bread and butter of data-driven sales enablement. They allow sales operations to quickly visualize the state of the sales process as a whole and zero in on the stages that are causing the most friction. Historical conversion rates also serve as benchmarks that show how much of an impact sales operations projects have on increasing the number of opportunities that move from one stage to the next.

2. Sales Cycle

What is it? At its most basic, the sales cycle is simply the span of time from when an opportunity is opened to the date that it is won. An even more powerful method for measuring your company’s sales cycle is to break it up further to see the amount of time that opportunities spend in each stage.

How it helps you: Sales cycle analysis provides the sales ops team with very specific, actionable takeaways about which type of sales enablement tools will have the most impact. They highlight the stages that sales operations can automate and streamline with sales enablement tools, and provide an objective measurement of how effective each tool is at improving sales efficiency.

3. Win Rate

What is it? Win rates simply record the number of opportunities the sales team has won as a percentage of the total opportunities they work. This metric gains additional value as you go a step further and look at win rates by specific win factors such as company size, industry, product line, etc.

How it helps you: Win rates give sales operations teams the information they need to identify exactly what types of companies are buying their product, build out a buyer profile of those companies, and then put tools in place that help the sales team engage prospects that fit those profiles.

The most powerful tools at the sales operations team’s disposal are the raw numbers that identify the most effective parts of the sales process. Analytics put those numbers at the sales operations team’s fingertips, and give you the objective measurements you need to ensure that every other tool you adopt really is one of the sales team’s must-haves.

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