Analytics 101 for Small Businesses

You’re a Sales Manager for a successful small business. You’ve been using for a while to manage your leads, but now you’ve got an itch to get a little deeper into your data and run some analytics. So where do you start? Here’s a primer, call it Salesforce Analytics 101, to help you hit the ground running with your SFDC analytics.

1. Trend Your Sales Revenue Over Time

Start with the big picture when analyzing your Salesforce data by answering the big question: how is my company doing? A great helicopter view of this is to see 1) how your revenue is trending over a given period of time, and 2) how it’s trending compared to a previous time period. While this seems basic, you would be surprised how difficult a time many companies have compiling this information reliably, in an easy to understand visualization.

The answer to “how’s my company doing?” is contained within your Salesforce data, but presenting it in this format gives you and your employees the ability to trend your bottom line against historical averages, giving visual context of how your business is performing. Now you can answer questions like “do we usually start the month this fast/slow?” where previously you couldn’t. Throw this chart up on a big screen at your office. It will serve as a great entry point for your employees to start looking critically at your SFDC data.

2. Understand Your Sales Pipeline

Your Salesforce data doesn’t just tell you where you’ve been, it shows you where you’re going. Looking at your pipeline gives you the ability to do Sales Forecasting that will give you advanced warning if the next months will be feast or famine. With this visibility, revenue booked won’t be a surprise at the end of each quarter, and you can drill into expected slow months and see what actions you can take to close more deals.

This is your entry into predictive analytics, which is incredibly important for SMBs that want to stay ahead of their competition. Furthermore, it’s rooted in highly quantitative analysis; you’re not relying on your gut, you’re modeling your forecast on real, verifiable metrics that give you more flexibility as well. Notice in our screen shot that you can also slice by Client or by your Employees, so you can get as granular as you want with your Sales Forecasting. It’s like having a crystal ball for your business.

3. Track Your Activities & Activity Ratios

Performing analysis of your SFDC data should immediately provide you with two things: 1) visibility into what’s going on, and 2) actionable information you can use. Tracking your Activities & Ratios are fundamental ways to do both. First, figure out what Activities you want to track (Meetings, Dials, Demos, etc). Once you get the sort of trend chart as the example to the left, you’ll be able to monitor the health of your company by seeing the peaks and valleys of your Activities. See a dip in the number of Demos being made? Dig in and see why that is, because having low Demos can be an indicator of a lower number of Deals.

But how do you know if that Demos to Deals relationship is actually a solid indicator? That’s where Activity Ratios come in. By monitoring this and other Ratios, you can see where there is a good correlation between certain Activities by looking at your historical data. Not only that, you can diagnose problem areas in your current data. In this screenshot, the Ratio between Demos to Deals is on the rise lately, meaning it’s taking more Demos to close a Deal. That’s a problem, and something to bring up with your Sales Team.

Happy analyzing!

Salesforce provides you with a lot of great data. Want to learn more about how InsightSquared makes SFDC analytics easy?

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