The above graph shows what happens when push rates start to overwhelm a company. If the push rate was 0%, then they would book $1M each month in revenue. But when the push rates start creeping up, more and more revenue is kicked down the road to the next month. In this case, the push rate for April is 40%. Therefore instead of booking $1M that month, the company is only booking $600K.
The big problem with push rates is that they compound. Now there is more revenue due to be booked in May, but if the reps couldn’t deal with $1M in April, they aren’t going to be able to deal with $1.4M in May. This means more is pushed, with the rate creeping up to 50%. The same goes for June. Now more is being pushed than booked, raising next month’s initial target exponentially.
This is a massive problem for a company, but one that can be avoided through better data and better coaching:
- If reps input realistic close dates both initially and when they do have to push, then management can better plan for that amount of revenue in each month, either bringing on new hires, or spacing out future prospects.
- When they have this better data, leaders can work with reps to start to identify why opportunities are being pushed to bring down the overall push rates.
By identifying where in the organization bad data quality is leading to serious issues, sales ops can help drive the whole team to making sure this kind of problem doesn’t occur. They can be providing exactly the right insights that could be difficult for managers and reps to identify themselves, pushing everyone forward.
Sales reps work as instigators of better data quality, sales leaders as enablers of better data quality, and sales ops as drivers of better data quality.
But what should be evident from the examples above is that none of these can work alone. It is a team effort, with everyone working in collaboration.
- Reps need to tell leaders and ops of potential pitfalls in the current process, while implementing any changes or coaching they advise.
- Leaders have to help push reps for better data, while giving them the coaching that they need to do just that.
- Ops have to show reps and leaders where the better data quality can really help the team, while listening to their feedback about what does and doesn’t work in the field.
Even the C-suite should be involved. It is up to them to imbue the entire organization with a culture of great data quality. If the CEO makes data quality a priority, it will be a priority all the way down the line.