Sales analytics is the process of using sales activities data to generate trends, insights and to forecast sales revenue. It helps predict quota attainment and accordingly device sales strategy. For this kind of analytics to be really helpful, you need to capture large amounts of sales activity data from different pipelines and sources in the form of KPI and Metrics. But having good data is tricky because sales reps are not motivated enough to input all data into the CRM as they would rather focus their time on selling activities.
Sales analytics usually comes under the purview of sales operations. Sales Analytics can be descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive. Common sales metrics tracked include sales growth, sales target, effective channels, opportunities, competitive trends, lead conversion, etc.
Good Sales Analytics strategy helps sales guys with required clarity and keeps them focussed on activities that matter to improve performance.
What is Sales Analytics software
Sales analytics software is primarily used to visualize your pipeline and team activities, use CRM data to forecast sales revenue and gain insights into deals status and rep performance.
This software helps managers to create pipeline states, monitor rep engagement with each deal and score the deals based on their chances of closing. They leverage deal health/risk scores and many other factors to accurately forecast revenue and the likely quota attainment for the reps. It also allows reps to alter assumptions of the forecast model to better match the sales behavior and market realities. This forecast can be used by sales managers to refine the sales process and to coach sales reps to improve performance by focusing on the right deals. It gives a good picture of how much revenue will come by the end of the quarter, per rep, per account or per territory. Sales reps and sales ops also use the tool to better understand the forecast and help them to re-prioritize rep activities to increase their likelihood of hitting quota.
Sales analytics software integrates with your CRM to capture data and use it to forecast your pipeline. Sometimes business Intelligence tools that can help visualize sales data can also come under this category of sales analytics. This software helps automate the reporting, analytics, and visualization for the sales reps. They also give insights around sales data which help make more effective decisions about products, GTM strategy, customers, opportunities, etc.
Who uses Sales Analytics software
Sales analytics software is mainly used by the sales operations team. They can also be used by the finance, marketing, and central analytics teams.
Sales Operations / Managers
Sales operations teams are mainly concerned with data completeness, data accuracy, and forecast accuracy. This software saves them a lot of time by automating the task of data completeness and maintaining CRM hygiene. It also reduces the forecast prep time, identifies deal risks and helps automate reporting from a single source of truth and ultimately improves productivity. Instead of focusing on day to day tactics, equipped with the monthly and quarterly forecasts, they can plan better about future sales. It helps to bring all GTM teams on the same page to collectively convert accounts. They can analyze the pipeline by segment, sales rep, stage, or any custom parameter.
Not all the data gets entered into the CRM, but this software brings together all the data across teams. Thus it brings marketing, sales and customer success teams to collaborate together to win deals. It shows the status and risk associated with each deal so that marketing can plan ABM programs accordingly. It allows marketing teams to check their total influence on sales by channel using multi-touch attribution.
sales analytics software gives in-depth visibility into the key revenue metrics for the CFO. It identifies the deal risk at every stage to avoid quarter-end surprises, which helps finance teams to predict revenues more accurately.