Today’s business environment is complex, uncertain and fast moving and efficiently targeting growth remains a challenge. Sales people certainly gain valuable instincts and skills from experience but the right data insights at the right time can make all the difference. By organizing and segmenting your outlets so the best opportunities are prioritized you can save time whilst providing a higher success rate.
That’s all very well and good but where do you even begin that process?
It always starts with the data. Attaining a good Market Universe data set means better targeting within your Market Universe. Here you have a few options;
These are usually estimated with low coverage and not very rich in detail.
Very expensive and not easily repeatable.
Sounds complex and reputation for high cost.
Finding the right data and using it efficiently is not a one-off problem and so we at Sales Align would advocate working with meaningful technologies, such as those within the Big Data umbrella, in a purposeful way with repeatable results. There are trials to navigate when it comes to these new data methods from data harvesting, size, enrichment and other preparation issues. So, whether that’s an in-house team or another provider you do need to work with people who have expertise.
Whichever of the 3 options you choose you should understand that getting the right data is the first step.
2. Analysis for Prioritisation
So now that you have the right data how do you assess your coverage and plan your priorities? What are your key data drivers that help you decide your focus? For example, setting keywords that easily describe the outlet type can help you choose which to target and when. If you have social media data, you can use this to create popularity indicators. Area density could also be a key metric in decision-making.
With the first two data options (Data Set or Census) you are a bit more limited as the data is static. This means you can’t see how the data changes in different time periods, such as when an outlet grows in popularity on social media. When you know the data is up-to-date and more accurate you can be more confident acting on the analysis.
You can do many things with your analysis, whether that’s keeping it offline in spreadsheets (and silos 🙂 ) or in a tool that visualises the data and results. You should ideally find a good method for all stakeholders to interact with the data rather than just leaving it in the hands of the analysts.
3. Optimise Your Focus with Segmentation
Custom targeting and segmentation exercises using your data can take your sales prioritisation one step further. You’re probably already engaging in segmentation to some degree but by using your data to define certain “types”, “segments” and “social media ranks” you can create target outlet lists that fit certain profiles. Additionally, if you want to get sophisticated, start grouping your previously set keywords into themes e.g “cheap”, “high-end” “garden” and create specific campaigns that align with marketing needs.
Even with all this great insight it’s important to ensure you have a good process set up for sharing your lists and other information with your team so you can set them into action! Also think about how you monitor the progress of working through your targeted lists and segments.
4. Keeping Up-to-Date – Look Out For Outlet Churn
Becoming more aware of outlet churn can quickly make a positive impact on your sales performance. With accurate location information from your data and frequent updates that inform you of closed and new outlets you can manage your time more efficiently. Keep an eye on the evolution of churn in different segments, for example when a particular type of outlet grows in popularity on social media. Considering new outlets typically churn 4-8% per annum this could save you a lot of time & costs.
5. Actionable Strategy
The way you combine your experience with certain data-points is crucial in defining your strategic plan. Whether that’s planning how to grow by segment, targeting occasions or optimising call lists, it’s still the people who put this into action. Review the way you connect your strategy, your data and your people.
With better use of good quality data in your strategy and in the way your team interacts with it you can transform your sales. Saving time focusing on outlets that matter means saving time and costs. Not to mention higher potential sales!
This article is only an outline of the beginning steps towards transforming your sales with modern data methods to optimize your sales effectiveness. We have often taken these steps together with our clients and that has given us experience but also a curated method. We are happy to share our successes and if you wish to see how our tool Sales Align comfortably enables all the above, please click here.