Sales has always been largely an art, built on top of intuition and instinct developed through years of experience. During my career I’ve witnessed the advancement of CRM systems and had an inside view of the emergence of business intelligence, both of which have given sales organizations more data and more ways to access that data than ever before. But in many ways that can actually made sales management harder-there’s so much information that a sales manager could look at that it’s overwhelming. After looking at all of the possible variations on dashboards, reports, and spreadsheets possible, it’s often still hard to answer the question “what do we need to do to close more deals faster while keeping a healthy margin?”
To answer a question like that, you don’t need another report or another spreadsheet. You need a bit of analysis and insight that shows you what your data actually means.
What frustrates me is this type of insight is out of reach for all but the very few willing to do a deep-dive. With today’s technology, machines should be looking through data to fin meaningful information – not humans! I’ve met some remarkable sale management ‘artists’ over the past few years, but I believe with a little better science backing up the art, our profession could be completely transformed.
To do my small part in helping to make that transformation happen, I’m launching a new blog today: Data-Driven Sales Management. In the blog I’ll share my experiences, speak with colleagues I’ve learned from, and provide tools that I’ve found to be useful in becoming an effective sales manager. I’ll certainly share things that I’ve learned and done at Cloud9, but the blog is not about Cloud9 as much as it is about ideas and best practices that apply to your company.
I encourage you to check on the blog regularly, and join the conversation.