When you ride a roller coaster, there’s a terrible moment just before the top of the first big hill. You look down, and realize that you’re up really high. You can also usually see most of the track in front of you (or at least the first death-defying drop), and you realize that it’s too late to get off. The only thing you can do now is hang on—and scream if that makes you feel better.
Unfortunately, too many people treat sales analysis like it’s a roller coaster. They use their analytics to see exactly where they’ve been and where they are going. But they fail to understand that they aren’t riding along a pre-built track. You can take proactive steps to control where your business is going and how you get there. You have a lot better options than just holding on and screaming.
As we talk to B2B sales ops teams, we find that more and more of them are adopting sales pipeline analytics. That’s a great thing. But when we talk to them about the benefits they are seeing from their pipeline analytics, something is missing.
Sure, these firms are using their analysis to increase their visibility into the status of the deals that are currently in the pipeline so they have a better idea of how much money they are going to make. Their sales projections are scales of magnitude more accurate than they have been in the past. They also are able to do a better job allocating their sales resources and identifying when a particular team member is having a problem. They even understand exactly where in the process they are losing prospects.
The problem is that they aren’t really doing anything with all this information. They know exactly what is going to happen, but they aren’t trying to change what is happening. It’s as if they have just chosen to throw their hands up in the air and wait for the ride to end.
The biggest benefit of sales analysis is that is can help you figure out how to improve deal probability, velocity, and value across every salesperson in your entire sales operation.
In other words, you should be using your sales pipeline analysis not only to see what is going to happen but also to change what is going to happen, so that something different and better occurs.
Some B2B firms understand this concept better than others. We spoke to the sales ops teams at some of these companies and came up with a list of twelve strategies that these top performers are using to get more value out of the sales analysis process. These strategies are included in the express guide How to Improve Your Sales Pipeline Analysis. If you’d like to start using your analysis to improve your business, this guide is a great place to start. It can help you stop treating the analysis process like a roller coaster and start taking control of your sales operation.