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Sales Analysts Don’t Know What to Look For?

In a SellingBrew Playbook tutorial entitled, “Delivering Answers to the Point of Sale,” the author outlines a step-by-step process for going beyond just putting data in front of your salespeople to actually deliver the answers they need to improve results.

In the tutorial, the author also makes an observation that might help explain why too many sales operations and analytics teams stop short of providing useful answers…

It can be difficult to understand what really needs to be shown—you have to understand what makes a good sales decision. Very often, making all of the data available for users to slice-and-dice themselves is a crutch for analysts who really don’t know what to look for.

While it might seem a bit harsh, it is understandable.

After all, how many sales analysts have received more than cursory training around what to actually look for in the data? Sure, they probably know all about how the analytical tools themselves work—the slicers and toggles, the views and visualizations, and so on. And, they’ve likely gotten advice from others in their organization about what’s important.

But how many have been taught how to really interrogate the data to find the answers to the most powerful sales questions? The questions that even some of the best salespeople and sales managers will fail to ask in the heat of battle?

Beyond just learning “how” to use the tools, sales operations and analytics teams need to learn much more about the “why” behind their analyses. They need to become experts at diagnosing problems and identifying improvement opportunities “at scale” and across the entire sales operation. And, they need to become more proficient at asking—and answering—the questions that really matter.

Delivering answers to your sales team is certainly a worthy goal. It’s so much more effective than just giving salespeople access to the data and hoping that they will have the time, inclination, and ability to do something useful with it. (Here’s a hint: They won’t.) And the tutorial does a good job of walking you through the basics of the transformation.

But it’s important to remember the prerequisite: To be able to deliver those answers, you first need to know the questions.

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