Monthly forecast, total pipeline revenue value, or pipeline amount by sales stage present a one-dimensional view of the data. Sales analytics combines data points potentially from multiple systems to create a multidimensional perspective and deeper insight into sales performance.
Taken at face value, one-dimensional data is essential to understanding and reporting the current state of the business, but provides little insight to the drivers of sales. SFA’s ability to capture, combine, and compare multiple data points as analytics enables salespeople, managers, and leaders to analyze the dynamics of selling.
Average sales cycle length measures the time it takes opportunities to go from qualified to closed, an important data point. Analyzing sales cycle length by sales phase highlights where deals get stalled or slow. Identifying where this occurs most commonly in the sales process allows sales leaders to surgically target training and prioritize resources.
As an example of how active analytics can drive action, let’s consider stalled deals. A stalled deal can clog and distort pipeline data and quarterly business reports. Using analytics to determine average time-in-phase for winning deals creates a threshold for determining a stalled deal.
Analysis of winning opportunities will establish time-in-phase guidelines. Opportunities that exceed the time-in-phase range can be classified as stalled. In some cases there are perfectly good reasons for stalling, but statistically these are deals that have a much lower potential to close.
Pulling stalled deals from the pipeline allows the sales rep to focus on active deals and develop a nurturing strategy to continue to develop the stalled deals. Analysis of closed deals on a time-in-phase to conversion creates a digital footprint of success. Opportunities that fall outside those guidelines should be removed or quarantined until something happens to change their status.
If an organization can identify where these opportunity fail points occur, steps can be taken to improve phase conversion rates. Sales enablement teams can look at the messages and tools available to sales at the fail point to improve conversions, or specialist resources can be deployed to push through more deals.