Nowadays, there is enough data available to abandon the “gut-reaction” or “shooting-from-the-hip” approach to decision-making. And yet, although organizations have invested significant amounts of money into technology, modernizing often fails because the users are not functioning in a data-driven culture, which begins and ends with the right mindset.
Data-driven decision-making is the process of using facts, metrics, and data to guide decisions that align with your goals, objectives, and initiatives. The full impact of data-driven decision-making is only realized when everyone—from the C-suite to entry-level reps—is empowered to perform their roles with data.
To make data-driven decision-making the norm, sales organizations need to create a culture that uses data to encourage critical thinking and curiosity. This starts with having conversations based on data to develop skills through practice and application.
In this blog post, we provide a few tips on implementing a culture of data-driven decision-making in your organization.
Four Steps Toward a Data-Driven Culture
It’s probably no surprise that data collection and creation are on the rise, but check out these numbers: The total amount of data worldwide reached 64.2 zettabytes in 2020. And that’s nothing compared to the forecast for the next five years, during which data is expected to nearly triple to 180 zettabytes.
So what the heck does all this mean? Nothing, if those who collect the data don’t do anything with it.
Although it might look different for each sales organization, here are a few of the broader steps you should take to encourage data-driven decision-making.
1. Start with a top-down approach.
We’re all familiar with the adage about how true leaders lead by example, but it is especially true with data-driven decision-making. When executives advocate for it, others will be encouraged to do the same.
So how do executives do this? Primarily by establishing core capabilities that reinforce data-driven decision-making across all job levels so that sales groups regularly investigate information to discover powerful insights that drive action. In other words, by having conversations based on data.
One of the easiest—yet most impactful—ways for these conversations to happen is by implementing sales enablement to provide teams with the tools and resources needed to be more effective in their roles.
2. Identify primary business objectives.
What are your business objectives for the year? The next three years? Most likely, these goals have a number attached to them, whether they represent scaling or revenue efforts.
But those numbers aren’t going to just come out of thin air. Knowing the downstream goals—such as increasing sales numbers or boosting profits—will help you better understand the appropriate key performance indicators (KPIs) and metrics that sales members at all levels need to meet so the organization as a whole succeeds.
3. Incorporate the right technology.
Starting with the right technology or mindset is the “chicken-or-the-egg” scenario of data-driven decision-making. No one knows which comes first.
Regardless of the outcome of this debacle, sales teams should use technology that serves as a home base for the data. According to McKinsey, sales organizations that utilize the right tools can harness data in ways that allow their teams to be more agile, direct performance metrics and coaching conversations, and ultimately see double-digit ROIs.
The tools available are endless. Maybe you want to know the talk ratio of a sales rep, or you need to collect data on metrics that will lead to desired outcomes. Either way, the technology platforms should have a self-service model in which the user can access and process the data at any level. In other words, the user shouldn’t need to be a data analyst, but they do need training on the chosen technology.
4. Gain insights from the data.
Once you have the right tools, what do you do with that data?
A part of a data-driven decision-making culture is analyzing the data to take the next step. After all, data alone is just numbers on a screen, but in the right hands, it can tell a story.
For sales management, data provides many opportunities for managing reps:
- Insights into areas of improvement and ideas for coaching plans
- Performance expectations of KPIs established in a rep’s goals
- Ramping standards for new reps
But none of this is accomplishable without the right data-driven sales management platform.
Data-Driven Decision-Making with a Data-Driven Sales Management Platform
Atrium’s data-driven sales management platform provides a wealth of data collection based on metrics that develop reps, create goals, and make high-level adjustments to business operations. Basically, it makes data-driven decision-making easier. Want more insights into the benefits provided by data? Download our video, “Moneyball Moment for B2B Sales.”