“Wow! How did you do that?” This is one of my favorite client quotes about sales stats and it happened only 5 minutes into our meeting.
I arrived at the client to meet with the CFO and he was running late. As I was waiting for him in the conference room, I started thinking about how to find sales stats that would offer insights into his sales team’s performance.
Setting the Stage
Their CRM implementation was going pretty well. The CEO and CFO were all-in, making it a little easier to encourage the salespeople to use the system. There was plenty of information in the system, so the reports and sales stats were starting to be meaningful.
The computer in the conference room was already logged into the CRM. The default view of their current opportunities was on the screen along with a bunch of options. I thought, “How can I filter the sales stats to uncover something he hadn’t seen before?”
What’s the Deal?
My client was a high-end digital screen manufacturer. They had many custom products based on the clients’ specs. Some of their products could be resold if the specs were close enough, and some of their products had very long lead times to get the specs right.
Armed with this knowledge I filtered the sales stats to show just the opportunities that were opened and won during the current month. It was a very easy filter.
When the CFO arrived, he asked about the sales stats on the screen. “What are you looking at?” When I told him, his eyes opened wide! He couldn’t believe how many opportunities had such short sales cycles. This was powerful stuff! He instantly asked me to explain how I created that view.
Rinse and Repeat
The analysis of those sales stats uncovered several important things going on with his sales team; who closed them, the type of product, the type of customer, and the profitability. However, the most important piece of information gleaned from the analysis was whether or not these opportunities represented a repeatable process. They did!
A simple, creative view of the sales stats, one that no one in the organization what even thinking about, lead to valuable and actionable insights. The changes they made from my creative filter, helped reduce the sales cycle on approximately 10% of their opportunities. The results? Increased profits, sales commissions, and adoption of their CRM system!
The Data Chick