Reporting is arguably the most important part of the sales process. Reports provide insight into how well a sales team or individual is performing. More importantly, a good report will reveal what improvements can be made to increase individual or overall success of the team or business. The trick, however, is to determine what questions need to be asked in order to get the right information that can be used to inform your management decisions. This often requires some brainstorming.
One of our Product Specialist at XANT often takes calls from customers asking for assistance in building queries that will pull the information they need.
“Many clients choose our solution based on our Lead Response Management study and the metrics that can be gained by implementing the XANT solution,” said our Product Specialist. “In order for them to determine if they are hitting these key response metrics, it’s important that they take a step back and ask, ‘What will get me the right information?’ By asking the right question first, the client avoids getting obscure data that doesn’t really answer their questions.”
The number of reports that can be generated by most sales automation tools is almost infinite. As long as the specific metric is being tracked within the system, managers can access any type of information they want, provided they have asked the right question.
Questions we have seen are: “What is our best source of leads?” “What percentage of our leads are actually contacted?” “Which sales rep has the best close rate?” At XANT, we use reporting to answer such questions as: “How much effort is being put forth as measured by number of dials and number of appointments set?” and “What are the results of that effort measured by number of held appointments and qualified opportunities?” By asking the right questions, you generate the key metrics that have the most impact on the success of your business.
With the right information in hand, managers can begin to understand where they need to focus attention and what, exactly, they need to do to help their sales teams succeed. For example, when a manager analyzes the results of the effort put out by a sales rep, that manager is better able to determine the skill level of the sales rep and whether training is needed for improvement. This helps the individual rep as well as the entire sales team. By posting certain individual and team metrics prominently in the sales room, sales reps have instant ownership of their results and are driven to succeed due to competitive, public pressure.
Reporting should be used to manage every aspect of a sales team. Without reporting, you’re shooting in the dark and missing key opportunities to enhance the performance of both your sales reps and your business as a whole.
An additional analytic tool to help manage the performance of an inside sales team is to engage with XANT’s research group to conduct a lead response benchmark on your team. This service is an unbiased test of how your inside sales team is performing in terms of time-to-respond to a submitted inbound lead and rep persistency or how many tries a rep makes to contact a new lead before giving up. We call this service our Lead ResponseAudit.
Watch this webinar explaining the Reporting element of the C.L.O.S.E.R. model.
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