Sales is a play of numbers. Sales leaders thrive on revenue, pricing, performance, forecasting, and commission reports. But numbers are just a snapshot of information at any given time. To make decisions with high confidence, understanding the “why” behind the data is important.
So how can your sales team use the wealth of data available to them to influence business decisions? How can they get to a new level of intelligence in real-time?
With most raw data being unclean, noisy, spammy, and unorganized, sales managers and top executives should rely on an intelligent system to work with real-time data and carve out the best insights from the information at hand. While Excel and spreadsheets are good with tabulation, Business Intelligence tools can step up your game with powerful data analytics.
What is Business Intelligence?
According to Investopedia, Business intelligence (BI) refers to a system that gathers, stores, and analyzes the data produced by a company’s activities. BI parses all the customer data generated by a business and presents easy-to-digest reports, performance measures, and trends that inform management decisions.
Why use BI for Sales
- Visualize sales metrics
- Bulk sales reporting made easy
- Sales performance monitoring
- Report on complex scenarios with Deeper data analysis
- Unify cross-functional sales data and spot trends
CRM or BI solution for Sales?
CRMs are great for managing the sales force but when it comes to reporting even big players like Salesforce have some limitations. HappyFox BI for Salesforce can provide real-time sales analytics, accelerating the growth of your team in ways you never thought possible.
Visualize Sales Metrics
The human brain captures visual aspects better than rote data points. Business intelligence tools offer a variety of data visualizations that are appealing, customizable, and interactive. Most tools require no advanced UX skills or coding effort, they just have drag and drop features to build visually appealing dashboards.
The screenshot shows how easily sales metrics and demographics are visualized via various charts starting from segmentation chart, map chart, pivot table, and Pareto chart in a single dashboard.
Each chart can prove beneficial depending on the type of business data.
The segmentation chart segments States based on churn rate and growth rate. Map chart has color intensity as an estimate of the leads across different parts of the world.
The top 5 states in terms of revenue are listed in a tabular format.
The Pareto chart works on Pareto’s 80-20 rule, which suggests, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes. Here the Pareto chart shows how nearly 85% of the ARR is coming from 3 cities.
With the help of BI software, bulk data analysis can be done within minutes. Make intelligent decisions swiftly with information at a glance. Learn more
Bulk sales reporting made easy
Businesses of all sizes today have huge data inflow from various sources like websites, social media, CRM, digital marketing campaigns, marketing automation tools, help desk, and many more. These large data stores that bombard companies are collectively known as big data.
How many times have you struggled to upload the data on excel, let alone process it?
With business intelligence software, you can not only handle bulk data but also represent it in summarized views. The cards and charts are depicted in the dashboard below. Historical information of huge size can be imported into BI tools with ease to draw actionable insights.
Sales performance monitoring
Sales leaderboard is very common among organizations for tracking sales performance, making hiring decisions, rewarding, and nudging the sales reps to achieve targets. No performance excuses by the sales representatives can defy the clear picture that the sales dashboards paint.
But what about the company’s sales performance? Tracking how much revenue came in, checking the sales pipeline and which stage could be improved are also equally important. BI helps you with that too. With added filtering capabilities in dashboards and customizable sizes and charts, it becomes really easy to report on sales performance and identify trends at a single glance.
The dashboard above incorporates trial inflow, conversion rate, demo feedback, and lead inflow for each sales representative.
Report on complex scenarios with deeper data analysis
What is most valuable to sales leaders in the data-driven world? It is fast and accurate decision-making with complex data. If they spend the entire time with pivot tables, macros, and other programming methodologies to drill into the data, root cause analysis will take a hit.
Business Intelligence offers the following capabilities for deeper insights into your data:
Every business intelligence tool has aggregation features. Aggregation, as the name suggests, brings data together to perform vital calculations be it count of record, total, average, max, or min value. The best part is when these functions can be run with a click of a button on any report. BI makes it extremely easy to aggregate data and gather insights.
When you have categorical data, pivot tables can group by the field (column) in your master table and add advanced calculations to it like summarise, sort, reorganize, count, group, total, or average data stored in a table.
Like in the screenshot, the pivot table calculates the count of demos and conversion ratio (percentage of leads that got converted) from the raw data and represents it as a visualization.
Drill down features
A chart or a visualization creates a summary of the data but sometimes there is a need to decode the data further. Half-baked information might not lead to good decision-making. For instance, let’s take a visualization for understanding the revenue by lead source.
It’s a great idea to understand the split-up of revenue by lead source. This drill-down visualization shows how much each source has contributed to the revenue and further digs into advertisements that seem to have the highest share.
Benchmarking is an important component for sales professionals as they are driven by targets, especially when the targets keep changing.
Let’s imagine a sales representative trying to compute in his mind how many deals to close to attain his target for the month. For this, he would need to calculate the average MRR closed and multiply that with the number of customers he needs to get. This can be error-prone and time-consuming. Moreover, he needs to re-compute the average as and when deals keep closing.
Benchmarking and dynamically computing the average MRR for the month is the easy solution for the sales representative.
Comparing values with past period
It’s fascinating for organizations to know how far they have come when they visually compare current stats with that of the past. Comparing values with the past period is in-built in BI tools and saves a lot of back and forth effort to compare the data points in different workbooks.
Unify cross-functional sales data and spot trends
Most sales teams depend on Customer Relationship Management(CRM) to get all kinds of reports in place. They seek help from Excel when native CRM reports seem insufficient for their analysis. But what’s missing in Excel is the dynamic inflow of information. The same report in Excel becomes vague at a later date. Sales teams also depend on cross-functional data from customer support and marketing teams to give a complete experience to the customers.
What if all the data sources got unified in one place? A BI tool can blend sales with other functions by importing datasets from multiple spreadsheets, Excel, CRM, call center applications, and help desk, thereby providing an extensive analysis on not just closing the deals but also on the customer service they are receiving.
The best thing about BI tools is that they get information from CRMs and other applications in real-time, avoiding the hassles of importing static data from one system to another.
Sales, customer service, and project reporting unified
Sales is an important lever of a company’s growth and performance. Business intelligence can be a game-changer for sales leaders and top executives as it can single-handedly monitor sales KPIs and keep your analytics current all within a single system.
Sales with business intelligence is a powerful combination to close big numbers and go deep into the customer lifecycle and help them at various stages.
Want to understand business intelligence in detail? Here’s a complete guide on business intelligence for you. If you want to learn how BI suits your business use-case, book a demo with our product expert today!