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This Pandemic has Reinforced The Power of Sales Data

These past few months have been a traumatic experience for many. For all of us, it has been a steep learning curve on basic epidemiology.

We have become accustomed to a daily deluge of statistics on the pandemic. Since March, we are now all over the key stats such as total case numbers, mortality rates, country comparisons on a total and pro-rata basis, and more.

So, what does this have to do with the topic of Sales Performance Management? Interestingly enough, no matter what the data analysis in question pertains to, it can significantly affect human beings' behavior and actions absorbing the information.


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In fact, statistics are an effective way for a sales team or sales rep to increase a company's conversion rate, streamline its marketing campaign, and fuel the success of data-driven sales. Sales data is a form of sales enablement.

Statistics Create Behavioral Change

One of the pandemic's interesting learnings is how data can powerfully influence behavioral change, sales data, and sales metrics included. To be sure, our lifestyles and daily routines have been directly impacted in real-time by government regulations on the lockdown.

I think it would be fair to say that none of these regulations could have been introduced without reliable data regarding the pandemic.

This focus on buyer personas and what the public will be willing to accept without sparking the need for unwarranted fear is why the daily press conferences repeatedly hammered the messages on case numbers and projections for case numbers.

Even in the case of global disaster, marketing teams everywhere knew that they would have to speak directly to their audience. Social media makes for a useful sales outlet, and governments launched worldwide campaigns to embrace public safety were with significant success.

In this case, to have a robust sales strategy, encouraging the public to act safely in the face of a pandemic, there had to be a sufficient amount of data available to prove that a lockdown was the best option moving forward.

The Communication Method of Data Matters

The supporting data have bolstered the case for introducing and retaining lockdown measures. And it's not just data. It is the power of data when it is communicated in three ways:

  1. Data that is transparent
  2. Data that is presented frequently
  3. Data that is presented visually

Transparency

Transparency means that everyone has access to the data. That has been the situation writ large for the pandemic. In the first 4-6 weeks, there was wall-to-wall coverage of the numbers. I noticed that only yesterday (June 15th), the newspapers have started to drop the case numbers from their home page headline feed.

Transparency is crucial concerning lead generated data because the public wants to know precisely what they're getting. They rely on the statistics to get them through their current train of thought, whether that be regarding decisions to make during a pandemic or B2B sales.

No matter what the data is covering, it is essential to nurture customer relationship management. The sales process doesn't mean simply telling them what they want to hear but presenting the facts in a way that will encourage them to act appropriately to the situation.

Frequency

Frequency means updating data daily, and in many cases, even more often than that. Frequency in data presentation means that you're providing consumers with up-to-date information on data and sales reports. This concept of frequency is important in the expression of any information to the public. Update them often, and ensure that the information communicated is factual and correct.

Visually

Visual presentation of data means more than just a slick production of numbers and infographics. Probably the most potent visual representation of the data in this pandemic has been the projected bell curve lined up against hospital capacity.

That visualization, more than anything, convinced people of the need to go into lockdown. Essentially, global governments were a sales organization, presenting information that would display the facts and encourage the public to make the right decision.

I don't want to stray into politics, but there's an argument to be made that people have focused too much on total cases and deaths and not enough on the data for active cases or mortality rates relative to other health risks.

The Relation of this Information to Sales Performance Management

The big takeaway is that it reinforces what we have always known but often underestimates managing sales performance and incentive compensation. In short, the power of sales performance data has the capacity to change human behavior radically.

Too many sales organizations fail on the three ways data provide this power. Here's where they tend to go wrong:

  • Transparency: Few people have access to the full picture of sales performance (individual, team, company). Sales performance information should be transparent and available to all.
  • Frequency: The full picture is released once per month, and often days or weeks after month-end. We know now that it's crucial to update sales data daily to create peace of mind and help transparency.
  • Visual: Sales numbers are buried in spreadsheets and are challenging to interpret. Make sales numbers evident by changing the way they're communicated and presented.

Choosing Performio for Your Management Software

Effective implementation of an Incentive Compensation Management Software like Performio can help your sales organization drive the behavior it needs by capitalizing on these three principles. Achieving true automation of your incentive compensation management program allows you to:

  • Provide full transparency to all salespeople. Each salesperson has full access to the data they need to track performance and pay.
  • Provide frequent (e.g., daily) updates on sales performance across individuals, teams, and the entire organization.
  • Deliver insights through reports and dashboards using the rich data from your sales performance management system.

Of course, this pandemic reinforces the importance of our health and those of our loved ones above all else. When we come out to the other end, there will be time to reflect on the likely changes to our lives, both business and personal. More on those themes later.

-David

 


 

David Marshall - Founder

David Marshall

David Marshall has spent his entire career immersed in the world of sales compensation. As a sales comp professional, he found the existing Incentive Compensation Management platforms diabolically difficult to use. He founded Performio to provide sales compensation professionals with a powerful sales comp solution that was also easy to use.

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