Business Analytics, also known as Magic Numbers

“When internal information can be a powerful tool to help you planning”

What are we saying when we talk about data management or business analytics? Let me explain from my personal experience.

We all know that planning saves time and money in a company. In this way,  planning properly will be the king. Since I started working as a sales manager, probably one of the things that I’ve disliked the most has been the time “wasted” in funnel reviews, in correcting reports or explaining what had happened when things didn’t go as expected.

Now, I’m also working in sales operations. When I started to do this work, I found myself checking information, dealing with numbers and lists of opportunities, trying to cross data, comparing it with previous periods of time and finally doing proper forecasting. If you can picture it in your head, it would be a guy sitting at his desk, with his laptop open, and numbers flying out from the computer.

But the importance of business analytics goes far beyond showing numbers and checking how we are in terms of sales and financial factors. Its real value is the possibility of doing a double click on those numbers and figuring out how they open up like a magic box. Why? Because it is then when you have the vital information to understand clear patterns you can use to plan without guessing.

So, how can we help organizations to plan effectively?

Gathering information from all company sources and using it in the most cleverly way to understand the present situation without forgetting our past. But more importantly is to always look ahead, in order to stress assets to reach the company objectives. This is, in fact, what we call data management and business analytics and we use them to make decisions based on facts instead of intuition.

But, to do this, it’s important to solve the puzzle of dealing with everyone in the organization to provide information without taking off their valuable time. There could be several ways to do it. In our particular case, we used to do it through Salesforce. But how accurate is the information? Can we trust it? How can we create a scenario where, with a minimum effort from the employees, we could know we have clean data?

Sales operations need to produce accurate information to help decision-makers in their daily job. To do so, our primary source to get data from every area is our CRM and our project management system. In this way, it’s essential for all the members of the company to do their data entry consciously. When we have accurate (and enough) data, it’s easy to interact with the information provided and shape good quality reports to help our Executive Leadership Team to make decisions efficiently.

The moral of this story…

Sales operations is a proven and guaranteed methodology which works as a decision-making process, based on facts, with the collaboration and interaction of every department in the company.  It also provides the benefit to nurture the organization with information, improving communications and efficiency between areas.

Selling is an art, and the sales manager is the artist. If we can provide to sales representatives with the right brushes, it will be easier to make a masterpiece.


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