A picture may be worth a thousand words, but data can have the opposite effect. We continuously hear that this is the age of Big Data, but the volume of information can be overwhelming — Isabelle Kane and I have discussed this in our last few blog posts. Truly, a skilled data analyst can be worth their weight in gold, and once insights are gleaned from market data, management is usually overjoyed.
However, the place to keep those insights is not within your executive team or C-suite. They must be distributed, dispersed, disseminated – choose your preferred ‘d’ verb to get the word out about your data! Data that has been cleaned and analyzed is prime content to incorporate into your sales collateral and training materials.
There are a multitude of reasons for this, because as with any other professionals, sales teams truly appreciate a data-driven presentation. There’s a time and a place for anecdotes, and qualitative reasoning can sometimes justify a certain strategic direction, but data packs a punch unlike most other forms of information. Think about the difference between these statements:
“Marketing executives are ready to adopt cloud-based technology!”
…as compared to:
“52% of marketing executives were unable to define cloud-based technology accurately, yet 71% of those we surveyed admitted they planned to explore it in the next six months!”
Without question, adding data to your sales trainings:
- ‘beefs up’ your content,
- makes you look more prepared and informed,
- heightens the sales associates’ attention,
- makes the material more memorable, and
- energizes your teams around concrete evidence of an opportunity or a need within your target customers.
As a data and research-based company ourselves, SimplyDIRECT has no shortage of experience counseling our customers on incorporating the insights we’ve generated from their target accounts for them into their sales teams’ training materials. Assuming you are working with ‘scrubbed’ and interpreted data and not pages of raw figures, here are a few ways you can leverage these lessons for your own sales teams:
- InsightSquared reminds us the “bad data is kryptonite for sales operations.” First and foremost, ensure your data is accurate, current, and relevant to your teams.
- Give data to get data – meaning, if you are going to incorporate your hard-earned MR numbers into a sales presentation, be sure to implement a feedback loop that will ensure that your sales teams are using them as intended. You likely spent months and a carefully-allotted portion of your marketing budget in order to glean those insights. Don’t just hand it to them and walk away. Make sure they are working for you out in the field, and that you are tracking their use by asking for measurable outcomes from your sales teams. Inkling suggests a few ways to do this.
- Teach a man (or woman) to fish – The number of technological tools now available to field teams has revolutionized the sales model, and not all of them are prohibitively expensive! Customers use technogloy to influence their purchasing decision, so it stands to reason that tech tools should supplement your sales approach. Identify the technology that could bring your team’s approach to a new level, and incorporate that into your next sales training. Remember to break down the process into a clear, step-wise approach.
You shouldn’t need to hold a degree in statistics to conduct a strong, data-driven sales training, but by incorporating a few extra nods to the quantitative sides of our markets, we will enhance our content, messages, and approaches to generate more sales leads.