At this point, there’s no debating that being data-driven results in improved sales performance. Research shows that 57% of high-performing sales teams rely on analytics, compared to just 16% of underperforming teams. However, there is still serious room to improve, even for these data savvy teams.
When considering valuable sales data, most people think of major pieces of information, like deal value or contact title. Of course, this data is extremely important. But what most companies don’t realize is that there are many smaller data fragments slipping through the cracks, which can also provide lucrative insight.
The Problem with Legacy CRM
Outside of issues like low CRM adoption, one of the main reasons why these valuable sales data fragments get lost in the shuffle is because of data collection and storage practices of CRM vendors like Salesforce.
Rather than providing customers with a continuous data log, these vendors place the burden of capturing historical data on the user, who is expected to take snapshots and store this information in a big data warehouse. Actually using this data and extracting any insights from it is typically very time-intensive and expensive, so most sales orgs simply don’t bother.
In addition, as legacy CRM vendors fill the gaps in their platforms with acquisitions and integrations, reps are required to use a growing number of tools to do their jobs on a daily basis. As these users move back and forth between these disparate solutions, valuable data gets lost in translation.
The Silent Signals of Sales
So what are these forgotten fragments of sales data, and how can they add value to your sales strategy and performance? One way to think of them is as “silent signals,” because while these data points are not items that reps would actively capture, such as entering a loss reason or logging a call, next-generation sales platforms capture these pieces of information silently in the background, making them available for analysis.
Stage Change Velocity
One example of a “silent sales signal” is stage change velocity, or how quickly deals progress through each stage of your sales pipeline. While this information may not seem like much at first, it can actually tell you a lot about the effectiveness of your sales process; for example, if deals are consistently spending long periods of time in a particular stage, this indicates a hang up in your sales process that should be addressed. What’s more, this information can also improve forecasting accuracy by determining win likelihood based on stage duration. Good CRMs will not only capture this data, but will automatically turn it into something that is usable for the sales team, like the below stage duration report.
Skipped Pipeline Stages
In addition to knowing the stage-by-stage progression of deals, visibility into whether reps are skipping sales pipeline stages altogether can also be extremely valuable. Of course, this means that they are also bypassing critical sales process steps, and failing to capture the important information associated with these steps. This could be because they are not using your CRM on a consistent basis, or it could mean that they do not see the value in these particular steps. Either way, it warrants an analysis and conversation with your team!
Time to First Action
While essentially all sales platforms enable reps to log calls (or even better, automatically call and record them), knowing the amount of time that passed prior to reps reaching out to leads for the first time is almost just as important. Not only does this information allow managers to coach reps, but it also enables them to identify the ideal lead-to-outreach timeframe for optimal response rates.
Stop Missing Out
These are just a few of the critical “silent signals” that are slipping through the cracks of your sales platform. It may be time to ask your CRM vendor about their data capture and storage policies to see what you could be missing. For example, 60% of Base customers who were previously using Salesforce capture 50%+ more data with Base. What’s more, 37% say that the quality and accuracy of their data has increased by more than 75%.
For more advice on how to make sure that you are taking full advantage of all your sales data, download this free eBook: Shedding Light on Dark Data: How to Unearth Actionable Sales Insights.