“Time present and time past Are both perhaps present in time future, And time future contained in time past… T.S. Eliot
Is it possible to see the future? Yes, if you take a look at the past. Time has proven again and again that history repeats itself. The repetition isn’t in a literal sense, it’s more conceptual. Mark Twain refined it. He said, “History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” When considering the past as a forecaster for business decisions look for patterns, similarities and end results as the best indicators of what you might expect to experience again. With a firm hand on data collection there is the option to either repeat the past, or improve it.
MIT’s Weigh-In on the Purpose of Data Collection
Three years ago the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) did a study on “Data Driven Decision Making” (DDD). They reported, “Using detailed survey data on the business practices and information technology investments of 179 large publicly traded firms, we find that firms that adopt DDD have output and productivity that is 5-6% higher than what would be expected given their other investments and information technology usage.”
Since the MIT study, technology has continued its upward climb and today the tools at the fingertips of business are even more efficient. Today there is software available that will literally measure everything and anything, and without a doubt your competition is utilizing such to measure not only dollars and cents, but the performance of their workforce.
When home computers first became available there were many people who thought that the machine magically knew everything. It took a little stumbling around for people to understand that the machine only knew what it was taught. The bottom line is that you can’t get out what you don’t put in, and guesswork is costly in this highly competitive age.
Does your CRM track the actual data that you need to make informed decisions? Do you have the ability to make tracking adjustments that make the collection more relevant? Do you need to consider an add-on to enhance the process and make it more seamless?
Is documenting sales activity in your CRM a user-friendly process, or is it complex and distracting? Is it all in one place, or is it spread across different pages? Is it intuitive enough to help fill in such details as dates and times? Does it recommend your next step?
Hit or Miss?
Is sales activity habitually documented or is it often skipped because reps find it too time consuming? Are reps so busy having to scramble to make the desired number of calls that they see stopping to document their activity as a deterrent?
Incite2, an ultra efficient Salesforce add-on offered by ShadeTree Technology has taken the sting out of activity documentation. Consider a demo to see for yourself how beautifully the documenting process has been simplified. Incite2 not only makes tracking your history effortless; it also dramatically increases the number of calls that can be made.
You can’t know where to go, unless you know where you’ve been. Accurate data collection will open the door toward improving upon history.
What about Bob?
We all know someone who goes through life with a rainbow overhead. He just does what feels right and makes his quota every month. Somehow, we all wish we could be like him. It would be such bliss, wouldn’t it? Just go out there and sell your socks off and live the life; carefree and bonus-bound. Park that in the category of dreams, because in reality, most of us could use at least some help staying on task in order to make our number. Think about this:
How can we get in front of the curve?
Wouldn’t it be awesome every sales professional could be a rockstar? Trust us when we say it doesn’t always happen by chance. In order to make quotas consistently, a solid plan needs to come into play. Once a plan has been established, measure and track execution of the plan. Track progress towards goals and make changes as needed. Sales will ultimately gain confidence in their work when they can effectively manage their time and resources.
Sometimes we are so focused on the design (our relationship with our customer, their needs, their timing, their sense of value) that we hate to leave the “important stuff” to go and figure out what we actually need to be doing next. When we get in “the zone” we get so focused on resonating with our customers that when we are finished talking with them, it’s hard to switch gears and start thinking about what comes next. Where am I now? Where do I need to go next? What do I need to do now?? How can companies automate this process so sales representatives know exactly what to do next?
With this question in mind, our developers here at ShadeTree have made it possible to automate this very process with our product, Incite2. To see how this tool helps sales professionals know what to do next, watch a short video or schedule a demo and process discussion with a sales advisor.