All sales teams like to believe that the decisions they make are based on the facts of the situation. But the hard reality of things is that if you’re not using data properly, you’re not navigating sales leadership as effectively as you can be. Almost everything that’s done as a sales leader is done using information in some way; and if you haven’t learned to engage with this data in the most effective way, you’re holding yourself and your team back from the benefits of a data-driven sales approach.

A data-driven sales approach is one that leverages the wide availability of data to inform every sales decision. This approach differs from the traditional in that it’s an attempt to really hone in on the massive amount of information that’s available to sales teams. Expertly using this data can reap rewards on things like lead generation, price-setting, forecasting, and communicating insights.

Exponentially Improve Lead Generation

The benefits that a data-driven approach can bring to sales teams are functionally innumerable. But for the sake of brevity, let’s look at two central areas: lead generation and team management.

Unless it’s your first day in the business world and you’re in way over your head, you probably use some kind of data to generate leads. But for those that know how to collect, analyze, and manipulate data, lead generation becomes a much more substantial process. The ability of sales leaders to identify and prioritize potential leads, direct personalized messaging towards variable leads, and adjust to patterns within your prospecting means that you’re inevitably going to generate a lot more leads. The person who knows more words is going to extract a lot more value out of a book!

Leverage Data to Manage Your Team as a Sales Leader

Using data as a sales leader doesn’t just mean orienting your data-driven insights outwards. It also means turning that expertise inwards, too. By using expertise to collect, analyze, and create insights from data, you can shape your sales team out to be as perfect as it can be.

Data-driven insights can be used every step of the way, from hiring all the way through to promotions and demotions. Data can show you how to judge who would be a good fit for your team, how to build an effective onboarding process, and develop great key performance indicators for assessing your team. That means you’ll be able to accurately and efficiently monitor the performance of your team.

Using Data to Your Advantage: Collect, Forecast, & Present

Almost all sales leaders will use data in some shape or form. Engaging with customer data or sales records is inevitable. But what separates effective data from ineffective data is what sales leaders make of it. Learning how to deeply and meaningfully engage with data can help take your sales career to the next level.

Let’s look at three important areas where expertise really comes into play: collection, forecasting, and presentation. With every day, there’s more and more data available. The sheer volume has the potential to either overwhelm a sales team with irrelevant information, or carry them to a higher degree of success. A person accustomed to working with data will know how to collect good data in effective ways.

Nearly anyone can use data to look into the past, but it takes a higher level of knowledge to flip the script. After passing through data analysis training, sales leaders will be able to use data to transcend space-time and peer magically into the future. Well, it’s more expertise than magic. But the ability to make accurate forecasts can seriously revolutionize your sales practice.

Another important piece of this is presentation. As sales leaders, your schedules are probably choked out by blocks and blocks of meetings. These careers are highly relational in nature, as in you spend a lot of time communicating, brainstorming, and negotiating with other people. Your excellent data insights will only go so far if you can’t express them to others in clear, concise, prosaic ways. This is where knowing how to use data visualization methods effectively becomes very important.

Ready to learn to expertly leverage data within sales leadership?