The term Big Data is being used on a
frequent basis in business today ranging from marketing teams analyzing product
penetration to sales teams comparing and contrasting customer buying habits.
The misnomer is that big data is for big organizations. It is not. Regardless
of your company size, and for this post the size of your sales team,
analyzing “big data” can be for everyone.
From the sales managers seat I am a big
fan of big data. To me big data is like a bedtime story. Sometimes there is a
happy ending and sometimes I wake up in cold sweats in the middle of the night.
No matter what the information (story) is, you can use it to your advantage.
First let’s talk about gathering big
data. We all have prospect lists, client lists, order histories, meeting
histories, etc. This information is likely stored in our CRM, Outlook, ERP or
some other internal system at the office. And, the beauty of this information,
it can be exported for reporting purposes. Determine what you are seeking, such
as buying cycles, or types of clients that have purchased product x, and then
pull your reports.
Then begin the bedtime story. A happy
bedtime story is one that showcases your successes in the form of positive
trends. You can identify certain buying attributes of your prospects and
clients. You can look at calendar or seasonal trends. You can determine that
certain types of clients are better suited for certain types of sales people.
Whatever the data tells you, you can positively manage your sales processes and
teams based on it.
We also have the bedtime story that can
be nightmarish. The data points downward. The data tells you that you’re losing
market share. The data tells you that you’ve been managing the wrong way or
that you have the wrong people selling for you. You wake up in cold sweats
wondering if the data is wrong. But, what if the data is correct. What do you
Data, hard cold factual data, does not
lie. The metrics in front of you are not trying to trick you. Numbers are numbers
and facts are facts. You should learn to accept big data as a compass helping
you point your way toward success. Report often. Analyze often. Use the
information that is at your disposal. Don’t dismiss big data as something out
of your reach, rather grab a hold of the information, digest it, and use it to