The revenue process has so many moving parts, it’s like a high-stakes game of telephone. What your prospects see in your marketing campaigns need to align with your sales pitch which should be reiterated by your CSMs in post-sale conversations, and just like the game, there are plenty of opportunities for miscommunications along the way.
Sales analytics can reduce static on the line by monitoring that revenue operations process, ensuring efficient and predictable revenue while proactively adapting to how deals progress. Such analytics creates a common language for the entire revenue team and helps orient everyone on a single point of view, ultimately enabling data-driven decision making.
The key is understanding what sales analytics is, defining what data will actually help the sales process, and then listening to what the metrics tell you.
The Benefits of Sales Analytics
Sales analytics is sometimes mistaken as a fancy term for inspecting your pipeline, but it’s more than that.
Analytics helps deliver accurate sales forecasts, which are used in everything from business planning to strategic investments. Sales analytics can help prioritize the right revenue-generating activities, at the right time. With time a finite resource, knowing where a team is lagging behind and how to close those gaps is crucial.
Revenue leaders should be constantly re-prioritizing themselves to focus on activities with the biggest impact possible. The most accurate and impactful way to do that is to analyze every aspect of the revenue process, from data to the metrics that matter.
The Data Sources that Matter
Sales analytics is only as powerful as the data sources that power its insights. Certains sources help paint a holistic picture on how engaged revenue teams are with their prospects and which deals are actually likely to close. But what are these sources? And why should you care?
Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is an amazing tool to capture the interactions with prospects and customers alike. CRMs are typically built to store as much information as possible while still being customizable for every business’ revenue process. For many, it’s the system of record that revenue leaders rely on to store their deal information, from who the account is to all contacts involved.
While CRMs do a great job at storing the deal data, these tools aren’t really built to extract insights from that data. Most companies look for ways to better understand their revenue process by analyzing this CRM data in purpose-built platforms, like Clari.
A lot of selling is done via email.
While emails with prospects fly back and forth, many companies leverage this activity as a signal of deal progression. While some teams are able to push this data back into the CRM’s opportunity records, it's very easy for this rich data to be locked away in a sales rep’s inbox with no visibility by the larger team.
Your rep’s calendars are (hopefully) jam packed with prospect or client meetings. Every day, they work hard to close deals, no matter how many meetings it takes. That’s why tracking meeting data can help you better understand what deals are progressing. So by systematically capturing all meetings your revenue team conducts, and who they conduct them with, you can better understand what deals are more likely to close and therefore impact the forecast.
There are so many other revenue-related activities that traditional CRMs don’t always capture. From phone calls to LinkedIn messages to files sent back and forth, everything your revenue team does plays a part in successfully closing the deal.
Sales analytics is the golden thread that sews all of these data sources together so revenue leaders have that holistic picture to execute against. That’s where the following metrics come in.
The Metrics that Make a Difference
With all the data sources above, the CRM becomes a centralized data repository. However, reps don’t always input this data into the CRM because it is manual, painful and eats up time they could be using to sell. Quite often, we only see the absolutely necessary data in the CRM. However, given the analytical limitations, we rarely get any value from it.
Let’s say you do have all of this data at your fingertips. How would you extract value from all the data collected?
With holistic revenue data, we can democratize insights and answer some of the hardest questions for the entire company:
- How do we know a deal is at risk of being lost?
- Will we hit our revenue goals?
- Are my reps talking with the right accounts, right now?
To answer these questions, we have to look at some of the following metrics:
Quota attainment refers to the percentage of deals, either by number or by revenue, that a sales rep has closed in relation to their set quota for a given time period. This metric is an important sales forecasting metric that tracks how deals have closed against targets, and helps identify reps who might benefit from more coaching or guidance.
Pipeline coverage refers to the number of opportunities in you need in your sales pipeline to ensure you reach your sales target. Many organizations follow the 3X rule, but how you calculate this ratio will depend on many factors, including your business segment, your product, the length of your sales cycles, and more. Knowing this number can help sales management course-correct fast to ensure an accurate sales forecast and successful quarter.
Clari’s CRM Score is an artificial intelligence-driven numeric value based on an analysis of historical data from opportunities, such as how long a deal has stayed in a given sales stage, whether the close date has been pulled in or pushed out, and whether the deal size has increased or decreased.
The CRM Score is one of many predictive analytics sales analytics tools that can help revenue teams identify the likelihood that a deal will close based on previous deals with similar behaviors, and can help leaders identify if a deal is at risk and where reps should spend their time.
A deal with a high Clari CRM Score may require less attention than a deal with a low CRM Score. It’s a critical input for pipeline management. Here’s how it works as part of the 4-Point Deal Inspection.
Why Clari Leads
The three metrics above are far from the only numbers that matter to revenue operations growth, there are so many other metrics your company should be tracking as well. Every company’s game of telephone is unique to their revenue process, although there are many similarities across us all.
Clari was purpose-built to help analyze revenue data to provide actionable insights. Regardless of the priorities of your sales leadership, sales analytics will give you the information you need to make better decisions.
Real-Time Revenue Operations with Clari
Best-in-class revenue teams use Clari every day for sales analytics. With Clari, revenue teams:
- Automatically track sales activity data
- Spot risk in the pipeline and execute against it
- Get out-quarter visibility for more accurate forecasts
- Identify slipped deals and take action on them
- Combine every critical sales metric into a real-time sales dashboard
Interested in learning how Clari can help give you more sales team visibility with real-time sales analytics? Request a demo or message us to speak with one of our revenue experts.