Data Visualization…a Trend You Can’t Ignore
It’s not hard to jump on the big data wave. Who could argue with the collection of vital information that will directly affect the decision-making process that will enable your organization to be successful?
But, the question should be posed...who exactly are we measuring through data and why are we measuring them? Almost every sales-driven interaction and relationship is measured via whatever CRM your company is currently aligned. What is most often missed is measuring the sales coaching activities and metrics in regards to the activities between manager and sales rep. Research has proven time and time again that the relationship between sales rep and coach has the highest correlation on sales rep effectiveness. Yet an estimate of 8 billion dollars are spent every year in the development and training of sales team effectiveness and the dollar amount spent on teaching sales managers how to become better coaches--is too insignificant to measure. Managers have the most important roles in the success of our teams and whether or not they are able to hit and/or exceed their numbers and yet, we rarely if ever measure what activities the manager is performing with their sales reps and at what frequency.
We face today the interesting issue that we have more than enough tools to analyze, predict, measure, react than we have hours in the day. The challenge becomes how to create the perfect mix of data/dashboards to review in order to assess performance, ability, support, process and outcome? What software do we use and in what mix? In the book, The Art of Stillness by Pico Lyer he says, “The more facts come streaming in on us, the less time we have to process any of them. The one thing technology doesn’t provide us with is a sense of how to make the best use of technology. Put another way, the ability to gather information, which used to be so crucial, is now far less important that the ability to sift through it.” Lyer goes on in a recent TEDx talk to say that it is important to bring the right 'eyes' to the situation. Meaning that the data we are reviewing and the purpose and intent for why we are reviewing it makes all the difference in the outcome.
The art of applying data visualization to the sales process yields actionable insights that make your sales team more productive. Reviewing data that helps our organization succeed is increasingly becoming more important in order to understand your team, how to coach them and ultimately move the needle to a higher degree of success.
Where you stare is where you steer. Where do we focus our attention every day? We are motivated by the visual. Some interesting facts:
- 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual
- Visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text
- 40% of people will response better to visuals rather than plain text
- Visual content drives more engagement.
As organizations produce increasing amounts of data, our challenge is always to extract the highest value from this growing flood of information.
- Visualization of data as the potential to offer manager’s ways to improve sales coaching efficiencies, reduce costs and gain new insights.
- Visualization tools make it simpler to speed up analysis of team performance, spot trends, and outliers and make comparisons that inevitably help the sales coaching process.
- Visualization tools might help marketing managers uncover formerly undetected patterns that are useful for cross-selling or up-selling.
We want more out of data today. The software or platform that you review daily as a sales leader, should be a force multiplier, not add to confusion. Sales coaching is not a soft skill, it is a skill that when tracked produces hard numbers. Those numbers can tell us a story if we let them. The right platform can paint us a performance picture that we’ve never seen before in a sales leadership role--numbers that allow us to make fact-based decisions on how to grow sales.