Why You Should be Doing Data-Driven Sales Management

Despite the widespread availability of data systems, many sales development teams remain stuck in the past regarding their metrics. Most outbound sales managers are using limited data or no data at all to drive their decisions. 

Peter Kazanjy is a serial founder and seasoned early-stage SaaS executive, advisor, and investor. His latest project is Modern Sales Pros, the world’s largest sales operations, and management peer education community. 

Peter joined the Predictable Revenue podcast to discuss why you should use data to drive your outbound sales decisions–and why knowing your team’s metrics is the only way to create repeatable and scalable results.

Why data is a crucial part of B2B sales management

Knowing the key metrics of your sales development team provides an instant advantage. Not only can data help your organization become more effective, but it also allows you to make more informed decisions as an outbound sales leader.

“Managing by metric” can help you see around corners, track your team’s progress, and intervene before a minor issue becomes a big problem. 

“As a manager, you exist to improve the performance of your team,” Peter says. Helping each rep on every individual deal isn’t scalable. Instead, you need to look for ways to make the entire outbound sales team more effective. That starts with understanding where the inefficiencies are. 

Once you know where your sales development reps need improvement, you can coach them in those specific areas. This elevates their overall performance and affects not just the current deal but every future opportunity they work on.

Likewise, you can also use data to determine what’s working for your top-performing reps and use that information to raise the bar for everyone else. Identify what’s working and apply those techniques to the rest of the team.


Getting started with outbound sales metrics

The most common mistake sales leaders make when getting started with data is overcomplicating it. Start by tracking a few important metrics, like email response rate, connection rate, and conversions. This will give you a basic overview of how each rep is doing.

Once you understand what’s happening in your team on a foundational level, you can start layering in new metrics. 

The next step would be to track metrics like the number of unique accounts each rep has interacted with, how many unique contacts, how many touches and contacts per account, etc. These metrics will tell you where each rep needs to be coached.

Understanding all of this data will help you see where the problem might be. For example, if a rep is giving up after only two or three touches, or if they’ve only reached out to one contact per account.

Using data to design your coaching plan

The next stage after you’ve started collecting data is to operationalize it. How can you weave those metrics into your operating rhythm? Review the metrics regularly, both with individual reps and the entire sales development team.

On a team level, find the most widespread issue and coach on that even if not everyone has that specific problem. For example, you might start a new initiative focused on AE prospecting or pipeline hygiene. The goal should be to improve win rates across the entire team.

Need help coaching your outbound sales team? Our expert coaches can provide tactical sales training to help your team reach the monthly quota. Reach out here to learn more!

Coaching sales development reps one-on-one

In one-on-ones, focus on a specific area the rep needs to work on. Look at the data to determine where they fall short compared to their peers or past performance. For example, maybe their top-of-funnel conversion has gone downhill recently. 

Don’t wait for the rep to tell you what their biggest challenge is. Even if they’re performing well, there will always be an area for improvement. As the manager, it’s your job to identify that area. Use data to diagnose the problem, then coach them on it.

Once you’ve identified a potential issue, determine what metrics should be tracked to measure the rep’s improvement. The answer isn’t always to ride along on their calls. Instead, use the data to make a more informed decision about what type of coaching would benefit that rep the most.

Data is the future of sales development 

These days, if you’re not taking advantage of outbound sales data, you’re doing a disservice to yourself and your team. Knowing those key metrics will help take your organization to the next level.

If you want to connect with Peter to learn more about data-driven sales development, visit AtriumHQ.com or reach out on LinkedIn. You can also check out Peter’s book, Founding Sales, the early stage go-to-market handbook.


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