How to Perform a Sales Analysis (Step-by-Step): Methods & Metrics
Want to achieve your sales goals? Then you have to kiss guesswork and intuition goodbye. Instead, get cozy with regular sales analysis to generate cold, hard data for your team.
Of course, wanting to go steady with data and actually making it happen are two different things. To make it a reality, you have to know what sales analysis is, why it's so beneficial to sales teams like yours, and how to analyze sales metrics and KPIs for your sales strategy.
Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about sales data analysis. That way you can boost performance—for you and your team—and capture that elusive jena se qua that will turn your competitors green with envy. Let's do this!
What Is Sales Analysis?
It's pretty simple: sales analysis is what happens when sales professionals monitor sales data, in order to evaluate sales team performance. Doing so can uncover insights about:
- Top-performing products/services
- Underperforming products/services
- Customer behavior and retention
- New sales and market opportunities
- The future outlook of your sales team
When done right, sales analysis can help you run a more efficient and effective sales department now and in the future.
Curious about total contract value? Hey there, our article holds the answers.
How Often Should You Perform a Sales Analysis?
Worried you'll come off too strong? You definitely don't want to look desperate. How much is too much? Luckily, the quickest way to sales analysis' heart is to spend quality time with it.
In other words, check in on a regular basis. How regular? It depends on the sales metrics you need to track, overall performance, and the type of sales reports you're analyzing.
Your sales goals can also impact how often you should perform sales analysis.
In general, expect to track overarching metrics like net sales and/or deal size on a monthly basis. More specific metrics, like calls or emails sent, should be tracked on a shorter-term basis. Whatever your cadence, remember to monitor seasonal changes and YoY metrics, too.
What is Included in a Sales Analysis?
Better said: what isn't included in a sales analysis?
In the end, what you decide to include in your sales analysis report will depend on your goals. Here are some ideas:
- Sales activity volume
- Ratio of new leads to qualified leads
- Information about your pricing structure
- Data on your social media campaigns
- Current sales trends
- Revenue and costs for a specific period
Along with these things, a clear sales data analytics report will show you want to do with the information. Specific action steps are a key piece of sales analysis, meaning you can do more with the information you've gathered.
What is Sales Analysis Useful For? 4 Irresistible Benefits
Why should sales managers get serious about sales analysis? Two words: the benefits!
Seriously, if you want to see how your team performs against its sales goals—throughout the entire sales cycle—you need to monitor the specific metrics that pertain to them.
Once you do, you'll be able to make better decisions, understand market trends, boost company profits, and improve customer satisfaction. Let's take a closer look:
- Make better decisions: Sales analysis will reveal the real-time success of your sales plan. You can use this information to build a better, data-driven approach.
- Understand market trends: It doesn't matter what you're doing—launching a new product, planning inventory, etc. A sales analysis report will help you uncover hot market opportunities and must-know trends to make the most of your efforts.
- Boost company profits: Top sales reps spend more time talking to high-quality leads. Sales analysis will help you identify the best prospects so that your team can close more deals. It will also reveal information regarding your non-customers, which can be used to sharpen your sales pitch and personalize future marketing strategies.
- Improve customer satisfaction: Finally, sales analysis will help you understand what customers want and why they buy. These details can be used to forge deeper bonds with your target audience that lead to more upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
Does the idea of sales analysis have you hot and bothered? Great! Now I'll show you a proven, four-step process you can use to analyze the metrics and KPIs that matter to you.
How to Perform Sales Analysis: A 4-Step Process
You're ready to take the plunge and generate your sales analysis report—but how? Follow this four-step process, and you'll have sales analysis wrapped around your finger in no time!
Step 1: Choose the Right Sales Analysis Method
Different sales analysis methods will allow you to generate different kinds of reports. So, before you do anything else, choose a method that aligns with your sales goals.
Here are seven specific sales analysis reports you need to know about:
- Sales trend analysis: This type of sales analysis looks for patterns in sales data. Use it to track your team's progress towards its sales goals, while simultaneously understanding sales patterns in specific products, customers, and/or geographies.
- Sales performance analysis: Sales performance analysis is crucial for effective sales performance management. This type of analysis will help you gauge your sales team's performance and evaluate the overall effectiveness of your sales strategy. Utilize it to compare actual results to expected outcomes, and then make necessary adjustments. Implementing these changes can lead to faster closing times, increased win rates, and a significant boost in revenue growth.(Dive into the world of CRM and its pivotal role in driving revenue growth.)
- Predictive sales analysis: This type of sales analysis is designed to help you predict future risks and opportunities. Use it to create accurate sales forecasts.
- Sales pipeline analysis: This type of sales analysis will help you discover common sales activities prospects go through before they convert. As such, it will give your sales team the context it needs to shorten sales cycles and close more deals.
- Product sales analysis: This type of sales analysis is perfect for large companies and/or companies with extensive product offerings. Why? Because it helps them determine which products actually affect their bottom lines. Use it to better understand your company's demographics, pinpoint popular products, and the like.
- Prescriptive analysis: This type of sales analysis will empower your sales reps with knowledge, helping them determine which opportunities to pursue and which to dump like radioactive waste. Use it to increase rep success and team-wide win rates.
- Market research: This type of sales analysis may seem old-fashioned, but it's never gone out of style. To use this technique, simply survey your customers, research your competitors through web scraping using curl proxy for greater efficiency and reliability, and read general sales statistics. Once you do, you'll have a much better understanding of your customer's needs, thereby improving your sales effectiveness.
Step 2: Identify the Specific Information You Need
You've chosen the perfect sales analysis method. It just seems to get you and the sales goals you want to achieve. Congratulations! But your work is far from over…
Now you need to identify the specific bits of information that you need. For example, you might want to measure the impact of your sales training efforts. Or find the top-selling product from a recent marketing campaign. Or determine similarities between repeat customers.
When you know what information you need, you can choose metrics and KPIs that will help you acquire, track, and measure it. We'll talk about this a bit more in the next section.
Before we get there, though, we need to talk about timing—as in, what time frames should you collect data for? The answer to that question will depend on the metrics you're tracking, but weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly time periods are pretty common.
Just remember, consistency is essential, regardless of which metrics you decide to monitor. With that in mind, plan to conduct analysis more frequently during special promotions.
Step 3: Choose a Sales Analysis Tool and Analyze Your Data
Your sales analysis efforts are going strong! To keep them that way, invest in an analytics tool to help you get the most out of every metric you decide to track. Here are a few ideas:
- Spreadsheets: You gotta love the classics, right? A spreadsheet tool like Microsoft Excel can help you analyze and interpret your sales data. Just make sure that you have sufficient quantity and quality of data before you get started. If you don't, you won't be able to make informed decisions that propel your company forward. (Note: sidle on up to these report templates to make spreadsheet reporting way easier!)
- CRM software: Every sales organization needs a CRM. How else will you store contact information, automate email sequences, and view sales pipelines from one sales dashboard? Newsflash: your CRM tool can also be used for sales analysis. If you use Close, for example, you can easily generate reports for any metric or KPI, including detailed pipeline and funnel reports, which will help you with sales forecasting.
- Sales analytics apps: Some tools are completely dedicated to sales analysis. Chorus.ai, for example, will help you analyze sales calls and pinpoint areas of improvement. Gong.io will help you report on customer interactions and forecast future sales. And Seismic will help you calculate the effect of your sales enablement efforts.
At the end of the day, choose the sales analysis tool to help you accomplish your goals. Look for substance, not style. We all know you'll make better business decisions with the right data analytics tools in your toolbox.
Step 4: Share Your Results with Relevant Stakeholders
Last but not least, you need to present your sales data analysis to key stakeholders.
Unless you’re asked to share the process by which you arrived at your results, only show the main findings. You can use graphs and visuals to help your audience interpret the data. Additionally, employing tools like the revenue growth calculator can be instrumental in visualizing and comprehending complex sales data effectively.
For example: If you lead a sales team and want to share information regarding sales team performance with your CEO, you might want to include charts around your sales goals, your best-selling products, and the revenue and expenses of your team.
Overall, your sales analysis presentations should share actionable insights and be easy to understand. End with recommendations to help accomplish this goal.
Seeking sales excellence? Discover the power of challenger selling strategies.
Choosing the Sales Analysis Metrics and KPIs That Matter
At this point, you know exactly how to perform an in-depth sales analysis—just follow the four-step process above. Now you need to choose a few KPIs to monitor.
Here are 10 metrics you'll probably end up tracking at some point. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of KPIs. If you want that, check out this article when you're done with this one.
1. Monthly Sales Growth
This metric will give you the juicy deets on your overall sales revenue. Is it going up, going down, or holding steady? When you know, you can better optimize your sales processes.
2. Sales Opportunities
This KPI will tell you about the opportunities your sales reps create. It can be used to determine good and bad-fit prospects, which makes it useful for sales prospecting.
3. Lead Conversion Rate
This metric will help you understand why and how leads are converted. This information can then be used to design a foolproof customer acquisition plan for your company.
4. Average Conversion Time
This KPI is all about productivity. Track it to determine how long it takes for leads to convert into paying customers. You can also combine it with other metrics, like lead conversion rate and total sales opportunities, for a handy bird’s eye view of your company's sales pipeline.
5. Monthly Onboarding and Demo Calls Booked
This metric will help you understand the health of your sales funnel. Why? Because prospects that make it to the demo and/or onboarding stages of your funnel are likely to convert.
6. Pipeline Value
This KPI will tell you the amount of revenue you can expect to generate from the sales opportunities in your department's pipeline, within a specific time frame.
7. Sales Targets
This metric will share historical data regarding team performance. Want to know the amount of revenue generated or the number of product subscriptions sold? This metric will help.
8. Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)
This is an extremely popular KPI—with good reason. Track it to learn how much revenue the average customer generates for your company during their lifetime, based on the average deal size and how long your customers stay with you. Then use it to predict future revenue, make informed decisions about customer acquisition, etc..
9. Calls and Emails Per Rep
This metric will tell you how many calls and emails your sales team makes every day, week, and month. It can be used to evaluate productivity and to identify broken sales funnels.
Want to amplify your sales results? Dive into our comprehensive guide on the best sales productivity tools available.
10. New and Expansion Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR)
These are important metrics for SaaS companies because they tell them how much revenue they generated this month, compared to last month. Brands can then use this information to determine the effectiveness of their sales and marketing teams, and help minimize churn.
How to calculate these two metrics:
Fall in Love with Sales Analysis
Sales analysis reports create accountability, reveal insights about one's customer base, the specific traits top-performing sales reps have… Honestly, they have the power to revolutionize your entire sales and decision-making processes, which is why they deserve your unending love and devotion.
The question is, which tool will you use to generate said reports? Here's my advice: choose Close. Our top-rated CRM platform has all the tools you need to create custom reports and monitor specific KPIs. Even better, you can try before you buy with this 14-day free trial.
That's right, I'm not asking you to put a ring on our hand just yet. Take us out on a date, see what we have to offer, then decide if you want to spend the rest of your life with us. (Or at least the rest of your sales career.) Something tells me we're a match made in heaven!
I want to try Close for free for 14 days. (Just say YES!!!)