Finding important information in a sea of data is a huge relief to any sales manager. But this search for data organization can become a real odyssey in the already troubled routine of these professionals.

And if there is a department that is overflowing with data, it is without a doubt the sales department. Almost everything in sales needs to be measurable and easy to interpret at the same time, which explains the need for dashboards in the sales routine. However, not everything is perfect. Implementing an optimized and simplified routine that guarantees easy access to this information is often not as quick a task as it seems.

This problem is exacerbated by the complexity to implement this type of tool. If it is not possible to integrate different types of platforms, and centralize everything in a sales panel, this already difficult scenario makes the data management routine even more impractical.

In this article, we'll give you amazing tips on how to simplify the tracking of KPIs through the adoption of a sales analytics tool, and how not to fall into traps along the way towards automation.

What is a sales analytics tool?

Sales teams have a multitude of KPIs that need to be constantly measured. Whether they are MQLs, SQLs, Opportunities, MRR, ARR, ACV, LTV, CAC, there are a large volume of KPIs that, if well managed, help empower the decision-making process. However, managing all these data can be a complex task. This is where a sales analytics tool come in handy.

A sales analytics tool has a visual representation of all important data in a single and informative dashboard. The purpose of this type of dashboard is to provide an easily understandable overview of your metrics, allowing salespeople and managers to track the team's progress toward stipulated goals. Business dashboards are also especially useful when creating sales strategies, setting goals, stipulating bonuses, and identifying areas in need of improvement.

Your sales analytics tool should also allow the entire team to monitor their performance on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis, and it can even be used in a motivational way to foster friendly competition among internal sales teams.

What are the difficulties when adopting a sales analytics tool?

Most businesses today have a similar process to ensure they measure their data correctly. They initially create their own database, which will then be connected to a CRM through an API (executing the organization of the information at this stage), so they can finally connect the CRM to a data visualization tool — the famous sales dashboard. Some companies choose to directly connect their CRMs to dashboards, however, in this format, any integration problems or CRM filling errors can lead to a poor quality of information.

In this model, you have to involve IT teams, data scientists, sales operations, data engineers and others — and also invest a lot of money and time. (Not to mention the constant maintenance of these integrations.)

Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the possibility of making this implementation process as simplified as possible. We will help you cut through these crooked paths towards a more simple and effective data analysis.

How to adopt a sales analytics tool?

All tools are built on the principle of providing to the sales team with a graphical representation of important numbers. Below is a simple checklist of what you need to do when adopting a sales tool:

• Identify the sales metrics and KPIs you need to track
• Identify where this data is stored (CRM, Excel, Google Spreadsheets, etc)
• Evaluate a sales analytics tools company based on your key requirements
• Organize and correctly integrate your current platforms with the new tool
• Share the new tool with your team to drive adoption

Insight Sales is the only sales analytics tool that integrates with a CRM in less than 1 minute. Insight Sales was designed with an architecture that prevents errors when filling out the CRM, also avoiding imprecision of KPIs. There are more than 120 business rules that guarantee the accuracy of your data.

When should I use a sales analytics tool?

Data overload is a scenario many companies are facing today. The need and desire for more and more data can get in the way of the reason it matters in the first place: providing clear, reliable and up-to-date information for better business decisions.

Unfortunately, in many cases, dashboards and reports aren't just useless—they're even detrimental to thegood course of business.

If a tool is not efficient enough, executives and decision makers can end up wasting their valuable time trying to understand these dashboards, which defeats the purpose of this type of technology. If they fail to gain insights in a short period, that time will be wasted, time that could have been spent evaluating other tools that actually help them improve the company's sales performance.

So here's a simple question you should ask yourself for every platform you currently work with: "How many decisions or actions have been taken using this particular tool in the last 2 months?"

If the answer is zero - and you'll be surprised how often this happens - then don't use this tool anymore.

Why are sales analytics tools critical to your company's success?

Sales tools offer many advantages that allow you to improve your process, including:

1. Allow teams to work toward the same goals and KPIs

Intuitive and user-friendly tools allow managers and salespeople to easily track individual and team KPIs in real-time. This is the key to understand where your salespeople or SDRs need more training or coaching, and also where managers should recognize the team's greatest strengths. The team as a whole can use these insights to motivate each other to achieve individual and common goals. (After all, it's always more rewarding to share your success with a group that supports you.)

2. Produces more accurate sales forecasts

Forecasting sin ales is one of the most complex parts of a manager's job. Market trends, fast changes in consumer behavior and economic fluctuations make it difficult to adequately forecast future sales. So, by ensuring high quality real-time and historical data, you can reduce the margin of error and produce more accurate forecasts.

3. Saves time manually exporting data from a CRM and moving to spreadsheets

Digging up data manually and exporting it from CRM to spreadsheets to create reports is a tedious and time-consuming task. No salesperson (or even managers) in the world would prefer to go through all that work rather than selling, and a sales dashboard relieves them of that burden, as well as reduce the usual human errors that follow manual data management.

4. Increase time to focus on selling

Tools can eliminate the burden of manual processes for data entry, reporting, searching for information, and more. When they have all the information they need at their fingertips, salespeople are guaranteed more time to do what they do best: sell. Inefficient processes cause reps to spend 64.8% of their time on non-revenue administrative activities, but the right tools free up that time for more impactful tasks for your business.

5. Centralizes data for better-informed decisions

By centralizing all your sales data in one dashboard, your team won't have to track, manage, and analyze data from disparate sources. A single, easily accessible source of truth centralizes everything in one place and ensures clean, reliable data that you can use to make insight-based decisions and improve your processes.

6. Get a holistic view of key sales data

A sales analytics tool gives you a comprehensive, macro-level view of all the relevant data you need when evaluating your process, tracking salespeople, and more. A bird's-eye perspective helps managers easily understand all aspects of their operation—including activities, sales funnel, and overall performance—so they get a clear view of what's working and what's not working in the business.

The Wrap

Sales analytics tools are a valuable tecnology and can provide you with more comprehensive information about your end-to-end business process. They centralize and present real-time historical data in a simple and effective way to help you make data-driven decisions.

These sales dashboards are most effective when carefully implemented, helping leaders and salespeople gain actionable insights quickly, and this is an investment that should definitely be considered if you are looking for more efficient data management.