Using data in your day to day sales role is the new normal, but have you thought about how to store, access and use it to help make sense of your sales career? Do you routinely use it to measure and analyze your personal sales success on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis? Do you compare notes with teammates? Salespeople at other companies? Is that enough data for you to feel good about it as a reference point? Do you happen to have a safe, organized place to store your data as you shift from company to company? Is it in a spreadsheet? A little black book? How about that old Windows machine sitting in your closet? You may be data driven when it comes to plugging in to your sales organization’s sales stack, but with a demanding job, accurately collecting and analyzing data to measure your career growth and upside can prove challenging.
At Upsider, we are excited to be joining the movement towards a more data driven everything in sales by helping to connect your personal sales data with your career. Data focused tools are being inserted into the modern day sales stack, integrating with your CRM and making analyzing data a great habit. There are also data driven sales enablement tools that drive internal competitions and gamification. In the day to day, salespeople have become more comfortable and learning how to take advantage of the fire hose of data. While salespeople across many industries are being armed with loads of sales data from all different sources, we noticed that not many are not taking the same approach with their career. We were surprised that they use it to call the right prospect at the right time and convert more leads, but didn’t think about using data proactively to identify the perfect company at the right time to upgrade their career. We think it’s time to start applying this approach to your own sales career. It all starts with taking control. It’s clear, salespeople that can accurately store, track and leverage their personal sales data will accelerate their career growth and earnings potential the fastest.
Your personal sales data is your responsibility
Using a CRM like Salesforce is an essential tool for sales management and tracking your your day to day activity. Independently tracking your own success metrics these days across companies is highly recommended. With the average tenure for salespeople moving under two years, you will have more than a few stops on your way to the top. From daily prospecting activity to individual deals to quarterly and annual roll up metrics — you are creating a large amount of metadata. From year to year and company to company, it’s important to track and keep this data organized on your own. It’s not just an important tool for interviewing and winning a new sales jobs, it can help you close deals, push for internal salary adjustments or promotions and give you peace of mind as you move through the ranks at your company.
Data analysis is the new sales interview strategy
Sure, a fist bump from your VP of Sales or high fives from teammates and eating up the satisfaction of closing a big deal in the moment is awesome. What about all of the data and information – the context, of why it was a such an important deal at that point in time for your company and your career? What if you are asked about a landmark deal in an interview three years down the road trying to win an amazing sales job opportunity? Are you going to be able provide a rich, data driven response and land the job? Companies, sales teams and even some of the most well known VC’s are pushing the sales interview process to become more data driven. This means you must be organized and you come be prepared to defend and validate your success with data.
One of the most asked interview questions for sales candidates is why they would like to work at the interviewing company. If can spend time on discovery up front and learn the average order value, sales cycle, who the decision maker typically is, you are off to a great start. You are then able to answer that question matching your data up – and proving the role, sales process and company are the logical next step in your career. A thoughtful, prepared and data driven salesperson thinking logically about getting to the next step is a dream sales candidate. This will make you most desirable because it’s not just about a base pay bump, it’s you proving you are being realistic and measured to ensure you’ll enjoy success and tenure in the next step in sales your career. With average sales tenure at less than 2 years these days, that’s huge for employers and hiring teams.
Your deal history can help you win deals in the future
Fast forward six years from now. You land a big time enterprise account executive job and you are feeling good. You happen to find yourself selling into similar decision makers in that same industry from six years prior. You now have to build a new sales pipeline, where do you start? Of course, those decision makers from six years ago. The problem is, you remember the decision maker’s name and closing the deal, but the relationship details are a bit fuzzy. Did they have kids? Where were the from originally? Favorite sports teams? What was their budget at the time? Are you going to have the data to unlock the value you helped provide six years ago and make it possible to get your foot back in the door?
How valuable would it be to reach out to that prospect with a thoughtful note, saying that you would like to catch up and ask if they were still surviving raising their four boys? Or, you could work the sports angle, talk a little smack and get the conversation started. Having the budget number will help you prepare – you are more likely to get the update when you can say, “I remember your budget for software was $80k, have the powers that be invested more in your department?” Using relationship data in prospecting can work, because you are starting in a more human way and can add facts making outreach inherently less salesy.
Start capturing sales career right now
The data behind your performance and deals are hugely important assets. Because of this, we here at Upsider have built two specific tools for individual salespeople to easily keep track of their data. First, our annual metrics tracker, serves as “the back of your sales baseball card”, and gives you the first home to store and track your metrics year to year. Second, we’ve built a personal “Deal CRM.” It will allow you to store your landmark deals, keep key contact info from decision makers, and most importantly all the important data behind each deal. Most importantly privacy is our number one priority, as this is your data, we do not share it directly with anyone.
When you start to store and track your career sales data, you are taking the first step in ensuring you are always prepared and informed to take advantage of the future opportunities that may arise to help you exceed your career goals. Start organizing and tracking your data whether it’s a spreadsheet, notebook, or via your Upsider account, it’s important to start today!