Data Driven: Opportunity Unfolded

Creating value from data involving a sales team

This year in “Data Driven,” we’re exploring the opportunities unfolding in real time within the world of data-driven marketing. The single most important change recently is a single data analyst can now drive significant value using the powerful and affordable tools available in today’s information technology arena. Let’s look at the data processes involved with a sales team and the four parts required to create value with high ROI in this arena.

1. Every sales model should have a customized funnel, which summarizes the key elements that drive value. This is the foundation for identifying what specific elements drive value in your organization and the relationship between those elements. It is specifically these relationships that hold the opportunity to create value.

In the generic example of a sales funnel presented at right, there is a segmentation of leads determined by how qualified they are, followed by the key performance indicators (KPIs) of the sales process itself. Your business will have a custom set of milestones here.

2. The analysts must be involved early and often in planning how data will be collected and stored. Tables must be set up to store the data; analysts understand best what rules must be followed to ensure the integrity of the data itself. This integrity starts with how data is collected and then finds its way into the tables. Let’s look at two examples:

In any sales model, leads must be segmented into various groups depending on how qualified they are. Analysts can be instrumental in working with the individual(s) who develop consistent definitions to be followed, as well as setting up the specific process for how this data will be entered into your database. In our funnel example, there are three levels of lead quality to be defined. This means a record must be attached to each new-to-file lead which defines it as a “Good,” “Better” or “Best” lead.

Geoff Wolf is EVP of client strategy at the Mission, Kan.-based direct marketing agency J. Schmid & Associates.
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