Construction and maintenance – for more sales at lower costs
Challenge sales database
The purpose of a successful sales team within indirectly sales is increasing sales per se. There are many different ways to achieve this goal. A very efficient and, above all, continuous way is the use of data for successful sales. Not just to increase sales. But also to reduce the budget spent on it. The following blog discusses some topics to consider when building and running a sales database.
Data – the basis of a sales database
Not really a big surprise. First and foremost, these are certainly current sales data and stocks at all levels of the indirect sales process. Own logistics, if necessary distribution and sub-distribution and of course the trading partners themselves. This raw data usually has to be evaluated with a price to be defined. Plan and forecast values as well as cost information can also be relevant here. But process data relating to sales activity can also be part of the sales database.
Data – Standardization and professional processing
Data is usually already available or can be organized relatively easily by the sales partners after discussions. However, the manager is already faced with a first major challenge. The available data usually is transmitted in different formats and structures. Periods don’t match, or links aren’t easily created. Processing several hundred data sources per month professionally and comprehensibly is a matter of luck. Not to forget, of course, a potentially high manual effort to bring the incoming data into the right form. In addition, there is the risk that the know-how is often only bundled with one person.
The solution to all these challenges is a structured, traceable and largely automated process. This is the only way to ensure that all relevant data is standardized, structured and stored in a form that can be analyzed in a consistently high quality. This is the only way to make subsequent updates or adjustments that occur again and again.
How does the data become information?
In many sales areas, spreadsheets are still one of the most important tools for analyzing and sharing sales data. For all its undeniable benefits, a spreadsheet is just one component of turning data into information. Because the requirements of a professional sales database go far beyond the normal possibilities of a spreadsheet. Of course, very complex and, above all, supposedly simple solutions can be built up with this. But as soon as information for the optimization of indirect sales is to be obtained professionally, uniformly and regularly from data, spreadsheets reach their limits.
The solution is a uniform sales database. This should contain all data, relevant structures and key figures. This should be able to handle year-on-year comparisons, summations such as YTD, and complex key figures such as determining an ROI. All colleagues can access it from all devices at any time and automatically contain new data.
The further processing of the structured and prepared key figures contained in the sales database is then carried out in suitable tools. Of course, this is where the spreadsheet comes into play again. Combined with the sales database, amazing things can be achieved. But specialized tools such as Power BI or Tableau are also available here. Or – the supreme discipline, so to speak – predefined dashboards for optimal management of the indirect sales channel.
Do you already have a sales database for the indirect channel? What experiences have you gained? What are the most important issues for you? We would be happy to discuss with you.