4 Ways Sales Coaches Can Leverage Data to Win the Game

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Travis PattersonIn this special guest feature, Travis Patterson, Chief Revenue Officer at Aviso talks about the virtues of a data-centric perspective surrounding the sales process. Travis Patterson is Chief Revenue Officer of Aviso, a company that provides a data science driven sales platform to help sales teams optimize their performance and exceed their revenue goals. Travis has a track record of building sales teams and driving revenue, with a focus on large enterprise customers in complex sales environments. Over the past 18 years, Travis has served in global sales leadership positions in private and public technology companies. Most recently, Travis was SVP of Worldwide Sales at CipherCloud, where he oversaw global sales and sales engineering. 

Being a great coach is about bringing out the best in people and helping them achieve more than they could ever imagine. It’s about sharing stories, insights and tips to help inspire individual players, and teams, to be more effective. Although this is definitely true of athletic coaches, the same holds for sales coaches. They work with sales leadership and reps to help them meet — and exceed — their quarterly goals and win the game. In fact, sales coaching can potentially increase top-line revenue by up to 20 percent, according to CEB. Unfortunately, most sales organizations lack any structured systems or tools to give sales leadership the right content and context to coach from.

Sales coaches of the past relied primarily on storied histories, rules of thumb and traditional ways of doing things. One thing is resoundingly clear. The business of sales has changed dramatically over the last few years. Although data isn’t a replacement for good sales discipline and intuition, data can help any sales coach and team up their game. Here’s how.

Take off the Rose-Colored Glasses and Get the Wax out of your Ears

Data can help separate fiction from reality when it comes to where a deal sits in a pipeline. Raw, unbiased information can help sales executives, managers and reps — in concert with their sales coach — to have a great starting point. Then, a more detailed conversation can happen around which deals are on track or in trouble.

At Scale, Data Can Identify At-Risk Deals Before You Can

Data science can be used to monitor the “health” of deals. When deals are at risk, or showing signs that they are about to fall off a “winning trajectory,” a sales coach or manager can be alerted immediately, which can prompt a conversation with the sales rep about the deal and corrective action that can be taken. By providing early alerts and identifying swing deals, data-driven sales coaching is a powerful tool to help reps nail their sales targets.

Fail to Learn from History, And You’re Doomed to Repeat it

Thoughtfully analyzing deal histories from over the last few quarters or years, paying special attention to seasonal patterns, can help predict which deals are more likely to move to the next stage and how sensitive they are to effort. When you’re managing a team and closing deals, you cannot effectively do this at scale. You need help…. This is where data science can assist. This information can be used by coaches and sales managers in their 1:1’s with reps to identify which deals to prioritize and which deals to push off until next quarter.

The Score Matters

Advanced sales analytics applications score each deal based on the probability a deal will close within a given month or quarter. A great sales coach can analyze these scores and help identify previously undiscovered upsides. You will need these deals to backfill if any of your current deals slip. For example, a deal that has a “decent” score, but isn’t in “Commit” is the topic of worthwhile discussion to determine what actions are needed to close the Commit-to-Target gap.

Sales coaching done right can be a game-changer. With the advent of advanced analytical applications, sales coaches have an even more powerful set of tools in their arsenal to improve their clients’ sales effectiveness.


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