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The quality of a sales manager is most often defined by their decision-making ability and capability to increase revenue. Unfortunately, sales managers are unknowingly hampering their ability to make good decisions by not embracing the new decisions making tools and thinking available. This lack of judgement is directly affecting competitiveness and timely actions.

Those managers and teams that are winning and delivering increased revenue have moved from Data-Driven Decisions to Analytic-Driven Decisions? However, what does this even mean?

For many years companies have relied on data-driven decision-making to manage their organisations, particularly sales. Data drawn from the financial systems of the company deemed the most accurate source and considered the best way to make informed decisions. A popularised method of management decision-making, it can also be a little misleading giving rise to poor decisions as the information languishes to stay relevant.

Companies that are making sound relevant and timely decisions rely on analytics-driven decision-making.

In a recent survey by EY, 81% of respondents agree that data should be at the heart of all decisions. The concern is which is the better decision-making tool – data or analytics-driven decision making? And what’s the difference?

Data-driven decision making refers to the process of making business decisions with an emphasis on a quantitative approach. The volume of product sold and the volume customers are purchasing. It relies on number crunching and data processing to produce number-based information. The data can be used to generate foretelling outcomes but is assumed that all historical trends will become future outcomes. This data is more related to numbers in, and numbers out and typically is generated around financial reporting. This style of reporting although raising confidence in its origin fails to provide quality decision-making for the future due to the lack of variables being included.

However, analytics support predictive modelling and is defined as the detection and communication of meaningful trends in data. The analytics-driven decision-making takes decisions one step further than data and provides a view of multiple layers for consideration in predictive modelling. It shows varying factors that influence the decision-making process, through many layers of information. It is a different way to make decisions, which can be more effective and timely. You are managing the future through a combination of trends.

Although a key metric in the measurement of sales can be the type of products and transaction total, it does not provide the full picture of what is happening and why. It does not provide the ability to manage the horizon of where you will take the business and the improvements that can be achieved. For marketing and sales, analytics-driven decisions can deliver improvements in both the top and bottom line results by making smart adjustments in the business, timely.

The traditional metrics of revenue, product sales by line, and customer sales by product are still viewed. The multiple layering of predictive data over that information and looking at other key drivers and levers is the advantage. When applied to the data, it gives insight into trends and provides more accurate predictive modelling.

For sales, this information and foresight can have an immediate impact on the quality of decisions. Corrections can be made timely that maximise the performance of the organisation. An increase in revenue through smarter and timely decisions that contributes to a lowering of costs to acquire new customers and retain existing customers.

For marketing, using analytic-driven data can assist in improving campaign performance as deeper insights uncover subtle and critical trends in responses to campaigns.

By focusing on an analytics-driven decision-making process, companies can concentrate on the what and why, and take more control over their business and decisions being made. The analytics-driven data provides an in-depth dataset of information combining layers of important trends for the entire customer experience. From a customer’s first touch with marketing through to the acquisition of the customer. From the initial purchases to the lifetime value of the customer.

For many years, we have worked in assisting companies to shift from data-driven decisions to analytics-driven? We referred to the process as Sales Focus Money Ball™ as it aptly reflects the experience of the famous baseball team, the Oaklands Athletics turning to analytics to become one of the top teams in baseball history.

Sales Focus Money Ball™ is the solution for initiating the shift to becoming analytics-driven for sales and marketing. It provides the right tools and training to create smarter and more timely decisions.

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It creates a seamless deployment, ensuring optimisation of business performance and minimising risk during the implementation phases.

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