The latest South African Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SACCI) Business Confidence Index rose to a three-month high of 94.1 up from 92 in the previous month. This is attributed to the recovery of external trade and retail sales following the easing of Covid-19 restrictions and the end of the travel ban imposed by several countries.
However, to continue this upward trajectory, businesses, especially small businesses that are the lifeblood of South Africa’s economy, need to find further ways to improve their sales in 2022 and beyond.
Zane van Rooyen, product marketing manager at field sales management CRM and mobile ordering app Skynamo, says that one of the most valuable assets businesses can use is data analytics, but many are not tapping into this gold mine. This is reflected in a survey by McKinsey which revealed that 57% of businesses worldwide are not using data analytics effectively to drive sales.
“Accurate data and analysis are crucial for attracting potential customers, closing prospective deals, and empowering teams to make more informed decisions. Information such as shopping preferences, age, gender, occupation, and even marital status gives them the ability to smartly segment their customer base,” says van Rooyen. “Crunching the data will ensure that sales teams segment their customer base in a way that specifically targets diverse groups at varying times on different platforms – a strategy that is bound to bring big benefits.”
Creating unique value propositions
Van Rooyen points out that another key component in creating sales success is to formulate value propositions. “When properly executed, value propositions have proved to give companies the edge over their competitors. However, only a few companies do this well.
“In its most basic form, the value proposition is the “why” someone should do business with you,” he adds. “It’s important to note that it should extend well beyond an added incentive, a catchphrase, or a positioning statement.”
Instead, it is a business’ ace, says van Rooyen. “It’s the value it offers that exceeds competitors and positions the company as the solution to its customer’s needs. “It requires a headline, a subhead, the very reason why someone should do business with you. It is your heartbeat, defining who you are as an organisation.”
He says that when a business combines data analysis with its value proposition, it instantly results in a powerful sales tool to unleash. “Consider the scenario: Your sales team has carefully analysed the data, formulated a customer profile, and learned the core value proposition of the company. They are now confident enough to engage or target a customer, knowing the product or service on offer speaks directly to the specific needs of the prospect completely. Their confidence and knowledge of the customer and the product or service are a winning combination,” he explains.
Driving sales team productivity
Creating sales success through data-driven leads is based on a lot of factors, but integrity ranks very high. “It takes a sales team treating every lead with the respect they deserve. It means analysing all the data for each lead, formulating a persona, and doing due diligence. It takes a realisation that each potential lead forms an integral part of the development of the buyer persona you are creating,” says van Rooyen.
“Sales teams that conduct a granular analysis of their closed/won and closed/lost opportunities provide valuable insight into what went wrong with a deal and why,” he points out. “It opens the door to discussions on the sales cycle, the process followed, the discussions held with the prospect. Then the most crucial aspect: why the deal tanked. Teams need to be developed to analyse their successes, as well as failures, is an important skill to instil in the overall pursuit of your sales success story.”
Technology paves the way
“Sales success is created by cleverly merging data analysis, lead generation and improved customer experiences,” says van Rooyen. “Businesses that can master this report higher lead conversions and sustained success.”
Today technology solutions allow sales teams to spend more time in the field while still balancing the administrative requirements involved in carefully assessing and analysing data, he adds. “Thanks to the fourth industrial revolution, we have field sales apps and programmes that allow businesses to tap into one of their most valuable resources, data, and now is the time for companies to embrace this or be left behind,” van Rooyen concludes.