How People Analytics Will Transform Sales


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Big data analytics comes in many forms and types. When the focus of big data is placed squarely on people, that’s when we get into the realm of people analytics. What’s important to distinguish between people analytics and other types of analytics is that the concept revolves around people within an organization, not on the outside of it. In other words, people analytics remains centered on internal analysis of employees. Many businesses are quickly realizing the benefits that come from adopting people analytics solutions, with numerous data scientists stepping up to offer their expertise in the matter. People analytics is all about people management, and through this lens it’s clear to see just how much it stands to transform a typical sales department, along with sales in general.

While still a relatively new field, when people analytics is used for sales management, companies are able to collect detailed data on each individual salesperson. Data can be recorded about their activities, their interactions with customers, their use of mobile devices (a particularly important feature when a company has a bring your own device policy), and even their moods. What makes people analytics especially versatile is the fact that through the right analytics tools, managers can gather this information and analyze it all in real time. This can give managers an incredibly detailed and accurate picture of the current state of their sales teams and how they change throughout the day, week, and year.

This sort of real time analysis of salespeople can become a tremendously helpful tool for sales managers to use in helping their sales teams reach their goals. By analyzing the data collected, they can determine if the amount of time employees are investing is actually paying off in solid results. In cases where salespeople are falling short of expectations, managers can respond immediately. All of this is in service of the overarching goal of improving the performances of salespeople. With easier management capabilities thanks to these big data analytics tools, managers now find themselves more capable in answering these challenges and solving problems as soon as they arise, not months or years after the fact.

All of these developments from people analytics comes down to better coaching for salespeople. With analytics tools, managers can gather data on performance metrics, helping them pinpoint specific weaknesses individual salespeople need to work on. If a weakness exists among several people, managers can even incorporate corrections into further training. People analytics also helps sales managers compare the performance of their salespeople, often correlating them to other performance indicators and established goals. Some of this information may even be revealed to entire sales teams as ways to motivate them to perform better. Creating another type of friendly competition among teams is one strategy managers may wish to employ, which is made all the easier thanks to the capabilities of people analytics.

Another advantage people analytics gives to sales departments is the ability to go beyond measuring performance. Managers may even get insight into how salespeople are feeling, how their moods fluctuate, and how that ultimately affects their jobs. In this sense, managers can better gauge if their salespeople are happy at work and if they’re achieving true job satisfaction. This all plays into sales performance, but it remains an important variable that is too often overlooked. Luckily, people analytics can help managers do something about it in an effort to increase sales and success.

Though there are plenty of advantages, concerns have arisen over the use of people analytics. Some have expressed worry over what it means for the privacy of the individuals being analyzed by management. Others say this makes managers too reliant on raw numbers, databases, and dashboards rather than interacting with their workers. These criticisms should be taken into serious consideration when organizations adopt people analytics for their sales teams. Sales departments should look at people analytics as simply another tool with which to measure performance and outcomes. Even so, it’s clear that people analytics could revolutionize sales teams in ways never previously imagined.

Rick Delgado
Freelance Writer
I've been blessed to have a successful career and have recently taken a step back to pursue my passion of writing. I've started doing freelance writing and I love to write about new technologies and how it can help us and our planet. I also occasionally write for tech companies like Dell.


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