The Sabermetrics of Sales


On this, MLB's Trade Deadline Day, I figure I'll tackle what salespeople can learn from the new advancements in The National Pastime. The vast majority of professional baseball teams use advanced analytics to inform their decision-making process. Notice I did not say 'decide'...but 'inform'. I never want to take gut feeling out of the equation. Your gut feelings, whether sales or baseball, are based off of thousands of personal data points...and those are critical to trust. That said, decisions that people should make, when they have an impact on performance, should be a combination of feel and analytics. The analytics should either confirm your gut or it should challenge your gut in a way that creates a healthy decision-making process.

There are plenty of new analytics in sales that pro sports teams have started, and should continue to start to look at, to help inform the process for their salespeople. That said, there are some things that young salespeople can do on their own to support themselves. So what are some analytics young sales people should be looking at to help inform their sales process?

Sales Commission Calculator:

You, salesperson! How much money do you want to make this year? We know that working in sports means your base salary is not going to be incredibly high, so we need to place an effort . Find that number and work backwards, ultimately dictating how much you need to produce in revenue to earn the dollar figure you want. Taking control over this process makes it tangible for you to find your way to what you want to make. The more ownership you take, the more likely you are to reach that number.

Pipeline Management:

I am adamant that salespeople young and old need to utilize a pipeline management document. This is a document that looks at your monthly revenue goals, your current monthly results, and looks at your potential business to help inform a salesperson how they can better focus their time.

Take the above for example. In this pipeline management document the results show that between my current monthly revenue and my potential monthly revenue would lead to a $1,750 shortfall. This would mean that I would need to focus my time on bringing in new business because even if I closed at 100% of my pipeline, my results would not be good enough.

But what if my results showed us finishing over goal by $1,750? That would mean that, even though we would focus time on new business, the majority of our time should be focused on ensuring our business crossed the finish line AND doing things to set us up for future success down the line.

Again, these are two small things a salesperson can start to do to look analytically at their own business. These small steps also speak to accountability. The more accountable you are to yourself and your business, the more successful you will be. Use analytics to inform your actions, control the controllables, and you'll dominate sales.


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