Why sales analysis is key to your profitability
Sales analysis can empower your workforce, giving them the critical information they need to make better, faster, more profitable decisions. Sales analysis – as part of an effective business intelligence strategy – can be vital in terms of increasing sales, and, more importantly, increasing profitability.
Sales analysis gives you the insights you need to dissect every aspect of your sales process. You can drill down into factors such customers, products, margins, revenues, volumes, budgets, targets, sales people, geographies, orders, deliveries, invoices and forward order books.
Having this level of sales analysis at the fingertips can allow you to keep much closer control over profitability and the overall performance of your business.
Sales analysis provides you with answers not questions
Effective sales analysis gives your workforce the ability to make data-driven decisions, based on hard facts rather than gut instinct. Not only that, but these decisions can also be made a lot faster as an effective sales analysis solution gives you the ability to see changes in performance as they occur, in as close to real-time as necessary.
A single version of the truth means you get the answers you need, when you need them, without having to worry about conflicting information sources which raise more questions than they answer. This one version of the truth can drastically increase productivity as less time is wasted arguing over whose report is more accurate, and more time is spent actually doing something about it.
What’s more, with a self-service business intelligence solution, you can provide your sales force with the ability to conduct sales analysis reporting on their own, without technical expertise.
This information can even be collated into sales analysis dashboards, which are a great way to digest large volumes of sales data easily.
Providing users with access to these sales analysis tools via the Cloud means that they are able to gain insight wherever they are, on a range of devices.
Find your most profitable customers
Sales analysis allows you to better understand your customers, the products they are buying and the reasoning behind this behaviour. In doing so, it becomes much easier to highlight your most profitable customers, and keeping these customers engaged with your business can be the key to increasing overall profitability.
Identifying these ‘sticky’ customers – those who are more likely to stay loyal to your business – can be extremely beneficial. It is usually much cheaper to serve existing customers than it is to win new ones as you do not have to factor in the acquisition costs involved such as advertising, marketing and sign-up discounts.
Sales analysis can also help you formulate more effective pricing strategies based on insights surrounding customer behaviour. The price sensitivity of these loyal customers is likely to diminish as engagement with the brand strengthens.
We’re comparing prices across customers and across our global markets with a view to enhancing margins, and getting the best value from our sales.Stephen McCandless, Finance Director, Tullis Russell
Loyal, and more importantly satisfied customers are likely to aid your business in other ways. They are more likely to recommend your business to others, whether this is via word of mouth or online reviews and this can be a great way to drive increased sales.
What’s working – and what isn’t
With sales analysis, it’s not just your most profitable customers who can be identified.
The information obtained can also help you to establish factors such as your highest-performing sales agents, your most profitable sales channels and your most effective marketing campaigns.
Being able to analyse these successes and attribute them to a particular action can allow your business to better focus efforts and resources into this area.
And on the other end of the spectrum, yet perhaps more importantly, sales analysis can tell you what’s going wrong too.
In terms of increasing profitability, most of the time we talk about increasing sales and selling at a higher price. However, equally important is the ability to keep control of costs and promote internal efficiencies which allow a higher profit margin to be achieved.
Highlighting areas of underperformance in operations, production, distribution, labour and so on can help you understand the factors that might be eating away at your profitability. Leveraging this information, strategic decisions can be made to try and rectify these issues in order to improve the bottom line.
To find out more about improving your sales analysis capabilities, download our free guide below