Today’s CRMs are a double-edged sword. They act as a database for all your sales team’s activities by storing detailed information on existing customers and new leads. Yet, all this raw information can actually slow down your sales team.
How? Because it’s difficult to extract patterns and draw insights from spreadsheets and detailed reports, especially at a glance. Before a team has a chance even to digest the information they’re likely nodding off or having traumatic flashbacks to statistics 101.
However, this kind of information is a lot easier to digest when you can manipulate data and create interactive maps. Humans are better at processing information presented in these formats. Studies show that 90 percent of the information transmitted to our brains is visual. Data visualization tools save your team time and increase efficiency and accountability.
Data Visualization Can Transform Your Sales Team
While CRM’s are an important tool for any salesperson, it may not be as accurate as you think (Gasp!). In fact, a study found on TopSalesWorld in 2015 suggested CRM adoption rates as low as 26%.
Let’s consider that for a second. That means that nearly 74% of the data is outdated, incorrect, and/or incomplete. So every day companies are making important business decisions using data that completely unreliable and unrepresentative.
The good news is, with the right mapping tools, your sales team can decrease errors, improve efficiency, and better execute across the board. Here are several ways opportunity visualization can benefit outside sales reps to only dedicate their time to accounts and tasks that drive the most results.
Source: Map My Customers
1. Map Out Your Opportunities
For most companies, data visualization for the sales team ends at creating digital leaderboards and sales reports. That’s fine for understanding the overall health and progress of your organization, but the truth is, your data could be working a lot harder for you and your team.
While data visualization tools come pretty standard with a CRM, it’s critical for sales teams to understand their progress and efficiently close deals. This can be accomplished by leveraging opportunity visualization tools.
Opportunity visualization wields the power of your data to show you where sales opportunities are for your team use it to gain deeper, actionable insights into the entire sales process.
While basic data visualization tools are essential for understanding the health of the overall sales team, opportunity visualization actually empowers a team to execute on the highest level.
Tools equipped with opportunity visualization provide sales teams with the power to see potential deals mapped in an area, gain a deeper understanding of where revenue is coming from, and even provide cadence management — all in real-time. This means your team can pivot and respond to needs proactively.
Alternatively, data visualization tools on a CRM only really allow you to see the result of your previous efforts. But reactive reporting like this leaves you no opportunity to right the ship.
“Taking advantage of actionable intelligence is key to building momentum and driving your teams into the green zone.”
Opportunity visualization is a crucial tool for the success of a sales team. When teams are able to visualize their sales opportunities, it’s easier to enable them, increases efficiency, and keeps them accountable.
2. Creates Accountability
Of course, visualizing your opportunity clusters is only the first step to using your data to its full potential. For it all to be successful, you need your reps to act on the information it provides.
This is often what really keeps sales managers up at night. Managers are forced to hold their traveling sales reps accountable. They must trust all appointments will be kept, and new leads approached so that enough deals can be closed.
The right opportunity visualization tool will allow reps to “check-in” to their appointments in real-time so managers can ensure their salespeople are on-task and where they need to be. In addition, auto check-in features make a CRM more accurate by reducing the need for reps to manually enter their appointment into a spreadsheet or notebook.
Finding opportunities nearby is also an important accountability feature that can be easily visualized for a sales team. When your sales rep can find another opportunity close by if one cancels, they can spend their time more efficiently and effectively.
When accountability can be visualized and presented graphically, there’s less opportunity for misunderstandings or interpretation. Clear visualization of progress provides transparency to every level of the company and accountability for the results.
3. Provides Account and Revenue Snapshots
Of course, your CRM probably has a record of every current customer and opportunity. And while sales teams have sales quotas and target buyer personas and companies, how are they actually holding up in practice?
Opportunity visualization allows teams to identify patterns and relationships on a map they may not have been able to see before. Rather than looking at raw numbers, tools like heat mapping can give teams insight into where their sales or revenue are coming from so teams can better focus their efforts.
For example, check out the visibility this heatmap provides for this sales team. While their primary opportunities reside in North Carolina, this map helps them visualize their existing opportunity throughout the country.
Tools like these also help sales teams master the 80/20 rule, which claims 80% of your revenue is driven by 20% of your client base. Businesses often make the mistake of treating all opportunities equally, even though most of them won’t generate nearly as much income. With increased opportunity visualization, salespeople are better able to focus their time, energy, and attention on the opportunities that are most likely to pay off.
“Paddle away from the 20 percent of your customers who cause problems, and focus on the 20 percent who buy the most from you.”
When sales managers are equipped with data visualization tools, they are better able to identify market shifts as they’re happening, making them more responsive to changes and better communicators with their team.
All these data points can be a lot of information for a sales manager to juggle. Data visualization makes it easier to see which sales territories are performing the best and which accounts drive the most revenue.
4. Allows for Sales Team Alignment
Effective opportunity visualization ensures that all traveling sales reps are seeing the same data in the same way — with no room for interpretation. Without a data scientist on hand to explain it, it’s often difficult for non-number-enthusiasts to understand how various graphs and numbers interact or even relate to each other.
Most humans are visual learners. With data visualization tools, you can create reports that most humans are better programmed to understand. That likely means fewer questions about the data and more time using it to close deals.
With transparent, easy-to-read visualization tools, managers are also better equipped to coach the progress of their team. For instance, tools like automated deal tracking make the sales funnel transparent so the team can collectively see where improvements can be made.
For on-the-go teams, communication can be especially difficult. Visualizing data in maps can give powerful insights and transparency to rep activity and improve team communication. Using tools like sharing location pins, routes, automatic check-ins, and in-app messages make it a breeze for sales teams to communicate.
5. Help Tell A Story
A picture is worth a thousand words is a popular phrase for a reason. With the large volume of numbers involved in data visualization, you can even start to see a narrative.
Here’s something you can’t say about your intricate spreadsheets: it takes the human brain as little as 13 milliseconds to interpret an image. But in addition to being more digestible, visuals are also more interactive than hard data.
“Contemporary dataviz tools allow for a high degree of interactivity, motion, and animation… These types of visualizations allow users to easily and quickly ask and answer questions.”
Use visualization tools to interpret complex concepts and gain deeper insights into the progress and health of your sales team’s progress. Using a visualization tool like an interactive sales funnel can be extremely helpful. Once opportunity visualization is implemented, your team will be able to see where they should focus more of their attention.
Data visualization will help sales reps maintain high levels of motivation and accountability. Both salespeople and managers can point to the data and easily and quickly understand where they stand individually and among their peers.
Help Your Sales Team Help You
Since a lot of us are visual learners, it is vital that business data is fast, actionable, and easy to understand for everyone. Sales managers are always looking for ways to reduce windshield time. With that being said, it’s nearly impossible to emphasize the importance of opportunity visualization software.
For the sake of its success, your sales team shouldn’t be limited to the basic data visualization features that are offered on the average CRM. You can proactively leverage your data to make strategic, goal-oriented decisions in real-time with features that provide opportunity visualization like heat mapping and route optimization.
With Map My Customers, you can visualize opportunities and deals in the field with advanced visual sales reports such as auto check-in, sales routes, and account snapshots.
Start making data-driven decisions now. Save time and money with a 14-day free trial and get ahead of your competition.
Sign up for Our Newsletter
Stay up to date! Get all the latest & gretest posts delivered straight to your inbox
Looking for a new career opportunity?
From sales to customer success to engineering, we have a spot for someone like you. View all openings