Great sales and marketing performers have a tendency to put a lot of stock in their intuitive powers. They feel that their instincts give them a special insight into what will or won't work, regardless of analytics. But those numbers really do make a difference, intuition or no intuition -- and studying what they have to say and how they are formed can ultimately do tremendous things for your company's revenue.
When I was working in Argentina I had to recruit a great many people, and I would often hear comments like, "Yes, I know what the numbers are saying, but I have a really good feeling about this person's ability to succeed." But a close look at even the brightest, friendliest candidate's personality test scores and other analytics might reveal a lack of resilience, maturity or sheer drive. Numbers tell us things our feelings may hide from us.
Motivating factors can vary with age. Many of today's young sales professionals, for instance, are likely to be team-motivated as opposed to being primarily money-motivated -- the desire to contribute to society outweighs the urge to get rich. If your business has international branches, you must also consider that some motivating factors for U.S. salespeople may well act as de-motivators in other cultures. For example, in many countries, like Spain for example, competition is demotivating. Analytics can help bring these differences to light.
Analytics also keep us honest about whether our activities are really bringing in revenue. A marcom person may love creating brochures, for instance, but those brochures must produce measurable results. Even the most well-intentioned actions can be misplaced -- offering "white glove" V.I.P. customer service may enhance sales and profits for a Porsche dealership, but. although it might increase sales, is more likely to be too expensive and decrease profits at a bicycle shop. No matter how "right" our strategies and actions may feel, the numbers don't lie. Listen to them!