Do you get the right insights from your sales data in auto aftermarket?

Do you get the right insights from your sales data in auto aftermarket?

There is no contesting that data is the fuel that drives your sales - and things are no different in the auto aftermarket. However, it is not just the data you have at hand but how you use it that makes a world of difference. The lack of high-quality and actionable data is a pressing problem for businesses across all sectors and industries. Today, we will be looking at the importance of sales data and how you can use it to gain the right insights.

Context: Where It All Begins

Businesses across different industry verticals have embraced the data-driven mindset. However, very few have been capable of exploiting its true potential. In the auto aftermarket sector, sales data can offer insight into the changing market conditions and the root causes behind them.

For instance, suppose your business notices a declining demand for spare parts in a state. Typically, this downward trend would push your sales team to offset its impact by using techniques like firefighting, overselling, credit, or promotion. However, at the end of the day, nobody would be any wiser as to why the demand came down in the first place!

With sales data at your disposal, you may be able to analyse this trend further.

For example, you may notice that a growing awareness of preventive maintenance reduces the demand for failed parts. As such, you can start supplying materials for routine maintenance than replacements.

As one can see, this data makes your sales strategies smarter. Such a dynamic adaptation will attract benefits like increased revenue, more significant market share, more intelligent decision-making, cost decline, and more!

Challenges in the Sales Data in the Auto Aftermarket

With sales data offering a wealth of advantages, we are still to see large volumes of takers in the auto aftermarket industry. Here are some of the challenges that may be posing as barriers and limits:

  • Maintaining data quality and fidelity is a major pressing issue directly affecting the outcome. Dirty data will give rise to inaccurate calculations and predictions that will do more harm than good.
  • Even if you maintain data sanctity to a certain degree, changes in the business environment can influence its meaning. An indicator that may correspond to demand could only be transient. However, viewing it in a vacuum (without factoring in the market conditions) may suggest that it is an ongoing trend.
  • Sales representatives are already tied up with a long list of tasks. Studying sales data will only add to their burdens, from entering lead information to registering a sale.
  • The automotive aftermarket industry is not one of the most digitally mature sectors, posing resistance to a data-driven way of working. As such, the first issue that businesses will have to address would be surrounding digital transformation, which presents a whole different set of challenges.

The Potential offered by Sales Data in Auto Aftermarket

Once businesses can overcome the challenges of harnessing sales data in the auto aftermarket industry, they can unlock the following opportunities:

  • One of the critical advantages of sales data is that it offers a logical conclusion for the shifting market trends by correlating demand and supply.
  • Apart from tracking market conditions, businesses can use sales data to capitalize on ripe opportunities by using momentum signals.
  • It can also help in effectively handling setbacks and downward trends through smarter risk management.
  • The advancements in technology and data analytics products make it easier to extract meaningful insights from hordes of data into shorter, digestible bits.
  • Sales data helps close the gap between marketing and sales, which effectively pushes the direction of organizational growth.
  • In due time, sales data can be a crucial input for service personalization, soon emerging as a competitive differentiator.

How to Capture the Auto Aftermarket Sales Data and Extract Relevant Insights?

Naturally, the first step to deriving value from sales data is generating it in the first place. As such, automotive aftermarket businesses can actively pursue sales data in the following manner:

Step 1: Identify Sales Data Sources

Whether or not a company is digitally transformed, businesses may already be sitting on treasure troves of sales data. Given that the automotive aftermarket is primarily a B2B industry, it is vital to keep a lookout for:

  • Demographic data is information related to cohorts of people with certain personalities or geographies. It typically includes their names, contact details, employment history, etc.
  • Firmographic data - details about an organization that can segment these by unique identifiers. It includes company name, location, size, revenue, etc.
  • Chronographic data - events or changes in the industry as a function of time. It may contain critical defining moments in the business’ history, such as M&As, IPOs, funding rounds, location changes, etc.
  • • Intent data - Behavioural information of the prospect. The target audience’s online behaviour, content consumption, interactions, and even feedback indicate intent.

These data sets are often already available in forms, spreadsheets, databases, and CRMs. However, besides this first-party data, you may also have to resort to data available in the public domain or even private data from third-party sources to increase your data reserves qualitatively and quantitatively.

Step 2: Perform Sales Data Cleansing

When it comes to data, more is less - after all, it paints a picture of the prevailing market conditions, customer expectations, issues in sales processes, and more. Unfortunately, however, automotive aftermarket companies may go lax in ensuring data fidelity in this pursuit of data. As a result, organizations may struggle with outdated, incomplete, invalid, or decayed data. And while data decay is unavoidable to a certain degree, it can bring down sales performance by a whopping 75%! As such, businesses must deep clean their databases periodically and update information before feeding it into any analytical tools.

Step 3: Use an Appropriate Tool

Small-scale automotive aftermarket companies can leverage simple tools like Microsoft Excel to perform sales data analysis and interpretation. However, for more complex analysis, primarily requiring the computation of large volumes of data, businesses can resort to dedicated sales analysis platforms equipped with rich dashboards, detailed reporting features, and other functionalities without putting in the elbow grease.

Choosing the right tool could, in fact, prove to be the greatest breakthrough in adopting a sales data-driven model. Digilytics RevUP tool offers effective AI-powered solutions that elevate auto aftermarket businesses to a new level.

RevUP makes use of the RURA framework, paired with Machine Learning, Data Lake, and Data Cleansing, which cuts through all the noise and guides your sales reps by offering actionable insights. In a way, it can singularly overcome several of the challenges coming in the way of using sales data in your day-to-day operations.

Step 4: Screen the essential KPIs

Unfortunately, the common understanding of sales data is somewhat limited to sales targets and revenue. On the flip side, sales analytics tools may generate a wealth of metrics that may make it overwhelming to monitor.

However, the secret to success lies in shortlisting a select few KPIs and focusing on them. Some of these include:

  • Sales Growth: A measure of revenue increase over a defined period (typically, monthly, quarterly, or yearly)
  • Average Contract Value: The average revenue generated by the automotive aftermarket business per customer.
  • Pipeline Velocity: A measure of the potential revenue your existing sales pipeline can generate.
  • Selling Time: The average time required to convert a lead into a paying customer.
  • Inventory Turnaround: The number of times an inventory is sold over a defined period.

Of course, you can personalize these recommendations depending on your business requirements.

Step 5: Share relevant insights

Once you have filtered in the critical insights from your sales data, it is time to share them with relevant stakeholders and obtain their inputs. It will offer a top-level view of the company’s workflows and help with customer alignment, sales process optimization, streamlining pipelines, and the like.

Putting the Sales Data Insights into Action: Dynamic and Strategic Sales Pipelines

As impressive as the advantages of sales data may be, it will not drive results while existing in a vacuum. In other words, the automotive aftermarket industry needs to act on these insights. The following are some use cases for the same:

1. Sales Guidance

Sales data can be an integral part of the sales enablement program, which can aid sales reps in navigating any uncharted territories. Adding the sales data analytics as a part of the training and onboarding curriculum can also make sales more proactive than reactive as teams can work on offsetting damages and playing to their strengths.

2. Workforce Productivity

Real-time sales data can act as strategic triggers. For instance, intent data or market research inputs can signal a surge in demand for a particular part. Your sales team can then go about cold-calling or emailing prospects to advertise the availability of the said part. Such a focused approach can yield better results, improve morale, and catalyse productivity.

3. Market Intelligence

As seen in the previous example, sales data can generate unique market-related insights that automotive aftermarket industries can leverage to gain a competitive edge. This data can also set up predictive modelling frameworks that can ensure business resilience even in trying times. Resultantly, companies can use the data to adapt to futuristic changes than retrospective musings.

4. Customer Relations

As industries turn customer-facing, customer relationships will emerge as a critical differentiator to establish a company as a brand, ramp up sales, and even earn referrals. The sales team can factor in KPIs such as CLV, CSAT, NPS, etc., to assess customer sentiment. Plus, the vast data repositories available with the companies will help them deliver to customer expectations, diversify product offerings, and personalize services to enhance customer relationships.

Moving Ahead: Sales Data as the Backbone of Automotive Aftermarket

The automotive aftermarket is standing amid a digital disruption that will only change the industry for the better. Given that this change is inevitable, companies must focus on making sales data the backbone of their organization and deriving rich, meaningful insights from it.