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