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Salespeople are often stereotyped as hard-driving, fast-talking showboaters. Competitive and extroverted, they’re always ready to make a pitch. Having the gift of the gab can be a great asset, but it can also get in the way.

The greatest skill a salesperson can cultivate isn’t talking; it’s listening. Because the truth is that your potential customers don’t come to the table because they’re interested in your product. What they care about is finding a solution that helps them meet their goals. People don’t want to be sold on something. Rather, they want to solve a problem, increase efficiency, and improve their business.

The more your sales team listens to the market and understands its concerns, the more convincing they’ll be in their demos and meetings, and the more deals they’ll close.

As a Sales Operation Leader, you have goals and objectives, as well as problems you want solved, just like your customers. You define the territories, set the quotas, establish the performance metrics, and provide the targets for your sales team.

And if you’re like most Sales Operation Leaders, you’re not satisfied. Studies have shown that two thirds of sales reps don’t attain their quota, and more than 50% of them win less than half of their potential deals. Clearly, there’s room for improvement in almost any sales organization.

Just as salespeople need to spend more time listening to the market, Sales Operations Leaders also need to focus on listening. But that doesn’t mean scheduling more meetings with your reps. Rather, it means listening to the data.

You can’t understand what you don’t know. If you aren’t actively measuring activities within your sales organization, you won’t be able to accurately identify the kinks and improve the flow in your pipeline.

Data talks, but in order to hear what your data has to say, you need to collect it first. For this, you need your sales team to engage strongly with the CRM software. A good strategy is to build incentives for data-generating activities into your compensation plan, to make tracking a reflex rather than an afterthought.

In order to obtain the most useful information and build collection into your compensation plan, you need a comprehensive Sales Performance Management tool. To hear what your data is telling you, try a demo of Obero SPM.

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