Win with Analytics: Overcoming 5 critical sales challenges with analytics

According to a Harvard Business Review study, companies that effectively manage their sales pipelines witness an impressive 28% increase in revenue growth. To achieve this, sales teams must adopt a comprehensive approach that addresses all aspects of sales.

One valuable enabler for teams seeking to gain a 360° view into their sales, with enhanced granularity, is sales analytics. In this blog, we delve into several sales analytics strategies that can help effectively overcome five common, yet major, sales challenges:

  1. Sourcing reliable sales data

  1. Setting realistic sales targets

  1. Finding sales sweet spots

  1. Creating more sales time

  1. Getting holistic insights

Sourcing reliable sales data

Sales teams gather data from diverse sources like CRM apps, sheets, and databases, but ensuring its accuracy is not always guaranteed. Relying on unreliable data can lead to poor decisions, revenue loss, and missed opportunities. To address this, data preparation becomes essential in analysis. Modern BI platforms offer automated solutions that streamline the cleaning and transformation process, saving time and effort for sales teams.

Let's take the example of words or terms incorrectly spelled in CRM apps, which leads to duplication. Cleaning this data manually can be a tedious task, but there's a powerful capability that comes in handy to solve such issues: Cluster and Merge.

This feature intelligently identifies and corrects clusters of incorrect values in datasets, ensuring data accuracy. This automation significantly reduces manual data cleaning, allowing sales teams to focus on generating valuable insights and making strategic decisions for better business outcomes.

We explore Cluster and Merge in the demo video below:

Setting realistic sales targets

Setting sales targets that are either unrealistically high or too low can compromise both the revenue you wish to earn and the morale of your team. It's necessary to strike a balance by setting a realistic target for any given sales team. Analytical capabilities can help you achieve this.

When establishing targets, the historical sales trend is often a key metric to consider. It provides valuable insights into past team performance, aiding in setting an appropriate benchmark. Moreover, leveraging capabilities like forecasting also empowers you with valuable insights into the team's future performance, and enables you to set optimal sales targets with greater confidence and assurance.

Check out this capability in the following demo video:

And you can watch our complete webinar to learn more about setting effective sales targets.

Finding sales sweet spots

Achieving sales targets requires identifying the optimal sales conditions or sales sweet spots. This involves gaining a deep understanding of customers, competitors, market conditions, and other factors that influence sales. Modern BI platforms offer advanced analytical capabilities to provide granular insights into these aspects. By leveraging these tools, businesses can optimize their sales pipelines and strategize to meet their sales sweet spots more effectively.

One such capability is drill-down analysis. For instance, by using the Sales by Region report (below), businesses can uncover top-performing lead sources in different regions, empowering sales teams to succeed in their target markets.

Perform the drill-down analysis yourself by following these steps:

  1. Click on a state in the geo map.

  1. Select Drill-Down.

  1. Select Lead Source.

This capability isn't limited to a single layer either—it allows you to explore further levels of detail, like understanding lead sources by lead owners, revenue generated, and so on.

Creating more sales time

Sales teams handle various activities, like administrative tasks, pricing, and training, which can divert them from direct sales efforts. Maximizing sales time and productivity requires minimizing the time spent on non-sales activities. Reporting, in particular, can consume a significant portion of sales time. To expedite reporting and enhance productivity, BI platforms offer augmented capabilities that deliver faster and more accurate data insights.

Interactive data assistants are among emerging AI-powered capabilities in the BI market. Powered by an NLP engine, these assistants enable users with even minimal technical know-how to perform data interactions using commands in natural language.

In the following demo video, we arrive at the deals conversion trend by interacting with Zoho Analytics' very own intelligent assistant, Ask Zia.

Getting holistic insights

Modern sales leaders go beyond traditional sales activities and prioritize understanding the entire customer journey to optimize sales strategies. Achieving this requires consolidating data from various business applications used across different departments. However, a common challenge they encounter is integrating data from these diverse sources, due to existing data silos.

Fortunately, BI platforms offer powerful data-blending capabilities that effectively overcome data silos, enabling seamless modelling of data for analysis in one consolidated location.

In the dashboard screenshot below, key business metrics from different departments like sales, marketing, and finance are presented—showcasing the potential of integrating data for comprehensive insights.


Embracing analytics is crucial for sales teams to overcome critical challenges and achieve revenue growth. Advanced BI platforms offer data-driven insights, streamlined reporting, and enhanced collaboration, enabling teams to optimize sales performance and seize growth opportunities in today's competitive landscape. With analytics as their ally, businesses can confidently navigate the path to success.

Watch our complete webinar to explore these sales challenges and analytical capabilities in detail.

You can also sign up for Zoho Analytics today, or schedule a free personalized demo with one of our experts.


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