Your Data Tells A Story You Need to Know

Nov 23, 2012

My company, InsightSquared, provides in-depth business intelligence to well over 100 staffing and recruiting companies. We’ve seen first-hand how a little bit of better data analysis can lead to a lot of big, easy wins. Here are just a few ways you can move the needle with minimal effort.

Work Only on the Right Activities

Doing this data analysis directly impacts your business growth. If you know what activities really move the needle, and more importantly, what activities don’t, all you really need to do is do more of what works and less of what doesn’t. Sounds too simple, right? Exactly the point. The best part is that it works.

Turn Newbies Into Veterans

Having easy and in-depth access to your employee’s historical data can make this a breeze for your company. How did John Smith nail that record-breaking quarter? Your data can tell you exactly how by keeping track of what clients John had; what activities he performed on each client  and when; the length of each stage of every one of his deals until closed; and more. Basically, your top performers are top performers for a reason, and if you can model their performance, you’ve got yourself a clear guidebook to help your new employees get up to speed much faster.

Side note: Having employee activity data accessible to all can also foster a healthy competitive work atmosphere that provides motivation, especially for sales teams.

Save A Deal In Danger

Nothing’s worse than losing a deal due to negligence. Finding and saving a deal in danger of slipping through the cracks takes much less work than starting from scratch. Good intelligence on your data can make this a breeze.

A metric to keep in mind is momentum, which my company defines as the number of activities performed on an open job order in 10 business days. If that momentum is zero, meaning no emails, calls, interviews or anything has been associated with that JO in two weeks, you know that it deserves a little more TLC. Find those deals and work them. You’ll see a much better return on your energy than prospecting for new ones.

Find the easy money

The graph here offers some real, eye-opening detail. Some sources yield many hires, but how efficient are they? The business intelligence shows that indeed, some sources are better than others when you look at conversion rates.

One of our recruiting clients relayed this story to us: “For a long time, I had a gut feeling that Source X was a better, more efficient source of candidates than Source Y. I just couldn’t prove it before we had better business intelligence in place.”

The client was vindicated when the data showed that, indeed one candidate source was better than the other; specifically, it had a much better conversion rate (placements per candidates sent) than another source. So what was the logical course of action? They spent more time mining the more efficient candidate source, and sure enough the total number of placements overall went up. Same amount of time spent, but revenue went up because they chased efficiency.

This chart was pulled from a corporate recruiting operation, but it works equally well for search firms and staffing companies.

Work smarter, not harder. It’s a cliché for a reason.

Get Smarter and Better Looking

No one really wins business using Excel. No matter how great the actual data is, you’re not going to show prospective customers an Excel spreadsheet. It’s tough to look at and not pretty. That’s why everyone has to spend time in PowerPoint for presentations, and this takes a lot of effort. Besides, pulling together reports to show is a huge pain. How long does it take to run a report? Half an hour? What if you need five of them? You’re going to be in VLOOKUP town for a long time.

You’ve got the impressive numbers. Now you just need a good way to show it off during sales presentations. A good BI solution will do this for you. Reports are auto-generated, auto-updated, and instantaneous. Visualization is better than what you can do in Excel, and unlike PowerPoint, the data is live, meaning you can drill-down if a prospect wants to see more. If you arm your sales team with these tools, winning new business gets a lot easier. This isn’t a small benefit either. Many of InsightSquared’s clients point to the ease of presenting as one of the main benefits of having a business intelligence solution. It helps close deals, with almost no effort at all.