Sales Analytics: Best Practices + Tools to Use (2024)

What Are Sales Analytics?

Sales analytics involves collecting, processing, and analyzing sales data to gain insights and make informed business decisions. This process helps organizations understand sales trends, measure sales team performance, predict future sales, and optimize strategies to improve overall sales effectiveness.

Interestingly, analytics in sales is grouped into different categories.

4 Types of Analytics in Sales

Here are the different kinds of analytics that can significantly enhance sales strategies and outcomes:

1. Descriptive Analytics (What Happened?)

This type involves summarizing historical data to understand what has happened in the past. It uses tools such as dashboards and reporting software to track and visualize key metrics like sales volume, revenue, and customer demographics. Descriptive analytics helps businesses identify trends, measure performance against goals, and gain insight into market dynamics.

2. Diagnostic Analytics (Why Did It Happen?)

Diagnostic analytics delves deeper to uncover the reasons behind specific sales outcomes. It employs techniques like data mining, drill-downs, and correlation analysis to analyze anomalies and fluctuations in sales data. This type is crucial for understanding the factors that influence sales success or failure, enabling targeted improvements.

3. Predictive Analytics (What’s Going to Happen?)

Predictive analytics uses historical data to forecast future events. Techniques such as statistical modeling, regression analysis, and machine learning are applied to predict trends, customer behavior, and potential sales outcomes. This type of analytics is essential for planning and optimizing sales strategies to meet future demands.

4. Prescriptive Analytics (What’s the Best Solution or Action?)

Prescriptive analytics goes beyond sales forecasting to suggest specific actions that businesses can take to achieve desired outcomes. It integrates advanced analytics, machine learning, and decision-making algorithms to provide recommendations for optimizing sales processes and strategies. 

This type of analytics is valuable for making data-driven decisions that can lead to improved sales performance and operational efficiency.

So, what are some of the main advantages of sales analytics?

6 Key Benefits of Using Sales Analytics in Your Business

Here’s how using analytics can help you accelerate sales growth in your business:

  • Enhanced Decision-Making: Provides valuable insight into customer behavior, sales trends, and market conditions — leading to more effective sales strategies and targeted marketing efforts.
  • Improved Efficiency and Sales Productivity: Identifies high-performing tactics and pinpoints areas for improvement, boosting sales productivity and team performance.
  • Accurate Sales Forecasting: Helps in predicting future sales, allowing for better planning and resource management.
  • Opportunity Identification: Analyzes sales data to uncover new growth opportunities and optimize sales approaches.
  • Optimized Pricing and Promotions: Enables data-driven adjustments to pricing and promotional strategies to maximize revenue.
  • Improved Customer Acquisition: Leverages insights to enhance lead generation and conversion strategies, ultimately boosting customer acquisition rates.

While sales analytics offers significant advantages, it also presents a few challenges that you need to navigate carefully.

5 Main Challenges of Sales Analytics

Below are some of the potential disadvantages of using sales analytics:

  • Data Quality and Integration: Ensuring the accuracy, consistency, and completeness of data collected from various sources can be difficult. Integrating this data into a centralized system often presents technical challenges.
  • Over Reliance on Analytics: Depending too heavily on analytics without considering user feedback, especially when dealing with poor-quality data, can lead to misguided decisions and ineffective strategies.
  • Complexity of Tools and Analysis: Sales analytics software can be complex, which means it often requires specialized knowledge or training to be used effectively. This can lead to difficulties in understanding and analyzing the data properly.
  • Cost of Implementation: Acquiring and maintaining advanced analytics software and infrastructure can be costly, which might be prohibitive for smaller businesses.
  • Data Security and Privacy: Managing sensitive customer and sales data securely while adhering to legal and regulatory requirements can be quite challenging.

Now, let’s say you’re ready to start using sales analytics in your processes. 

How do you pick the right tool that aligns with your sales target and goals?

8 Tips for Choosing a Reliable Sales Analytics Tool

With so many options available, selecting the right sales analytics tool can be challenging. So, here are tips to help you make an informed decision:

  • Integration Capabilities: Ensure the tool can seamlessly integrate with your existing CRM systems, ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) solutions, and other data sources. This integration is crucial for providing a comprehensive view of your sales operations and customer interactions.
  • Real-Time Analytics: Opt for a tool that offers real-time data processing. This feature enables you to react promptly to market changes and adjust your sales strategy accordingly, potentially increasing your competitive edge.
  • Customization and Scalability: The tool should be flexible enough to customize according to your business needs and scalable to accommodate growth. This includes the ability to add new data sources, users, and functional capabilities as your business expands.
  • User-Friendly Interface: Choose a tool with an intuitive and easy-to-use interface. A user-friendly dashboard will help your team adopt the tool more quickly and make it easier to extract and interpret data insights.
  • Comprehensive Sales Reporting Features: Ensure the tool offers extensive sales reporting features that allow you to create detailed reports and visualizations. This capability is essential for understanding complex datasets and making informed decisions.
  • Data Security: Given the sensitivity of sales data, select a tool that offers robust security features to protect your data from unauthorized access and breaches. This includes compliance with relevant data protection regulations.
  • Support and Training: Good customer support and training are crucial for helping your team maximize the use of the analytics tool. Check if the provider offers thorough training sessions and reliable support for troubleshooting.
  • Cost-Effectiveness: Finally, consider the cost relative to the features and benefits provided. The tool should offer good value for money without compromising on key functionalities essential for your sales analysis.

And that’s it! You now know how to pick the right sales analytics tool.

So, let’s take you through a couple of options worth exploring.

5 Best Sales Analytics Tools in 2024

Here are some powerful tools that can streamline sales activities and transform your data into actionable insights:

1. Scratchpad

Scratchpad is an AI-powered platform that enhances sales intelligence and analytics. It provides the sales manager with improved visibility and helps sales reps boost productivity.

The tool seamlessly syncs with Salesforce and offers valuable insight into deal forecasts, sales rep performance, and lead behavior. It also allows you to quickly identify potential issues, offer more effective coaching, and achieve your sales target with exceptional accuracy.

Here are the benefits of using Scratchpad:

  • Data Accuracy and Insight: Scratchpad helps you maintain high-quality data in Salesforce, which in turn enables improved sales pipeline management, better sales analysis, segmentation, and targeting of prospects based on reliable information.     
  • AI Sales Assistant: The Scratchpad Sales AI Assistant monitors your virtual sales calls and autonomously updates Salesforce with crucial details (like MEDDIC, next steps, and more). It generates easily shareable sales call summaries and transforms these conversations into valuable insights. This streamlines the sales process by reducing manual data entry and providing the sales rep or sales manager with clear, actionable sales intelligence.
  • Unified Sales Workspace: Scratchpad combines sales notes, tasks, Kanban boards, and more in one place — making it a centralized hub for managing all sales activities.
  • Zero Boards: Scratchpad provides daily to-do lists so that you never forget to follow up on leads and/or opportunities in the sales pipeline.
  • Process Adherence: Scratchpad enhances process adherence by streamlining Salesforce interactions, ensuring sales reps maintain essential processes efficiently. It offers intuitive views and workflow tiles — making it easier to manage and correct data in real-time.


  • G2: 4.8/5 ⭐ (1,445+ Reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.9/5 ⭐ (96+ Reviews)


  • Has a free plan
  • Paid plans start at $19 per user/month

2. HubSpot Sales Hub

HubSpot Sales Hub is an all-in-one sales CRM that streamlines customer interactions, automates sales processes, and provides deep insights into sales operations. It features tools like email tracking, meeting scheduling, and performance metrics, which help sales teams close more deals with less work. 

The platform integrates seamlessly with the broader HubSpot ecosystem, supporting a smooth flow of information across marketing, service, and sales.


  • G2: 4.4/5 ⭐ (11,213+ Reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.5/5 ⭐ (456+ Reviews)


  • Has a free plan
  • Paid plans start at $20 per month/seat

3. Zoho Analytics

Zoho Analytics is a self-service BI and data analytics software that allows users to create insightful dashboards and data visualizations. It offers a robust set of features for data integration, including support for multiple data sources and blending, which makes it easy to transform large volumes of raw data into actionable insights. 

Zoho Analytics is particularly favored for its AI-powered assistant that provides answers to user queries in the form of reports and KPI widgets.


  • G2: 4.3/5 ⭐ (307+ Reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.4/5 ⭐ (300+ Reviews)


  • Paid plans start at $22 per month

4. Power BI

Power BI by Microsoft is a powerful business analytics service that provides interactive visualizations and business intelligence capabilities with an interface simple enough for end users to create their own reports and dashboards.

It integrates well with other Microsoft products and features extensive data connectivity options, real-time updates, and the ability to publish reports for widespread sharing across organizations.


  • G2: 4.5/5 ⭐ (1,100+ Reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.6/5 ⭐ (1667+ Reviews)


  • Has a free plan
  • Paid plans start at $10 per month/seat

5. Gong

Gong is a revenue intelligence platform that uses AI to analyze customer interaction data across phone calls, emails, and web conferences to deliver insights that help sales teams close more deals. It captures and understands every customer interaction, providing actionable insight to improve sales strategies, coach sales reps, and forecast sales outcomes more accurately. 

This revenue intelligence is particularly useful for teams looking to improve alignment and performance through data-driven decision-making.


  • G2: 4.7/5 ⭐ (5,644+ Reviews)
  • Capterra: 4.8/5 ⭐ (536+ Reviews)


  • Offers custom pricing plans

So, how do you perform sales data analysis using a tool of your choice?

10 Best Practices for Performing a Sales Data Analysis

Let’s check out how you can effectively perform sales data analytics and gain valuable insights:

1. Define Clear Objectives

Before diving into data analytics, clearly define what you want to achieve. Are you looking to improve sales performance, identify market trends, or optimize pricing strategies? Setting specific goals will guide your sales data analysis and ensure that the results are relevant to your business needs.

2. Gather and Integrate Data

Collect data from all relevant sources, including CRM systems, sales performance trackers, customer feedback, and market research. Ensure that this data is integrated effectively to provide a holistic view of your sales ecosystem, which is crucial for comprehensive analysis.

3. Ensure Data Quality

High-quality data is the cornerstone of effective analysis. Regularly clean and validate your data to remove inaccuracies and duplicates. This process helps in ensuring that the insights derived from the analysis are reliable and actionable.

4. Use the Right Tools

Use appropriate analytical tools that match your business needs and data complexity. Whether it’s a simple spreadsheet tool or advanced analytics software, choosing the right tool will enhance the efficiency and depth of your analysis.

5. Segment Your Data

Break down your data into relevant segments such as customer demographics, product categories, or geographical regions. This segmentation will allow for more detailed and targeted analysis, helping you to understand variations in sales performance across different segments.

6. Visualize the Data

Data visualization is a powerful method for quickly understanding trends and patterns. Use charts, graphs, and heat maps to visually represent your data. This makes it easier to communicate findings to stakeholders and supports quicker decision-making.

7. Conduct Comparative Analysis

Compare your sales data across different time periods or against industry benchmarks. This comparative analysis can highlight trends and anomalies that may warrant deeper investigation or immediate action.

8. Draw Actionable Insights

Analyze the data with the intention of drawing actionable insight. Look for opportunities to optimize your sales process, enhance customer satisfaction, and drive revenue growth. Ensure that these insights are communicated effectively to the relevant teams or stakeholders.

9. Iterate and Optimize

Sales data analytics should be an ongoing process. Regularly review and refine your analysis strategies based on past learnings and changing business environments. This iterative process helps continuously improve the effectiveness of your sales strategy.

10. Train Your Team

Ensure that your team is well-trained in both the technical aspects of the analytical tools used and the strategic interpretation of data. Be sure to check out the best sales analytics courses and books. A well-informed team can make better use of the data and contribute to more effective decision-making.

Now, let’s go through some of the burning questions you may have about sales analytics.

2 FAQs About Sales Analytics

Below are the answers to the frequently asked questions on sales analytics:

1. Is Sales Analytics Exclusive to Large Businesses?

Sales analytics is not solely beneficial for large businesses. Its scalability and ability to provide insights into customer behaviors and market trends make it invaluable for SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises). 

In fact, technological advancements have made analytics tools more accessible and affordable — enabling SMEs to enhance decision-making and gain a competitive edge.

2. What Is the Relationship Between Sales Analytics and Business Intelligence?

Sales analytics is a subset of business intelligence that specifically focuses on analyzing sales data to gain insights into sales performance, customer behavior, and market trends. Business intelligence, on the other hand, encompasses a broader range of activities, including data collection, integration, analysis, and reporting across various business functions. 

In essence, sales analytics serves as a crucial component within the larger framework of business intelligence, providing actionable insights that drive strategic decision-making and improve overall business performance.

Harness the Power of Sales Analytics with Scratchpad!

The profound impact of sales analytics cannot be overstated. This sophisticated approach empowers businesses to make informed decisions that fuel sales growth and efficiency across their operations.

Now, there are tons of sales analytics software programs out there. However, picking the right one for your needs might not be straightforward.

To make your life easier, explore a powerful sales analytics tool like Scratchpad.

Wondering why?
The tool revolutionizes the way your sales team operates by seamlessly syncing with Salesforce to provide insights into deal forecasts, rep performance, and lead behaviors. It simplifies tracking and analysis, and also offers historical data and detailed forecast changes to improve decision-making.

Want to see if it’s the right tool for your needs?

Try Scratchpad for free today!