Category: 

What Does a Sales Analyst Do?

A Sales analyst may be in charge of performing SWOT analyses.
A sales analyst might use historical data to forecast future sales.
Article Details
  • Written By: Ken Black
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Last Modified Date: 13 March 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
According to popular legend, Emperor Nero fiddled while Rome burned.   more...

April 18 ,  1775 :  Paul Revere went on his famous nighttime ride.  more...

A sales analyst is an individual who carefully reviews the performance of sales data, and sometimes makes predictions of future performance. To do this, the individual must have a great deal of training not only in the area of business, but economics and marketing as well. This multi-faceted field is good for those who like to put all the pieces of a puzzle together, but it can also be high stress. Once the analysis has been completed, the sales analyst will present those findings and recommendations to superiors.

The first thing a sales analyst will often look at is past performance. Though business conditions are capable of changing overnight, they rarely do. Rather, trends can begin to signal an uptick or downturn months before the events actually occur. A good analyst will be able to spot those trends and determine what can be done to deal with them before they become a reality.

Ad

No analyst will be correct in his or her predictions 100% of the time. That is a bar that is too high even for those who are trained, and have been performing such analysis for decades. Nevertheless analysts often feel themselves under great pressure for their predictions to be correct. While there are certain ways to improve, success mainly comes with experience and guidance. This is why analysts will often collaborate with colleagues to come up with multiple opinions. These opinions are formed from people with different backgrounds, who must work together to come up with a cohesive package.

Working effectively at these collaborative meetings is another important part of the job for a sales analyst. If sales are declining, that could be because of the economy, a substandard marketing campaign, a new competitor, or any number of other reasons. Performing a SWOT analysis, which is determining the company's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, may help determine what the causes may be.

After a reasonable effort has been made to determine the causes, the sales analyst will often prepare a final report. It will show what has happened with the company, what is happening, and what may likely happen in the future. This will be presented to a superior, who may act on this information with an executive council. That council, or a board of directors, will often have the ultimate say in what actions will take place.

In some cases, a sales analyst may be asked to help predict what may happen in a hypothetical situation if the company goes in a certain direction. This is especially true when opening up new locations, such as in a retail environment. This will involve looking very closely at the community targeted to determine if there is a big enough base to support such a store, restaurant, or service.

Ad

Discuss this Article

anon295677
Post 5

@Anon168957: One of the best sources of qualitative and quantitative data for sales analysts is the reports of the sales team and their estimates for their next month/quarter sales.

anon256509
Post 4

The success of a sales analyst is highly dependent on the working environment. What kind of management and sales people do you work with - are they professional? Data-centric? Are they ready and able to face facts as they are given the figures that the analyst gets, analyses and presents? Most of he time, even if figures don't lie, this job seems to create situations that are not popular with sales people.

anon168957
Post 3

I come from a strong field sales background with proven management and coaching successes. Humor me. While we are constantly privy to sales analyst reports, as field people a lot of times the data doesn't match up to the real truth. It seems to me that you can find more accurate information by actually talking with consumers, store owners, etc to find out where the obstacles really are

mitchell14
Post 2

I have known people in these sorts of positions. While it is high stress and not for everyone, I know that people who really are good at their jobs can make a difference in helping maintain the health of a company, which can be rewarding.

anon84219
Post 1

You are so right that a sales analyst role can be very high stress. Yet the rewards both in terms of job satisfaction and remuneration can make it a very worthwhile career if you are able to cope with the stresses of high pressure, working to deadlines, requiring statistical analysis and excellent communication and presentation skills.

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email