Three ways misrepresenting sales data can be harmful to marketers

With numerous sources of data available, there are infinite opportunities for analysis. When it comes to data, many marketers are guilty of focusing mostly on performance without considering where the data comes from. Unfortunately, that lack of attention can be detrimental especially as it relates to analyzing sales data. While the main goal for most marketers is to generate sales, presenting a report that shows increasing sales revenue shouldn’t be your lifeline.

Other metrics such as growth rate, units sold, and equivalized volume should also be taken into account. This will help to capture an accurate picture of the product’s performance. For instance, just because your sales revenue increased doesn’t mean the number of products sold increased. Furthermore, a positive growth rate doesn’t always mean there is increased demand. There are many different factors to consider to discover the true story of how your products are performing so don’t limit your scope. Businesses rely on marketers to help make data-driven decisions to drive profits so accuracy and thorough analysis are imperative. Although it may not be intentional, misrepresenting sales data can be extremely detrimental for marketers, and here’s how:

1. Loss of Credibility

As a marketer, your team looks to you as a source of knowledge and insights that will help inform future decisions. If you misrepresent sales data, you may be portraying sales performance as better than what it is. As a result, your credibility will be lost and additional time and effort will be required to reassess the best plan of action moving forward.

2. Inaccurate Predictions

Data is powerful. One of the major powers of data is using it to forecast sales based on previous performance. Unfortunately, if the sales data presented by the marketer is incorrect, that will have a direct impact on the company’s predicted sales performance. While the marketing team thinks demand and revenue are high, the opposite could be true if the correct metrics are not taken into account. That’s why marketers must look beyond the surface so they can deliver a more accurate report of what the sales data is saying. 

3. Ineffective Recommendations

Subsequently, with a flawed sense of sales, marketers will be unable to provide effective recommendations. If they don’t have a realistic sense of what is going on, it’s very unlikely that they’ll be able to offer appropriate recommendations to optimize sales in the future. 

Needless to say, data should not be taken at face value. The numbers tell a story but that story can easily be misrepresented if key factors are excluded from the equation. When it comes to sales metrics, assessing dollars alone is not enough. Marketers need to understand how value, volume, and equivalized volume play a part in the data analysis. Challenge yourself to look deeper so you can understand exactly what the data represents. By doing so, you’ll gain the respect of your team and offer invaluable insights that will drive your company’s long-term success!