Activity, Pipeline, and Productivity Sales Metrics
As a sales manager who has the great joy of managing a remote sales team, tracking rep performance with sales metrics is now as crucial as ever.
Remote working means I only have sales metrics to rely on to determine how productive any one of my sales reps is on a given day.
Put more directly, I live and die by sales performance metrics.
To establish just how productive a sales rep is, different sales metrics need to be tracked depending on the role, the product or the type of company the sales rep is selling for.
There isn't a one size fits all approach.
For example, I once had a target of $67k per month when selling document solutions. However, my average deal size was $14k, with a closing ratio of one in four. Therefore I had to have twenty deals on the go to hit my revenue target.
When booking appointments as a BDR, I converted one in seven conversations into a meeting. With a target of twenty bookings per month and a 25% cancellation/reschedule rate, I had to book twenty-five meetings per month, which meant I had to have fourteen conversations daily to hit my target. With these metrics in mind, I managed to book thirty meetings in one month.
I love sales metrics because it removes the emotional element many sales reps get caught up in when selling. Unfortunately, emotional selling leads to stress and poor performance, which isn't advantageous for anyone involved.
As long as my sales team focuses on the metrics, the successful results should fall into place. Below I'll share with you some of the best sales performance metrics to better understand what changes need to be made to drive further success across your team.
Sales Activity Metrics
Sales is a numbers game, and it's only through consistent activity that positive results can be achieved. By implementing top-of-funnel sales activity metrics, you'll gain good insights into how much action is required to generate a specific outcome.
Not having enough conversations? Make more dials. Not making enough dials? Discuss time management with the rep who is falling behind.
Sales activity metrics track the amount of activity a sales representative completes daily in order to help sales managers make decisions that can influence overall sales results.
These metrics would be typically beneficial for members of your outbound sales team, such as business development representatives or sales development representatives.
Activity metrics may consist of any of the following:
Calls: How many should your sales team be making per day?
Conversations: How many of the calls that are made result in productive sales conversations?
Emails: How many emails are being sent daily? Of the emails that are sent, what are the open and response rates?
Social media engagement: Many potential prospects can be found on social media these days. Consider where most of your prospects interact - Linkedin, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram - and how many interactions your sales rep should make per day to improve sales performance.
Customer-facing meetings: How many meetings do your sales team need to have to close opportunities and hit monthly revenue targets? The ratio of meetings held to opportunities won will differ between reps.
Referrals: Referrals are a precious tool for sales success. If the customer interaction doesn't result in a first meeting, is the sales rep making a referral request? If not, they should be.
Proposals delivered: After the first sales meeting/demonstration is complete, how many of those meetings turn into a request for a proposal or price? If this ratio is low, perhaps some changes must be made to the presentation as you might not demonstrate enough value.
Top-of-funnel metrics should be reviewed daily, weekly and monthly to ensure that the sales team stays on track and hits their quotas. If a sales rep isn't meeting their metrics, discuss what is holding them back and what needs to be done to increase their performance.
Sales Pipeline Metrics
The sales pipeline is equally essential for sales performance metrics. You can identify potential problems by tracking how many opportunities are in each stage of the sales process. For example, suppose you have a high number of deals stagnating in the proposal stage. In that case, it may be due to a lack of follow-up or the quality of the proposal itself. By tracking these metrics, you can make changes to your process accordingly.
The sales pipeline metrics should be reviewed daily, weekly and monthly. By tracking the sales pipeline, you'll know how much revenue will come in and when. These metrics are also helpful for forecasting purposes.
Some things to consider when tracking the sales pipeline sales performance metrics are:
Sales cycle length: How long does it take to close a deal? You may miss out on opportunities if the sales cycle is too long because the deal can stall.
Win rate: How many deals are won? If the win rate is low, it may be due to several reasons such as the quality of the leads, the sales process or the sales team itself.
Current open opportunities: How many opportunities are currently open? If this number is too high, it may mean that the sales team isn't working through the pipeline quickly enough, or if too low, there aren't enough opportunities coming from outreach efforts.
Monthly closed opportunities: This sales performance metric tracks how many opportunities your sales team closes monthly.
Average deal size: One of the more important sales metrics as it provides a good indication of how many deals need to be closed to hit the sales revenue target.
Annual contract value: Similarly to the average deal size, the annual contract value helps you understand what needs to be sold to reach the yearly sales target. This is particularly true if your product is service or subscription-based.
Conversion rate: The number of opportunities that are converted into paying customers. The conversation rate isn't only for closed/won opportunities either - the conversation rate can be tracked through each stage of the sales cycle.
Both sales activity and pipeline metrics should be reviewed regularly to ensure that the sales team is on track to hit their targets. For example, suppose either metric falls below your company benchmarks. In that case, it's essential to look closely to see what might be causing the issue.
Productivity Sales Metrics
Last but not least, productivity metrics. To be a productive sales rep, you need to balance your time wisely to hit the number of activities required to achieve the necessary sales result.
A few metrics can be used to measure productivity, but they will vary depending on the sales process and team structure. Here are a few metrics to consider:
Time spent on selling or revenue-generating activities: This metric ensures that sales reps spend their time selling and not on administrative tasks. Admin can quickly become a sales productivity killer if not kept in check.
Time spent on administration activities: Administration tasks take away from selling time. This metric should be used in addtion to the one above to get a clear picture.
Time spent on content creation: If your team relies heavily on content to generate leads on platforms like Linkedin, this metric is important to track.
Sales reps' daily structure and schedule: This metric helps managers see how their representatives spend their day and if they are adhering to the daily schedule.
Productivity metrics are essential to track as they help identify if a sales rep isn't hitting their targets due to poor planning or other inefficiencies. In addition, by monitoring productivity metrics, managers can work with their sales reps to help them improve and become more productive.
Many metrics can be used to measure sales performance, but the ones you track will depend on your business goals and objectives.
I mainly focused on sales metrics that directly impact rep performance for this post. Without an effective sales operation to bring business in, metrics like customer lifetime value, slip rate and churn rate won't mean much. However, you can more effectively drive results and improve performance by focusing on the inputs - which you, as a sales rep or sales manager, have complete control over.
About the Author
Matt Jennings is Sales Professional with over seven years of experience across outbound, full cycle account and business development management, sales management, and sales operations. His sales experience has had him working Document, SaaS and Financial Services vertical markets and booking some of the world’s largest companies exceeding multiple billion dollars in turnover. In addition, he has experience selling across APAC, EU, UK and US regions. Matt now heads up Sales Operations at Sales Science and writes sales focused educational content at matjen.com.
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