7 Sales Metrics That Matter

Every sales organization must have a set of metrics that they live by. Not every organization will follow the same metrics, but meeting or (hopefully) exceeding your target depends on what sales metrics you’ve laid out with a clear plan of how to get your reps past those numbers. The 7 metrics below are for both inside and outside reps and are metrics that most sales organizations use in one way or another.

7. Talk Time
The ultimate success of inside sales reps on depends on how much time they’re spending on the phone qualifying prospects. Time and time again throughout my career, when management sent out the previous week’s call metrics, the reps that had the most time talk were usually the ones that set up the most meetings for their outside sales reps. There is a clear correlation between talk time and meetings. As a sales organization, you must determine how many minutes per week are appropriate for each inside sales rep to spend with prospects. It will be different for each organization, but make no mistake about it, it’s a metric that should never be underestimated.

6. Number of Meetings
Tracking the number of meetings is crucial for your sales organization because it enables you to best accurately forecast revenue. You’d be surprised at how many companies I’ve seen not track the number of their meetings. If you’re not setting a goal and tracking the number of meetings of your sales reps, you’re not meeting your potential as a company. It’s that simple. You’d be surprised how many companies there are out there that don’t set a meetings number goal (as a company and per rep).

SIDE NOTE ON THE IMPORTANCE OF MEETINGS (for new sales reps): When I first started in sales, the outside sales rep that I was paired with sat me down in my first week and showed me the calendars of the reps that sold the most and the calendars of the reps that were struggling. You can guess what I saw and which reps were the top producers.

With a full calendar of scheduled appointments, you’re controlling the sales cycle, managing your time effectively and increasing your odds of closing the deal. I’ve had sales managers bang me up for having a deal in the quote (or even later) stage in my pipeline and not have a next meeting scheduled on the calendar. That would make their life more difficult when it came time to do their own monthly forecasting for executives. It’s one big domino effect. 

5. Sales Cycle
Keeping historical data about the average time it takes to close a deal helps you better identify who’s more likely to buy from you and opportunities that are in trouble. How do the sales cycles of the opportunities that are currently in your pipeline compare to past opportunities? The amount of time that a deal spends at each stage of the sales cycle correlates with the likelihood of that deal being closed.

You can shorten your sales cycle by seeing where you’re seeing issues at a particular stage. You should identify this data as a total number for your team and by sales rep. This sill help you identify macro issues that can be addressed at the company level and issues by rep – so you can see who needs to be coached on what.

4. Win Rate
Now to the juicy stuff.Increasing your win rate should always be on your mind. This is where you’re identifying the success rate of your sales team. To improve each sales reps’ win rate, you have to see which stage of the opportunity they’re having trouble with converting. Analyze your sales funnel by stage. Where are your opportunities being lost? In the early stages or the late stages? If conversation rates are low in the early stages, your team will need more training in qualifying, product knowledge or even demo skills. If conversion rates are low in the later stages in the pipeline, that means you need to coach up your team on negotiating and managing objections.

3. Deal Size
Tracking the average sales price of your product makes it easy for you to spot opportunities that fall outside your normal deal size. This will help you better determine if they’re risky opportunities. When a deal is in your pipeline and it’s larger than your average deal size, it’s less likely that you’re going to close that deal.

In the long run, tracking your deal size over time will enable you to see when and by what margin you’re moving up in your market, so you can begin winning larger deals. If your average deal size is increasing by a large margin from what it’s been historically, your pipeline is most likely changing. This is when you find out more about your marketing department’s lead generation initiatives and figure out why you’re closing larger deals.

When your average deal size is changing, it’s not a good or bad thing. It just means you need to look at your data historically and pipeline generation efforts to determine how to react.

2. Closed Opportunities (total and per rep)
This includes both your closed won and closed lost opportunities. You should have this number down cold as a total number and by each rep. Knowing the number of closed opportunities helps you see if your team did enough sales activity. If the closed opportunities is high, then you know the activity is there and you’re getting the proper support from marketing. Even if you didn’t hit your revenue goal, at least you know it’s not marketing or sales activity to blame and you can dig in deeper and see where the team is falling short. If your closed opportunities are low, that’s when you have to look at activity and potential leadflow issues.

1. Open Opportunities (total and per rep)
Knowing how many opportunities are created will tell you a) the inflow of new opportunities into your sales pipeline, and b) how many opportunities your reps are working on and have to sell to.

You need to determine how many open opportunities there need to be for you to hit your revenue goals. If this number is low, you will most likely not hit plan. Everything you do determines how many open opportunities you’ll have. It’s not good when this number isn’t consistently high and is somehow in a yoyo phase going up and down each month or quarter. You can calculate open opportunities for each rep with seeing how much time they’re spending on prospecting, following up, presenting and negotiating. All of that determines the number of opportunities that get opened.

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