A comprehensive guide to sales activity, sales performance, and sales productivity metrics
You can read a great deal about sales activity tracking, sales productivity metrics, and sales analysis metrics, but which should you choose? Hubspot identifies twelve “critical” sales metrics you should track if you want your sales and marketing teams to hum. They divide these twelve metrics into quality and quantity metrics. Nick Hedges, former CEO of Velocify, maintains that early funnel sales metrics matter most, and recommends that sales leaders focus on two types of metrics: lead quality and sales team performance. The truth is that knowing which metrics matter and will produce more closed deals and increased revenue is ultimately unique to your business and your team.
Examples: Different Approaches to Metrics for Different Businesses
Consider the old school approach where account reps eat what they hunt.
- There are no Sales Development Reps (SDRs) or Business Development Reps (BDRs).
- The only thing their sales managers care about are new dials and face-to-face meetings.
- Sales reps have targets for opportunities that they have to achieve; otherwise, it’s all about the lunches.
Now consider the dials per hour metric for BDRs.
- In this method, the managers measure the average number of outgoing calls per hour by calculating the total number of dials divided by the total number of active BDR hours.
- The sales managers assign BDRs a target number of calls per hour.
- BDRs not only have to make a certain number of calls, they must conduct other sales activities such as emailing prospects, which may affect the number of calls the BDRs are able to make. So, a company must decide if emailing should factor into sales productivity.
These businesses determined that different activity and activity metrics worked to optimize the productivity of their sales and marketing teams. The same approach may or may not work for your business.
Popular Metrics to Consider
In figuring out which sales metrics matter the most to your organization in optimizing your sales and marketing teams’ efforts, consider these thoughts on some of the most common performance and activity metrics:
Performance and Activity Metrics
How well are your reps stacking up against their targets? Sales teams are only as successful as each sales rep in meeting his or her goals. Every sales leader must measure performance and activity metrics to determine the overall effectiveness of the team and the individual success of each team member.
- How many leads came in each week/month/quarter?
- How many activities are allocated for each lead?
- How many leads convert, and how many slip through the cracks?
Tracking these metrics can also help you identify whether your monthly and yearly targets are too aggressive or conservative. This allows managers to notice when reps need additional coaching or help to reach their targets. Comparing sales rep performance side-by-side means you can foster some healthy competition and motivation to the team.
Number of Sales Activities
Whether it’s number of calls, meetings, e-mails, LinkedIn connections, events, or any other lead-generating activities, tracking sales activities is just good practice. The important thing here is to not only be persistent in doing the activities, but to log them so you will know the nature of the call/email/event, etc. Record how each lead responds and which medium they seem to respond well to. When you zero in on which activities best lead to engaging with your prospects, you can work towards a better success rate.
More calls do not necessarily mean more sales. Call traction is similar to call effectiveness, but focuses specifically on how well a rep is moving the sale forward toward closing. This isn’t exactly a quantifiable metric, but more of a qualitative performance assessment. Sales leaders who look at call traction and momentum are able to uncover whether their sales representatives are getting more information about the prospect with each call, and whether they are giving the prospect compelling reasons to buy from you. Is the rep getting closer to the decision maker? Did he pitch effectively and give the prospect a reason to move forward? Has she given the prospect a reason to buy? If meetings aren’t moving towards a close, they aren’t effective, and the rep likely needs additional coaching to be more effective.
Speed to Contact Attempt
This is the time it takes from when a lead is generated to when you call or email the prospect in response to an inquiry. This metric shows you how effective your sales reps are at the most basic level. Speed in response to queries has a direct correlation with conversion rates; if a sales rep calls quickly, they will be able to see results faster. This metric also shows managers which sales reps are falling behind or failing to contact leads altogether. Reps who let their leads slip through the cracks can be retrained or removed.
Reach & Leads Generated
Total reach is the total number of subscribers in a company’s email database, along with social media followers, blog followers and more—basically, anyone that the company can reach via content marketing or traditional marketing methodologies. This metric is important because it measures how wide the top of your funnel is and how many leads you can generate.
Every closed deal begins with a lead, so having a leads generated goal is one way to keep your team’s eyes on the prize. Keep the definition of a lead broad. Anyone who may fit your target customer profile is a possible lead. After you study the market and identify your target market, then you can target the right leads and start the process of nurturing them to a sale. The more leads you have in your pipeline, the more leads you can qualify, nurture and eventually convert.
The revenue pipeline takes the leads that marketing generates and projects the value of that lead based on close rates and average revenue per sale. This helps managers align marketing efforts with sales quotas to make sure both teams are working towards accomplishing the same goals. An accurate view of your revenue pipeline is also the key to meaningful forecasting.
Lead Qualification Rate
You can’t afford to measure conversion rates by ROI alone; lead qualification rate is also an important metric. How many of those leads at the top of the funnel actually worked out? By measuring this rate, you can tell whether the leads that the marketing team is producing will translate into revenue in the pipeline. The sources that have a low qualification rate need to be reevaluated or nixed. This metric also measures the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns and the quality of your content, which can be changed or replicated as necessary.
You have easy access to the number of leads in your pipeline, but how many of those leads turn into real selling opportunities? To be able to determine how effective your reps are, track and analyze how much time they are spending on calling leads, how many calls lead to appointments, and how many of those appointments convert into opportunities. As part of this analysis, note how many calls are made to the same lead or contact. Also consider other factors that may affect call effectiveness such as which times of the day your reps reach more decision makers. Use this data to determine an overall effectiveness of each rep and cadence, and then develop more standardized practices for all reps to use moving forward.
Refining your sales process starts by understanding your best deals and why and how they converted from a lead to a deal. Track conversion rates and conversion time, but also track the process that got them to convert. When in the marketing campaign did they become a viable lead? An opportunity? What made them decide to purchase? What did you do with them to get a positive outcome? Knowing these metrics (conversion rates, time, and approach) will help you fine tune your campaigns and cadences moving forward.
Win Rate Movement
It’s not enough to track win rates alone; that’s about as good as tracking revenue alone. Consider analyzing win rates and win rate movement. The latter is all about rates of closing—how long it takes reps to close. Knowing realistic win rates and movement will help you identify buying trends and accurately forecast.
Metrics and Management
In the past, revenue was all you had to measure to see whether your sales team was performing. But as the market and the sales process gets more complex, so does measuring sales performance. It isn’t enough to merely measure the number of outbound calls, deals closed and new meetings scheduled. By measuring the level and quality of sales activity, you gain deeper insight into your team and your market. Plus, you can make improvements as the deal progresses.
As a business owner or team leader, it is very important that you keep tabs on how your team is doing and how much you are selling. In order to see the big picture, you need to measure meaningful sales metrics—what is aiding conversions and how, who is buying from you, as well as which representatives are delivering. That said, some metrics matter more to some managers than others. Having a reliable and accurate way of tracking the sales activities and productivity metrics that matter to your team is vital in refining your sale process.
Do More, Close More, and Improve More with Salesvue
Sales metrics are both quantitative and qualitative. It can be overwhelming to choose which to track and find actionable insights from them. If you’re looking for metrics to provide meaning and direction for your sales efforts, check out Salesvue.
Salesvue is the world’s first Salesforce® native sales engagement platform that enables sales and marketing teams to do more, close more, and improve more. You can measure productivity and success rates, and do so according to industry, day of the week and even time. You can see which teams and representatives have higher conversion rates, and learn what they are doing right- which helps you implement new techniques and makes for better planning. . Our fine-grain analytics provide you with the insight you need to make better business decisions, leading to sales business intelligence.
If you are looking to increase success rates and up productivity, try Salesvue.