Metrics measure performance. They facilitate aspects of processes, right from planning and decision-making, to tracking, analyzing, and course correction. In a business context, metrics are used to ensure that outcomes align with the business objectives.
And for sales teams, each and every activity has to be measured and tracked in order to achieve the desired results.
Before we go ahead and discuss the important sales metrics you need to track in your organization, let’s take a look at some of the basics of sales metrics.
What are sales metrics and why are they important?
Most sales activities are measurable. In fact, sales metrics are indispensable, considering sales directly impact the bottom line of the business and determine degrees of success.
However, sales metrics are much more than that. A metric may look simple on the surface and yet reveal underlying trends. There are several types of sales metrics, categorized based on which stage of the sales process they measure. Examples include activity, lead generation, productivity, and funnel among others.
To hit the ground running, we have identified 4 sales metrics that you must absolutely track.
1. Sales performance metrics
A sales manager needs to quantify the performance of team members and the effectiveness of their tasks. Data collected over time helps reveal trends and patterns and sets the baseline and targets for success.
- Sales per rep
On the surface, this metric is an individual’s contribution to revenue. But it can answer the questions like “is the individual underperforming, exceeding targets, or coasting?”
A manager can then act accordingly by setting incentives or identifying blockers. Sales per rep numbers also work as motivators in a competitive field.
Consider an example: the revenue target is $100,000 per financial quarter. A typical deal averages at $1,000, which means a minimum of 100 deals. With a team of 20 people, the sales per rep comes out to 5 deals per quarter.
- Sales per region
If there are multiple sales teams, then sale managers need to determine each team’s contribution to the organization. This information proves useful in many ways like revealing the market forces and the efficacy of the sales process. Incoming revenue can factor into the allocation of resources too.
- Lead to opportunity conversion rate
Leads are tough and expensive to acquire. And even before they are assigned to your sales team, the leads go through an initial qualification. This metric tracks leads from start to finish, to see if the revenue justifies the overall marketing and sales effort and whether sales reps are able to convert them effectively.
2. Sales productivity metrics
Sales productivity metrics measure the rate at which sales reps reach their revenue targets. With these metrics, you can track the exact activities of your sales reps, and then ascertain whether those activities are leading to conversions.
- Lead response time
If companies don’t respond to enquiries within 5 minutes, they risk losing them altogether. So, how long does it take your reps to respond to an inbound lead?
Consider someone who registers for a product demo. The person is evaluating your product and is open to hearing all about it. More crucially, the prospect will also be evaluating your competitors. Therefore, it is vital to get in touch first. Quick replies signal efficiency, interest, courtesy, and customer-centricity. The warmer the lead, the better the chances of conversion.
- Attempt to contact rate
Sales deals, especially the big ones, are rarely made quickly or without considerable thought. Often it boils down to patience and the sales reps ability to stay with the lead till they convert. This sales metric enables you with the data of how many average attempts or activities a rep makes to secure leads. It is calculated in one of the following ways:
Attempt to connect rate = Total connects/Calls attempted
Attempt to connect rate = Email responses/Emails sent
A low score on this metric could mean one of these things:
- Their pitches aren’t resonating with the audience,
- The leads themselves are of poor quality,
- They are not attempting to connect
Experiment with changes in the sales scripts and track results. To improve lead quality, collaborate with the marketing team to refine the lead generation process.
3. Sales activities metrics
Actions are necessary to convert leads into opportunities. Once you’ve identified which actions need to be performed, optimization is key. That’s where sales activities metrics come in.
- Email open rate and click-through rate
Sales reps send out a lot of emails to prospects, hence it is vital to measure email performance. Factors that influence open rates, like subject lines and readability on a mobile device, are indicators of where you can optimize your emails. Likewise, with click-through rates, use the metric to ensure email content resonates with the needs of your prospects. You can use email tracking tools to get these insights directly from your Gmail.
- The number of calls to conversations and conversations to appointments: Calls are a proven way for sales reps to take leads down the funnel. Calls will yield conversations, and conversations lead to appointments. The data will indicate if the calling works with your business, and measures the efficiency of your sales development representatives.If a salesperson is making several calls but isn’t able to schedule enough appointments, you can analyze their call recordings to find out the scope of improvement.
4. Sales funnel metrics
The sales funnel is the journey through which a lead becomes a customer. Marketing will qualify leads before handing them over to sales. Qualified leads are whittled down to opportunities, and finally, a percentage emerges as customers. Sales funnel metrics evaluate this process.
- Opportunity count on each stage: The count at each stage is always lower than the previous one, but obviously you want the loss at each stage to be minimal. The opportunity count highlights areas of improvement in the sales funnel.
For example, you have plenty of prospects looking for demos, but the number drops sharply at the quotation stage. That’s evidently an area that needs to be reevaluated.
Additionally, the metric gives you a snapshot of the number of leads at each stage in proportion to the funnel. You can then ensure all stages have enough opportunities.
- Time spent on each stage: Time spent in sales is a cost of acquisition. Clearly, you would want to minimize time spent but without losing out on effectiveness. This sales metric lets you know how much time do you spend and how effective is that usage of time.
Sales metrics are used to make data-driven decisions with the view of reaching or even exceeding sales targets. Metrics generate analytics that in turn create actionable feedback to improve performance and effectiveness across the sales process.
It is important to note that, while it is tempting to track all the sales metrics, it is sensible to cherry-pick sales metrics that suit your organization, its environment, market, industry, and team members. You can try anyone from this list of sales metrics and use the one that helps you the most.
Do you have any thoughts to add to our points? Join in the conversation in the comments, and tell us what you think.