Today’s sales technologies allow sales teams to measure almost anything. But to make the most out of your time spent analyzing your measurements, you need to be sure you’re paying attention to the metrics that matter most. Some sales managers get caught up measuring everything, simply because they can. However, this can lead to sales reps getting lost in dozens of metrics along with their day-to-day work, and managers without a clear sense of what is actually driving the business.
So which sales metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) should your sales team actively measure in order to stay focused on what will actually correlate success?
First, it’s important to understand the difference between leading and lagging indicators, and how each will come into play. Lagging indicators report your sales team’s output—things like total dollars closed, number of deals closed, average deal size, sales cycle length, or number of new customers secured. While extremely important to track, these metrics won’t necessarily help you manage your salespeople’s time to ensure they’re placing enough effort toward the right tasks to advance the business.
Leading indicators, on the other hand, are metrics that can help you strategize for the future. Leading indicators can define the steps your sales team takes moving forward that will, ultimately, steer performance in a positive direction. Here are three focus areas to get you started:
Measure Efficiency — Instead of asking, “how many deals are we closing?” redirect the concept so it reflects a leading indicator. Ask, “what tactics are the sales team using to close deals?” Take a look at the deals closed, and what actions were taken throughout the sales cycle that led to each win. Did the salespeople use certain documents or materials in each deal? If certain tactics are less effective, identify those to ensure your salespeople are not wasting their time and using them to try to close deals.
Measure Effectiveness — As you analyze which actions are assisting in closing more deals, dive deeper into why these tactics are so effective. If your sales reps are sending emails or sharing certain sales documents, measure how many prospects are opening those email and documents, their engagement levels, how far they read into the content, etc. Some sales technology platforms will offer these types of analytics in their reporting tools, so be sure to consider this when choosing a platform for your sales team.
Measure Productivity — Many sales managers get caught up in the quantities of production—how many emails are sales reps sending per day? How many phone calls are they making? How many documents are they sending and sharing with prospects? While these metrics carry importance, it’s important to stress both the quantity and quality of your sales team’s productivity. How useful are the metrics measuring the quantities of your reps’ actions if they’re not producing quality content or phone calls?
This is also where you can dive into how your sales reps are spending their days, and reevaluate the processes and procedures you have in place. Research shows many salespeople are spending over half of their days on non-selling activities, such as administrative tasks and generating content. The right sales technology can help your team improve their overall productivity to ensure they spend their time working to close deals. Sales tech can also help in producing more quality content, providing your salespeople with access to branded, professional templates.
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