Checking sales metrics daily and not just when a report is due is the secret to staying in the know regarding the performance of your sales team and determining how much they’re contributing to the success of your organization.
The health of your pipeline is the most crucial of these metrics, especially if we bear in mind that it’s easy to assume leads are more qualified than they are, which makes your sales team overestimate their performance.
Therefore, to make the most of all these insights and use them to step up your sales efforts, it’s important to look deeply into your data and go beyond just how many deals your sales reps close.
This article delves into why you should be checking your numbers daily, which metrics to pay attention to, and how to use what you discover to inform your sales strategy and help your team make more informed decisions.
Make personal data monitoring a daily habit
All sales reps know the importance of numbers, which is why they tend to have a weekly or monthly routine of checking their own performance — whenever they’re submitting a report.
Still, that doesn’t suffice if you want your team to truly deliver and exceed their quota. One of the differences between top players and average salespeople lies in the fact that overachievers pay attention to their numbers and pay attention to them daily.
Instruct your team to check out their metrics daily, even if they’re not required to report on anything, and give them access to a convenient sales metrics dashboard — you can create your own if you don’t use a sophisticated CRM, you can create your own
While a spreadsheet is still an option for smaller companies, CRMs, and sales engagement platforms are indispensable tools for large organizations with multiple sales teams. This way, you’ll not only speed up and streamline the process but also make things more transparent, meaning it will be possible for you to access a 360-degree overview of your sales reps’ performance in real-time.
The KPIs you should be tracking at all times
The decision about which tool you’ll go with will be a bit easier if you know the metrics you need.
While it’s best to have a comprehensive platform that will track and process all the relevant sales metrics, some of the key performance indicators (KPIs) you should keep an eye on consistently include:
- The number of potential deals in your pipeline. How many leads could you legitimately reach out to right now? How many of them are warm and likely to convert, and how many are cold and in need of nurturing?
- Your quarterly and average closing rates. What percentage of the leads coming down your pipeline does your team close?
- The profitability of your deals. None of the deals your team closes shouldn’t cost a dollar more than the revenue they brought in. Ideally, you should go for significantly less. We’re Another way to think of this is: What’s your company’s Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)? If you don’t have to spend much for your sales reps to close one of your leads, you have a low CAC — and that’s what you should care about most. Revenue is important, but bottom-line profitability is what matters most.
- Daily activity. The number of calls your sales reps make, emails they send, and the amount of time they spend prospecting and networking should also be among your top priorities. Comparing these to your team’s past performance and benchmarks can give you a sense of their ongoing productivity.
How metrics should drive your decisions
Reviewing your numbers is one thing, but knowing what to do to improve them is another.
Think of manipulating your sales metrics as an experiment, and don’t be afraid to try new things.
➡️ If you find your emails haven’t had a great open rate, make sure to A/B test some subject lines and other email elements, including CTAs, copy, and preview text.
➡️ If those emails aren’t converting, try switching up your messaging or come back to the basics of email etiquette.
➡️ If your pipeline is running dry, it’s time to exit some prospects who aren’t progressing to the next stage of the buying process and focus on filling the top of your funnel.
Taking action on what you find in data discovery is even more crucial before the cracks in your pipeline snowball into an actual problem.
The big question: Are your leads really qualified?
One of the most important stories your data can tell is how qualified your leads are.
Most of the time, deals aren’t as qualified as we think they are.
Here are the factors you should be using to determine the real depth of lead qualification.
Your sales team should determine to what degree the lead has:
- Access to decision-makers. This is important because sales reps want to know if the lead can influence or approve the purchase decision. If the lead is not a decision-maker, then they need to find out who that person(s) is/are and how to reach them. Using the BANT framework is an effective way of qualifying leads based on their budget, authority, need, and timeline. This means asking questions like “Who else is involved in the decision-making process?” or “How do you typically make decisions like this?”.
- Knowledge about their company’s budget. Your sales reps should find out if the lead can afford your solution and if they have allocated funds for it. The best way to do this is by implementing the GPCT framework to qualify leads based on their goals, plans, challenges, and timeline. Some of the questions to ask prospects are “What is your budget for this project?” or “How do you measure the return on investment of your solutions?”.
- An urgent timeline. How strong is the lead’s motivation to buy, and how badly do they need your solution? If the lead has a specific deadline or needs a solution quickly, you can be sure they have a serious intent to make a purchase and won’t prolong the process. Direct questions such as “What is your timeline for implementing a solution?” or “What are the consequences of not solving this problem?” should be part of your sales reps’ scripts.
- An understanding of the impact of closing the deal. The lead who’s unaware of the value and benefits of your solution and how it can help them achieve their goals isn’t a great candidate for converting. To make sure the lead understands why your solution is the right for them, your sales team should ask questions like “What are the main benefits you expect from our solution?”. This will give them an opportunity to discuss how the product or service will make the potential customer’s life easier and solve their pain points.
- Obstacles getting in the way. Does the lead have any objections or concerns that might prevent them from buying? To minimize these deal-breakers, your sales reps can ask questions like “What are the main challenges or risks you face in this project?” or “How do you overcome objections from other stakeholders?”.
Moving forward with the illusion that you’re dealing with highly qualified leads, if that’s not the case, is a surefire way to an unhealthy pipeline.
What if your sales reps feel disheartened about their sales metrics?
It can be uncomfortable for your sales team to take an honest look at how well they’re doing their job. However, it can also be the best thing that has happened to them.
Despite how hard it might be to swallow at first, you may uncover pure gold: the reason things haven’t been going as well as they could. When you face reality, you can decide to move in a different direction.
If you’re feeling like your team’s numbers aren’t where you want them to be, try some of the following steps.
- Sit down with your sales team. Be open and ask them what kind of guidance they need.
- Explain what numbers they should care about. It’s only logical that not all the data has the same weight, especially when analyzed on a daily basis. That’s why your team should know what KPIs are their priority.
- Narrow down the top five numbers they should focus on. It’s never a great idea to tackle everything at once. The same goes for sales metrics. Put one foot in front of the other and focus on just the next step.
Sales metrics are vital for measuring and improving your sales team’s performance. By tracking and analyzing your pipeline, sales reps’ activity, and conversion rates daily, you can gain valuable insights into your sales process, identify strengths and weaknesses, and optimize your strategies. All this will guide your decisions and help your sales team supercharge their efforts.