6 Sales Metrics to Track in 2018

6 Sales Metrics to Track in 2018

Whether you work in sales or not, you’ve likely heard the age-old saying: Sales is a numbers game. And, it’s true—the success and failure of a sales team is often based on numbers like revenue, close rates, and profit margins.

While calculations like revenue are undoubtedly important, they don’t paint an entirely accurate picture of sales performance. In other words, general success metrics give very little insight into individual rep performance and areas of improvement, nor do they offer any actionable information about how to scale success. In many cases, they’re simply vanity numbers.

In today’s post, we share six key sales metrics to pay attention to in 2018. By, no means is this a comprehensive list, but it’s an excellent place to start. Keep reading!

1.    Time spent selling

Sales productivity—it’s a constant battle. Consider this: How much time do your sales reps actually spend selling? We know what you’re thinking: Shouldn’t it always be 100%? After all, that’s what they’re being paid to do.

Unfortunately, it’s not so simple. In fact, according to recent reports, the average sales person only spends 36% of their day on revenue generating activities (source). So, what are they doing instead? Here’s what one study suggests (source):

  • 21% of their day is spent writing emails
  • 17% is spent entering data
  • 17% is spent prospecting and researching leads
  • 12% is spent going to internal meetings
  • 12% is spent scheduling calls

Calculating time spent selling can be as simple as observing your reps activities throughout the day, or having them log their daily tasks during a sample time period. Then, analyze your findings to determine which tasks slow down the selling process. From there, eliminate any non-essential activities or look for more efficient strategies to increase sales productivity.

2.    Lead response time

Another metric you sales should pay close attention to is lead response time– or the average amount of time it takes for your reps to reach out to new leads.

Today’s buyers are self-sufficient. They no longer rely on the assistance of sales reps to navigate the buyers’ journey. By the time they’ve reached out to the rep, they’ve already made an informed decision and feel like your product is a good fit for their needs. Unfortunately, most buyers don’t just consider one option, they also consider your competitors.

More often than not a prospect will choose the organization that responds to their inquiry fastest. Don’t believe us? Consider these statistics (source):

  • The odds of successfully contacting a lead are 100x greater within 5 minutes, compared to 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.
  • The odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21x greater when contacted within 5 minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.
  • 35–50% of salesgo to the vendor that responds first.

Obviously, lead response time matters – a lot. Unfortunately, many businesses don’t have an easy way to gather this data. Although modern sales technology has made this easier, one simple but effective method of measure lead response time is to fill out dummy form. Supply valid, non-identifiable contact information and wait for a rep to get in touch.

3.    Time to productivity

In an ideal world, every new hire you bring on to your sales team would hit the ground running. Unfortunately, this usually isn’t the case. In fact, studies show that it can take an average of 10 months or more for a new sales rep to be fully productive (source).

New employees are an investment. The longer it takes a rep to become productive, the longer it will take for your investment to pay off. Monitoring time to productivity can provide sales managers with key insights into the onboarding process. Here’s why onboarding is crucial to the financial success of your organization:

  • Organizations with a standard onboarding process experience 50% greater new hire productivity (source).
  • Effective onboarding programs can improve employee performance by 11.5% (source).
  • 69% of employees are more likely to stay with a company for three years if they experienced great onboarding (source).
  • Of the companies with onboarding programs, employees in the longest onboarding programs gain full proficiency 34% faster than in the shortest programs, that’s a difference of 4 months (source).

The better your onboarding program, the less time it will take for new employees to become productive members of your team.

4.    Win-rate

Win-rate is the measurement of sales opportunities that result in a closed-win status. In other words, it calculates the number of successful sales your reps make. This is often the ultimate calculation to determine a sales reps effectiveness.

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Again, this is a fairly simple calculation: Just take the number of won opportunities within a given time period and divide it by the total number of open opportunities in the same time period.

# Won Opportunities / Total # of Open Opportunities = %Win rate

Obviously, a higher number is better, as it indicates more successes than failures. It’s important to note that there are many different factors that contribute to win-rate—so don’t immediately fire a rep with a low win-rate. Instead, take the time to evaluate their processes and understand why their win rate is so low. Are they using their time efficiently? Is their outreach cadence up to par with their high performing peers? Or, do they have a particularly challenging territory? As with the other metrics in this article, the goal is to improve over time.

To help your sale team improve win rate, you must first understand where they’re losing the most buyers. If many deals are lost early one, perhaps your team needs to do a better job building trust or establishing the value of your product. If your team is losing sales toward the end of the deal perhaps you need to focus on negotiation skills or learn how to manage prospect expectations better.

5.    Outreach actions

This next metric is not one specific calculation, but many different numbers to judge how active your sales reps are. Although, it could be argued that the number actions isn’t as important as the quality of actions, these numbers still provide you with valuable insight into which reps are working hard and which might be slacking.

This category may include the following:

  • # of outreach emails sent
  • # of follow up emails sent
  • # of outreach calls made
  • # of follow up calls made
  • # of meetings scheduled
  • # of proposals sent
  • # of demos given

Not only do these tell you how active reps are, it also tells you where they’re spending the most time and where they need to spend more time. For example, one sales team at your organization is consistently missing quota, and based on outreach actions you realize they’re only making half as many calls as other sales teams. Upon further analysis, you attribute this low number of calls to the fact that your team is the last to adopt a new sales contact database solution.  You now understand where the problem is, and you can justify the purchase of the tool to your higher ups.

Check out this helpful list of sales outreach statistics for more insight into how to improve your team’s outreach metrics.

6.    Percentage of reps meeting quota

Quota attainment refers to the percentage of salespeople meeting or exceeding their sales targets or goals within a given period. It’s important to look at this metric, in addition to looking at each individual rep’s quota attainment, so you can judge how fitting your goals are.

For instance, if only 30% of your team is able to meet quota, there’s obviously a problem. Some common issues here include:

  • You’ve set unrealistic expectations: Consider reevaluating what your team is capable of handling, and adjust accordingly.
  • Your compensation plan isn’t up to par: Consider upping commission rates in an effort to re-motivate your reps. With the opportunity to make more, they may be willing to work harder to achieve their goals.
  • Your team needs more training: Underperformance could be the result of a team that hasn’t received enough training.
  • Your reps simply aren’t effective: While this shouldn’t be your first assumption, it is possible that your reps just aren’t a good fit for your sales process. Consider eliminating or relocating any reps that aren’t improving.

On the flip side, if the majority of reps (90-100%) meet quota, there’s a good chance you’ve set your expectations too low. You want your reps to succeed, but you also want them to work hard for their achievements.

Key Takeaways

These metrics do more than just report on the success of a sales team—they provide important insight into many different facets of selling. Without these insights, you’ll know whether your company is profitable or not, but you won’t be able to improve your performance.

As with most things in life, your metrics will never be perfect, but as long as you make the effort to improve these numbers over time, your sales team will see continued success.

About the Author

Krysta Williams is a Marketing Content Specialist at ZoomInfo where she writes for their B2B blog on topics related to sales, marketing, and recruiting. ZoomInfo’s accurate and actionable B2B contact database enables sales and marketing teams to execute more effective marketing campaigns and improve sales prospecting efforts.