If you’re in the process of selecting or identifying new key performance indicators (KPIs) at your organization, it’s difficult to decide where to start. There are so many options! As the adage goes, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Actually, “measure” is step seven of our Revenue Performance Management (RPM) cycle.
Instead of telling you the KPIs that I personally find attractive, I decided to get some advice straight from the horse’s mouth—I talked directly with sales managers. Below, you’ll find 12 KPIs that the managers we spoke to have found to be vital for their organization.
- Opportunities: How many potential opportunities has the marketing team provided for the sales team to close a deal and generate revenue? Marketing is a key driver for the pipeline of the sales team. There is a baseline expectation built into each month, combined with a generous growth target to support the organization. These targets drive staffing, expenditures, and other costs, so we need to ensure they they are aligned well with the plan. Marketing and sales need to work together to continue the growth of opportunities each month, both organically and through additional partnerships. Daniel Percy—Chief Revenue Officer, TechnologyAdvice
- Project Conversion: How effective is the team at closing opportunities? Each opportunity has the potential to be converted to a project where we serve the buyer’s needs by connecting them with the right vendor. In our organization, each Technology Advisor is evaluated based upon their specific ratio, which allows us to determine their strengths, as well as areas for improvement. If the actual performance is below target, it may be a volume issue, a training issue, or a personnel issue. Visibility into this metric helps the leadership understand and address this. Daniel Percy—Chief Revenue Officer, TechnologyAdvice
- Average Revenue Per Project: How efficient is the sales team at driving every potential dollar out of each project and interaction? Buyers have needs and they truly want a solution. The conflict comes when they have to balance research on new technology solutions with all of their other standard responsibilities. Our job is to educate, advise, and get them through the process as efficiently as possible. We owe it to the buyers—as well as to ourselves—to get the right information to them the first time, spend the correct amount of time talking through their needs, and then make the most out of that interaction. This allows the buyer to spend less time digging for the answers. Daniel Percy—Chief Revenue Officer, TechnologyAdvice
- Number Of Calls Greater Than Five Minutes: Most sales organizations track call volume and minutes spent on the phone, and encourage sales reps to focus on quality conversations instead of burning through a lead list. This adds a definition of quality to calls. Jordan Wan—CEO, CloserIQ
- Probability Adjusted Pipeline Value: Many CRMs allow you to assign a probability for each stage of your sales process. Weighing your deal opportunities by these probabilities can help you better assess the expected revenue close, which helps forecast and improve pipeline management conversations. Jordan Wan—CEO, CloserIQ
- Percent Of Reps Over Quota: Sales organizations define “quota” differently. For some teams, it’s a stretch goal, while for other teams, it’s the median or minimum performance expected. Regardless of your definition, you should have a realistic understanding of what percentage your team is actually attaining. If your percentage is too low, it can be discouraging for your team to believe it’s an attainable measure. Jordan Wan—CEO, CloserIQ
- Activity: Because our company deals primarily with sales done over the phone, this is simple for us to track. We look at how many calls our account managers are making and the amount of time spent on those calls. This usually determines if they spent quality time working with a client or prospect. Another activity metric is how much time the account manager spent inputting client information into our CRM. This can usually be figured out by how detailed the account information is in our customer management system. We also track the number of emails an account manager is sending to clients, so we can determine if they are fostering the client relationship in an appropriate and helpful manner. Everything is tied into our gamification system, which takes all of these activity metrics and summarizes them into an overall score. This score basically tells our account managers how productive they were for the day, or if they’re making the grade. Without activity in sales, you begin to trick yourself into thinking you don’t have to put in as much work to make the sale. Eli Martin—Director of Sales, eZanga
- Pipeline: What comes out of a salesperson’s activity? This is the sale or the potential for the sale, which is also known as the sales pipeline. This is tracked through our CRM, and gives our salespeople a pulse of how effective they are in their sales position. Eli Martin—Director of Sales, eZanga
- The Percentage Of Closed Sales To Lost Leads: A good salesperson knows they are not going to make the sale every time. If the percentage of sales from the pipeline is greater than the lost leads, the salesperson has nothing to worry about. If not, we need to sit down and figure out what is lost in the sales process. Eli Martin—Director of Sales, eZanga
- Dials: We track dials through our CRM and calling software. This should be something that’s relatively easy to track for most companies. If you don’t have the technology, you can always set up a call sheet and have the rep mark each call on paper. It sounds crazy, but it will give you and the sales reps an idea of how many calls they are actually making. Ben Jackson—VP of Sales, Voices.com
- Quotes Sent: We track quotes sent through our CRM software. In our business, each quote that gets sent out has a job posting (in our business, this is a casting call) attached to it, so we track how many jobs a rep is posting each day and every month. Ben Jackson—VP of Sales, Voices.com
- Closed Won Dollars: This is one of the most exciting KPIs because we are talking dollars—which is every salesperson’s favorite thing. We track this through our CRM as well. However, I’ve also tracked this using a good old-fashioned white board in the past. All you need to do is create a column for the day and a total column for the week, and the goals are then visible for the entire team to hold themselves and each other accountable to. Ben Jackson—VP of Sales, Voices.com
As you can see, no two managers have the same answer for which KPIs are the most important for sales. This is dependent entirely on which industry you’re in, how you differentiate yourself, and what is most important for your company.
Which KPIs do you find most important? Comment below—we’d love to chat about it!