Competition is constantly intensifying in the sales world, and customer expectations are at an all-time high.
How can your poor, put-upon sales team keep up?
The secret is in the numbers.
In nerd-speak, we’re talking about embracing data-driven sales methodologies.
A keen focus on data analysis can transform your sales strategy, bring in more revenue, and help you shape reps into top performers.
So get ready — we’re going to take a deep dive into sales metrics, including why they should matter to sales managers like you, and which metrics you should be monitoring to help reps improve their results.
Why Metrics Matter to Sales Managers
Metrics give you visibility into your team’s activity
If you really want to improve your sales performance, you’ll need to look beyond traditional stats like conversion rates.
To squeeze every drop out of your sales analytics, take a look at the activities happening behind the scenes that drive results.
By closely monitoring activity metrics, you'll be able to see exactly how your team members are spending their time — whether they're busy dialing up prospects, crafting awesome emails, or closing deals left and right. With this data, you can pinpoint areas where your team is rocking it and identify spots where a little extra training or motivation might be needed. Plus, you'll be able to recognize patterns and trends that could help you optimize workflows.
We’ll go into detail below about the types of sales activities you can measure when you’re gathering data.
The data can reveal rep effectiveness
When you’re coaching and developing your team, sales metrics let you heap praise on high performers, develop training plans when reps need help, and hold everyone accountable for their work.
Think of a coaching plan as a tailor-made suit, stitched together with the perfect blend of metrics for each rep. And the best part? Because data doesn’t lie, coaching can be objective and fair. With data pointing the spotlight on a rep's issue, solutions become crystal clear.
Data analytics help you spot high performers and best practices
No matter how you slice it, there’s going to be a performance spread among your sales reps. Gartner research indicates that no matter which metric you use, your top 30% of reps will likely outperform the bottom 30% by a factor of four.
But you can leverage data analytics to close the gap between your weakest and strongest performers.
Monitoring sales activities and other metrics can help you figure out what top reps are doing differently from their peers — so you can identify best practices your entire team should follow.
With metrics, you can spot gaps and opportunities
Metrics are not just essential for understanding your team's activity — they can also uncover gaps and opportunities your sales reps may have overlooked. You can examine your data to identify trends, correlations, and anomalies that might reveal untapped potential or areas that require attention.
For example, if you analyze the frequency and success rate of your follow-up interactions with prospects, you might discover that your follow-up is slow, or that the content you’re sending at this stage isn’t relevant. You can use this information to fine-tune your follow-up processes.
Sales Analytics 101: A Few Key Sales Metrics to Monitor
So what metrics should you be measuring in your mission to become the next great analytical sales leader? Here are a few to get your gears turning:
- Sales volume: How much are you actually selling? Sales volume is the cumulative quantity of products or services your company exchanges for revenue within a designated time frame.
- Sales cycle length: How long does it take (on average) to make a sale? That’s your sales cycle. You can examine this metric for the entire group, and also per team member. Individual rep metrics for sales cycle length will help you figure out if some team members are closing in 2 weeks while it takes others 2 months to get a signature on the dotted line.
- Conversion rate: What proportion of potential customers turn into actual buyers? This measurement is a reflection of your team’s overall proficiency in navigating sales cycles, overcoming objections, and securing new business.
- Average deal size: What’s the mean monetary value of an individual sales transaction during a specific time period? This metric gives you a snapshot of your organization's revenue composition.
But what about those crucial sales activity metrics? They’re so important we’d like to talk about them separately…read on to find out how you can measure your sales reps’ inputs in their day-to-day work.
How to Measure Sales Activity to Improve Performance
Sales activity metrics represent a wide range of quantifiable actions your sales reps are performing in their day-to-day workflows.
Picture these metrics as sales inputs (vs. outputs, like your win rate or the length of your sales cycle).
Common sales activity metrics include:
- Outreach attempts: How many proactive contacts are your sales reps initiating with potential customers, through channels like phone calls, emails, or social media messages?
- Lead response time: How long does it take a sales representative to follow up with new leads or inquiries?
- Meetings scheduled: How many calls or appointments are your salespeople setting up?
- Proposals submitted: How many formal sales proposals or quotes are your reps preparing and presenting to potential clients?
- Product demonstrations conducted: How often are your reps delivering product demonstrations?
- Follow-up interactions: How often (and how quickly) does a rep follow up after initial meetings, presentations, or proposal submissions? This might include follow-up phone calls, emails, or additional meetings.
Showcase Workshop provides a centralized hub for all your sales materials, data analytics, and engagement insights, so you track all your activity metrics with ease.
Your sales team can share presentations, documents, and other content directly from the platform, then view the data on how prospects interact with that content — including views, downloads, and time spent on each page.
Showcase Workshop also offers customizable reporting features that allow you to generate tailored reports based on specific sales activity metrics, so you get insight into team performance and areas for improvement.
The Analytical Sales Leader's Edge
The rise of the analytical sales leader marks a new era in sales management, where data-driven decision-making plays a pivotal role in driving performance.
To find out how Showcase Workshop can give you the metrics you need to turn your sales team into a well-oiled machine, sign up for a free trial of Showcase Workshop today.