Top 10 sales metrics and KPIs for modern sales teams

Top 10 sales metrics and KPIs for modern sales teams

In today’s highly competitive business landscape, companies find it increasingly difficult to compete without the capacity to make data-driven decisions. The sales metrics and analysis provided by modern technology makes this easy.

Many businesses are moving to an all-in-one customer relationship management (CRM) solution because they provide full CRM, sales, marketing, and help desk modules all on the same platform. This means that data from every department is stored in one central database, increasing the volume and accuracy of the data and metrics at your disposal, which allows you to make more data-driven decisions.

Key sales metrics to measure and analyze

An all-in-one CRM tracks loads of sales metrics. But there are additional metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that you must track in other places, such as social media sites. Below we’ll cover the top ten sales metrics and KPIs that modern sales teams should embrace and leverage to drive sales and company growth.

1. Total sales month-over-month

Tracking overall sales by rep, per month, is not a new concept. Sales teams have been doing it for decades. However, it’s still an important sales metric even in the digital age.

An all-in-one CRM provides powerful CRM reporting that lets you easily keep tabs on how each rep is performing with regards to sales. Sales managers and directors should set monthly benchmarks and measure rep performance against those.

If you find that your reps’ total monthly sales are dropping, you can dig into the data to understand why. Once you identify the cause behind the drop, you can use the data available to help that rep improve and get them back on course.

2. Opportunities lost

It’s important to track the number of opportunities lost, as well as the ratio of opportunities created to opportunities lost for each sales rep. If reps are creating loads of new opportunities but losing most of them, you need to understand the reason behind that.

This is an easy sales metric to track in an all-in-one CRM. Most of these solutions provide customizable dashboards that let sales managers and reps check in daily and get the insight they need at a glance.

Pro tip: If a rep is losing more opportunities than they are winning, sales managers can leverage the advanced telephony features in an all-in-one CRM to dig into the situation and uncover the reasons causing this. Use call recording featuresto record each sales call made by each rep so managers can listen in and identify weak points in the rep’s approach and guide them to improve in those areas.

3. Sales funnel flow

This is another tried and true sales metric, but it still applies to, and is critical to the success of modern sales teams. The great thing is that with data tracking and sales metrics capabilities in CRM solutions, this data collection and analysis takes place automatically. You simply check your dashboard, and you can easily see how many leads each rep has in the funnel.

With the insight provided by sales funnel analysis, sales managers can see which reps are moving leads through the funnel at the expected velocity. They can also identify reps who are seeing a bottleneck at one particular stage of the funnel and are having a hard time moving them past that stage.

That kind of granular detail allows managers to focus on that one stage and better understand why that bottleneck exists, as well as how to make changes to fix the issue and get leads flowing smoothly through the funnel once again.

4. Outreach activities completed

Each rep engages in prospecting outreach. This consists of cold calling, sending cold emails, etc. Logically, the more prospects they reach, the more likely they are to convert them to customers. That’s why it’s important to track the number of calls and cold prospect emails.

Reps can leverage technology to streamline their outreach. They can use sales email templates to expedite the sending of prospect emails. They can use auto dialer features to make more calls in less time. They can also leverage pre-recorded voicemail drops to save time and make more calls.

You can easily track calls made and emails sent per rep with CRM reporting. Set an outreach benchmark and measure each reps’ outreach against that to identify those who need support to improve their efforts.

5. Optimize your LinkedIn profile

With so many consumers using social media, social sites have become a key venue for reps to engage potential customers. Social media statistics inform us that by 2021, experts expect the number of global social media users to reach 3.02 billion, which amounts to one-third of the world’s population.

LinkedIn is the best social site to use for prospecting because its focus is professional relationships, not friendships. For that reason, modern sales reps need to optimize their LinkedIn profiles to generate the maximum amount of social media engagement possible.

LinkedIn even guides you on how to improve and optimize your profile. LinkedIn provides a ranking of your profile strength. If your profile needs lots of work, LinkedIn will rank your profile as “Beginner” and will provide suggestions for how to improve it, such as “Add work dates.” (see image 1 below).

add_work_dates

 

As you build out and optimize your profile, your profile ranking will increase until you reach All star status (see image 2 below).

your_dashboard

 

Once you have optimized your profile, you can measure how effective it is in a few ways. Track the following metrics to assess how well you’ve optimized your LinkedIn profile:

  • Number of followers and follower growth over time
  • Acceptance rate on connection requests
  • Number of inquiries and referrals you receive via LinkedIn instant messaging
  • Number of profile views and growth of views over time

 

6. Measure social engagement

Social selling is super popular these days because it is highly effective at building relationships with potential customers and growing your reputation as a thought leader in your space.

Here, you will go beyond LinkedIn and measure every social platform you use. To excel at social selling, don’t try to sell your product outright. Rather, provide helpful content that solves problems and provide your insight into relevant topics by commenting on others’ posts.

You can measure how effectively you are engaging prospects on social media by tracking and analyzing the following metrics:

  • Number of shares your posts receive and the ratio of posts to shares
  • Number of comments your posts receive, and the ratio of comments per post
  • Likes per post

If you’re effectively engaging prospects on social media, these metrics should constantly improve.

7. Conversion rates

Sales reps receive marketing qualified leads (MQLs) from marketing who, theoretically, have displayed a propensity to buy and are ready for sales outreach.

Once marketing passes an MQL to sales, are they converted into a customer? Or is the opportunity lost? You can measure conversion rates by taking the number of leads that you’ve converted into customers and dividing that by the total number of MQLs you received from marketing.

If the conversion rate is low, it could be because marketing is qualifying leads too early. Or it could be because the sales rep isn’t effective at closing deals. Only the data will tell you that, and you can easily do this with the sales reporting features provided by most CRMs.

8. Product and service expertise

These days sales reps must be absolute experts in the products or services they sell They also need to do their homework and understand each prospect’s needs before reaching out, so they can explain how their product or service solves for those needs.

To drive this home, consider that according to SAP, 46% of executives cite that their biggest frustration with vendors is salespeople who lack relevant knowledge/subject matter expertise about the prospect’s needs.

Salespeople need to be highly knowledgeable with the ability to answer any product question thrown at them, no matter how technical.

I recommend coordinating intensive product and service training for each sales rep. Because products evolve, and new features are constantly added, you should hold refresher courses at least once per quarter.

You can measure reps’ expertise by giving them an exam after each training course to see how well they absorb the information presented. You can take it a step further by asking them to give a mock sales pitch after each lesson, with a sales manager playing devil’s advocate and asking unexpected questions to see how their reps handle them.

9. Personalized outreach

Personalization in marketing and sales has become table stakes for any business that wants to grow. With so much data stored in CRM solutions and the ability to automate the sending of personalized emails in bulk, personalized sales outreach has never been easier.

Reps can also use that data to learn about prospects, their interests, pain points, etc. before ever reaching out. This empowers them to have more productive and personalized telephone conversations with prospects.

Plus, with sales metrics and KPI tracking in many CRMs, it’s simple to track the number of personalized emails sent vs. the number of generic ones sent.

Set a benchmark that each rep needs to meet every month. For example, each rep must make at least 50 attempts at personalized outreach each month. Then monitor that number and expect it to increase over time.

The more personalized the outreach, the higher the chances a rep has of converting a prospect into a customer. So, monitor this sales metric and work to increase the volume of personalized outreach your team engages in.

10. Clients lost

Let’s face it, salespeople work off commission, and each sale they make puts more money in their pockets. Logically, their primary focus is to close more deals—as many as possible.

Because of that common salesperson mindset, many reps will overpromise when trying to close a deal. They may claim the product has features and benefits that it actually does not. When that happens, the rep closes a deal, makes their commission, but leaves a new customer with unrealistic expectations about the product or service they’re paying for.

When the new customer realized this, they are very likely to leave you for a competitor. That’s why measuring lost clients is an important sales metric. If a rep is closing loads of deals and those new customers are leaving within the first year, it’s time to investigate and understand what that rep is saying to win so many deals that end up failing in a year.

It’s much better for reps to be genuine, sincere, and honest when pitching a product. Millennials (now the largest consumer demographic in the US) appreciate sincerity and can see through misleading product pitches.

Although it sounds alluring to overpromise and win a new deal, doing so will come back to haunt the rep who does that when they lose their job and find themselves searching for a new one.

Conclusion

Modern sales teams that thrive and help grow their businesses are the ones that use data to make informed and strategic decisions. That can only be done by constantly measuring sales metrics and KPIs.

Some key sales metrics are not new, but are tried and true methods for gauging effectiveness. Others, like measuring social media engagement and the strength of your social profiles, are newer metrics.

You need to measure them all and fix problems when and where they appear. Doing so will help your sales team improve their results. It will also help sales managers and directors to make informed decisions with data in front of them to validate those decisions.

So, don’t just fly by the seat of your pants. Implement a formal system for tracking, measuring, and analyzing sales metrics and KPIs, and you’ll see more deals won, an increase in productivity, and faster business and revenue growth.

Are you tracking any sales metrics we didn’t cover here? Share them with us in the comments section below!

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Gabriel Swain

Gabriel has nearly a decade of content and digital marketing experience in the software and technology space. He also has over 13 years of professional writing experience—both in the nonprofit and corporate spaces. His goal is to help small and growing businesses maintain insight into emerging trends and best practices, provide a stellar customer experience, and remain highly competitive in their respective industries.

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