Sales Team Metrics – So, how good is your sales team? If your answer is fuzzy (as in, “they’re pretty good,” or “I’m sure they know what they’re doing”), you could be wasting a lot of salary on salespeople who lack either the proper training or adequate motivation to do their jobs right—and that could be hurting your business, big time.
How Good Is the Average Salesperson?
The fact is, most salespeople don’t do a particularly good job. Consider for example these metrics from Propeller:
- On average, a successful sale requires a minimum of 5 follow-ups, but more than half of all salespeople stop after just one
- More than 90% of salespeople never get to that critical 5th follow-up
- Just 8% of a company’s sales representatives are (on average) making a whopping 80% of all their sales
- Just 63% of sales reps regularly meet their sales quotas (eMarketer)
It Might Not Be Their Fault
Does this mean the bulk of your sales force is taking afternoon snoozes or playing Candy Crush when they should be reading sales reports or following up on leads? Probably not. For many salespeople, including some with the weakest performance on the team, the problem is a lack of training, performance tracking or proper sales tools (like CRM and marketing automation). The good news is that, while lack of motivation or talent is tough nuts to crack, having salespeople who are simply ill-equipped is a problem you can fix.
So, How Do I Fix the Problem?
Well, first you need to determine what the problem is. If it’s a lack of training, you need to put someone (either internal or external) in charge of effectively educating your sales reps. If it’s a lack of automation tools, you need to find the best ones for your business and buy them. And, if you’re not adequately tracking ever rep’s performance, you need to start doing so—today, and that means tracking the right sales metrics.
What Metrics Should I Be Tracking?
Of course, every business is different and only you can decide which data will give you the sales edge you need. In general, however, you’ll want to track at a minimum the following 5 data points:
- The number of new leads identified: generally, identifying qualified leads is the responsibility of your marketing team, not your salespeople. If fact, the poor quality of leads they received is one of the chief complaints registered by sales teams.
There are several solutions to having an inadequate number of qualified leads in your pipeline. You could, for example, bring your marketing and sales teams together so that salespeople have more input constructing criteria. You might also implement a “lead scoring” system to rank leads so salespeople know which leads are most likely to produce sales.
- The number of calls sales reps make to new leads: as noted above, most successful sales require at least 5 follow-ups, so you need to know which of your reps are giving up after 1 or 2. You could ask your reps to track this metric themselves, but the truth is, some won’t, and some of those who do won’t tell you the truth. To get an accurate count, install some good CRM software if you don’t already have it.
- The number of calls made to previous leads: sometimes sales reps make the requisite number of calls to new leads, but those new leads at some point fall off the radar. Successful salespeople know how to go back to the trough and restart the process. For that reason, you need to know how many calls they’ve made to each previous lead.
- The number of follow-up calls reps make to already-engaged leads: sometimes sales reps think that getting an appointment equals “mission accomplished.” In truth, the appointment is simply the start of phase 2. Leads who are interested enough to meet with a sales rep aren’t necessarily (or even likely) sold yet. That means you need to keep track of how many calls your reps are making to leads who are already engaged.
- The number of proposals generated: when a lead is sufficiently engaged to request a proposal, your odds of generating a sale have just increased exponentially—think of it as being on the 10-yard line. So, you need to know how many proposals each of your reps is generating. You also need to know the dollar amount of each proposal, as well as the aggregate dollar amount for all proposals.
If your sales team isn’t doing its job, you’re not going to make enough sales, and if you’re not making enough sales, your business is going to fold. Take the time to bring some precision to the performance of every sales rep. Reward those who lead the pack. Help those who have the ability to improve, and kindly usher those in neither of these categories out the door.