Today we face incomprehensible amounts of sales data and just as many methods for managing around it. This makes metrics-driven sales coaching an especially fun feat. (Well, depending on who you ask.)
The good news? By now, some serious success stories exist to learn from – like HubSpot‘s. The software company launched as a grad school project in 2006 and only took a few years to hit the $100 million revenue mark. Today, 15,000+ customers use its inbound marketing and sales platforms, spanning 90+ countries. And when it comes to driving with metrics, Hubspot’s the poster child.
Justin Hiatt, HubSpot’s Director of Global Business Development, is part of this success story. Today he helps to refine the organization’s metrics-driven framework, specifically for its 70 Business Development Representatives.
Justin recently shared his most valuable lessons learned on metrics-drive sales coaching during a LevelEleven webinar. Here’s a recap:
5 Rules for Metrics-Driven Sales Coaching:
1. Remember: KPI data is only as good as its integrity.
“It really starts with clean data,” Justin said on setting a strong KPI strategy. He learned this when his reps logged demos in different ways, making it nearly impossible to report on the activity. A new one-click button for logging demos offered a simple solution, increasing reporting abilities and the reps’ willingness to record the activity.
2. Work backwards to set KPIs.
When breaking your sales process into KPIs, start with your main goal and move backwards to identify the activities that lead to it, or the leading indicators. “…working backwards from the end goal, like revenue, through the front end of the sales process will actually help the salesperson understand the necessary activity required to achieve their goal,” Justin said.
3. Set actionable KPIs at an achievable level.
“I can tell you from experience…setting the bar too high is extremely discouraging to people,” Justin shared. “Creating a sales culture where your reps feel they can crush their number is really pivotal to the success of your overall team and organization.” He added that the right hires should want to overachieve anyway, especially if you set up your culture to encourage it.
4. Only measure KPIs that drive results.
Avoid tracking vanity metrics that don’t lead to revenue. These differ by team, but one example for Justin is dials. “…I ultimately feel that picking up the phone and dialing it does not produce a result – the actual act of connecting with someone does,” he said. “Because of that I don’t measure simple calls or dials. I measure connects and interactions with our prospects.”
5. Keep refining.
“It really goes without saying, but it’s extremely important that you consistently monitor, measure and adjust your KPIs accordingly,” Justin said. He offered this guidance on each:
- Monitoring: Be skeptical.
“If you’re not inspecting activity, reps might find ways to cut corners.”
- Measuring: Keep performance visible.
“Having tools like LevelEleven, for example, and a sound CRM system that show exactly where a salesperson is at all times helps them stay the course.”
- Adjusting: Drive what matters today.
“For example, building pipeline the last two weeks in December for us in the States is nearly impossible due to the holidays, so I might set a KPI at a higher clip to build pipeline in the first two weeks of the month and incent our BDRs to do so through things like contests and prizes.”
By tightening focus on their KPIs framework, Justin’s team continues to see ROI. They recently increased overall sales activity by 26 percent and saw improvements in their number of sales meetings completed, Net Promoter Score, employee retention rate and revenue quota attainment, thanks to a sound metrics strategy.
So there you have it: Nine lessons on metrics-driven sales coaching, courtesy of one company that has it down. To learn more, check out the full webinar recording.