3 Elements of a Powerful Sales Metric

powerful sales metricWhether you’re an individual rep or a sales manager, tracking and reporting on the right metrics is of the utmost importance.

Good rules to follow when choosing metrics at the campaign level should help drive actionable change in your sales campaigns, moving the needle in the right direction.

After you’ve crafted your outbound sales campaign and before you launch it, you need to not only know what to track so you can iterate and improve, you have to understand what makes a good metric in the first place.

3 Elements of a Powerful Sales Metric

1. A good metric is comparative. Being able to compare a metric to other time periods, lead segments, lead sources, and account owners helps you better understand what the numbers actually mean. An increase in response rate is more useful than just a 9 percent response rate.

2. A good metric is a ratio or a rate. Ratios are comparative and easier to act on. Number of demos booked is purely informational. Number of demos booked per week gives you insight that you can act on because it’s a leading indicator that tells you your current effectiveness and whether you are on pace or not to hit your quota.

Ratios are also good for comparing factors that are seemingly opposed, gaining insight into inherent tensions. This might be new leads per month divided by customers who churned per month. The more leads you get, the more business closed. But customers who turned per month may go up. This ratio suggests pushing your sales reps for more leads at the top of the funnel may not be the main metric they should be measured on.

3. A good metric changes the way you behave. What do you do differently based on how the metric changes? This speaks to a few different things. First, it has to be a simple number to measure and understand. Second, there has to be a direct line of sight to how it affects the bottom line. Rather than a correlational relationship, you have to be able to explicitly show the relationship is causal. And lastly, you should have direct control over your ability to act on you insights from measure this metric.

Taking these three factors into account, let’s go through an example of how you can apply these.  

If you’ve been following the LevelEleven blog, you’re probably already reporting on the the correct sales metrics. But let’s talk about something equally important, yet often overlooked: performance at the campaign level.

After all, the performance of your outbound sales campaign will directly influence your main sales metrics, like activity, demos booked, deals closed, etc. The following example serves to demonstrate the right things to be track for constant improvements at the campaign level.

Choosing the Right Metrics For Outbound Campaigns

Open Rates

There are opposing opinions when it comes to tracking open rates.

Ask the VP of Sales and open rates don’t matter. Ask a rep and it’s the first number they look at. They’re both right.

We’re trying to maximize every step of the conversion funnel, and open rates is a big first step. However, you can’t look at and optimize for open rates alone. You need to see how it fits into the bigger picture. You could be getting high open rates, but low response rates, and thus less closed opportunities.

Open rates for cold outbound sales emails are declining, but yours should be between 50-60 percent.

Response Rates

The next step is not only getting someone to respond, but respond positively. This is the arguably the most important number, and rightfully so. No need for much explanation here.

Response rates are also declining, but your should be around 10 percent – 15 percent.

Close Rate

Many reps and teams track the previously mentioned metrics, but this is what ultimately matters.

Even if you don’t compensate reps on opportunities closed, it’s important to track a lead all the way through the funnel to close. It can seem a little removed from the campaign, but you should have the ability to do this if you’re using the right technology.

Your close rate should be about 1-2 percent, but the important thing to watch here is fluctuation in this number.

Since this number is small, and one or two more deals closed can dramatically affect your close rate, two other numbers that I’d add to this is cycle time and deal size. Maybe campaign A has the exact same close rate as campaign B, but campaign A closes twice as fast and for twice as much money.

Now that we know the important elements of establishing and tracking metrics for our outbound campaign, it’s time to start testing the critical elements of an effective outbound campaign to get more opens, responses and deals closed.

About the author:

Brandon RedlingerBrandon Redlinger runs Growth at PersistIQ. PersistIQ helps reps deliver truly personalized outbound sales at scale. Automate the tedious tasks so you can get more replies and meetings with qualified leads. For more information on how you can be more effective at outbound sales, visit PersistIQ.com. You can also follow Brandon at @Brandon_Lee_09 for the latest information on outbound sales.

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3 Elements of a Powerful Sales Metric
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3 Elements of a Powerful Sales Metric
Not only should you know what to track so you can iterate and improve, but you have to understand what makes a good sales metric in the first place.
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