4 Types of Sales Metrics Every Sales Leader Needs

If the only type of sales metrics you think matter are on a CRM report, you’re dead wrong.

types of sales metricsThose sales metrics only tell you what has already happened. But sales metrics serve many purposes: They show you what your reps are doing, how well they’re doing, what their pipeline looks like and the results that come from sales activities.

Sales metrics are important, but having the right mix of them is equally as important.

4 Must-Have Categories of Sales Metrics

  1. Activity Metrics

These measure day-to-day activities of your sales team. They are also the only type of sales metric that you can actually manage.

Here are some examples of activity metrics:

  • Number of calls
  • Opportunities created
  • Meetings scheduled
  • Demos completed
  • Proposals sent
  • Account plans created

Activity metrics are leading indicators, which influence what happens with your results-oriented metrics. If you want to increase market share, for example, you need to perform activities that drive that outcome like target new customers or create better account plans.

  1. Pipeline Metrics

We know that effective pipeline management is a key to better sales performance. To manage pipeline, sales leaders must measure it. 

A few pipeline metrics:

  • Forecast vs. bookings
  • Average deal size
  • Pipeline vs. future quarter quota  
  • Bringing opp to 90%
  • Pipeline in contract

Pipeline metrics can be leading and lagging indicators. They are meant to help you not only understand the size of your pipeline, but what’s in it, how fast opportunities progress through it and how it compares to what you need in the future.

  1. Effectiveness Metrics

Effectiveness metrics measure how well your team performs selling activities. Making a hundred phone calls a week doesn’t matter if they don’t turn into meetings.

Examples of effectiveness metrics:

  • Close rate
  • Percentage of deals won
  • Calls per opportunity
  • Sales cycle velocity
  • Win/loss ratio

With these metrics, you can identify your top, middle and bottom performers. Uncover best practices from your top performers, and then focus coaching efforts on your middle performers. Research says that a 5 percent increase in performance from the middle of your sales force can yield a 70 percent higher increase in revenue than the same shift in top performers. (But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t coach top performers)!

  1. Results Metrics

Results metrics are the outcomes of your efforts. While they are out of your control, they are important for measuring the health of your sales organization and overall company.

Here are some results metrics:

  • Revenue
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Market share
  • Revenue growth
  • Percentage of reps achieving quota

Remember that results metrics are the outputs of your sales activity input. To achieve specific results, you have to direct the sales activities that will drive it.

Don’t try to focus on every metric you can measure all the time. Choose a select few that have the biggest impact on your team, and then review them at appropriate times. While activity metrics can be measured daily, results metrics might only need to be assessed on a monthly or quarterly basis.

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