Do You Have The Right Sales Metrics?

“How do you know you’re measuring the right sales metrics?”

do you have the right sales metrics?That’s a question from our Modern Sales Leader Roadshow. And it’s a good one. Each sales leader presenting during that session shared their experience solving this puzzle.

Moderated by LevelEleven CEO Bob Marsh, the panel featured:

  • Richard Dresden, Executive Vice President of Sales, Mattersight
  • David Kerr, Chief Operating Officer, Octiv
  • Brian Vass, Vice President of Sales and Marketing Technology, Paycor

These experts shared a ton of advice. Don’t have time to watch the full session? Take a look at these 4 takeaways:

How to Find the Right Sales Metrics for Your Team

1. Just start somewhere.

Sales leaders often search for a silver bullet in sales metric data.

“If I could just discover some magic moment that happens in the sales process that would be great, right?” Bob asked.

But for most sales teams, there is no single moment that ensures success. A series of connected activities lead to closing business. Make a hypothesis of what you think those critical activities are for your team, and use industry sales metric research as a starting point.

Bob’s advice is to start simple, and start to look at more unique metrics like VP-level conversations or ROI discussions as you gather data.  

“I think we’ll start seeing more of those [unique metrics], but don’t over complicate it,” Bob warned.

2. Break down your sales process.

Brian’s team has been using the same sales metrics for 20 years, because they’re effective for the business.  

Now, they’re evolving the metrics with the goal of using pipeline math to break down their lead sources and more.

“If this is our revenue goal for that part of the business, start working backwards and say how many opportunities do we need?” Brian explained. “What do we need the average deal size to be? What does our win rate need to be? How many leads do we need in the top of the funnel based on all these conversion rates to get the goal at the end?”

This tedious procedure helps you better understand your business. Instead of managing around revenue, you can manage a sales team around the activities that lead to revenue.

“It’s a process as much as anything to educate our more old-school leaders into this new, modern way of thinking. And then maybe look at some of these metrics a little bit differently.” Brian said.

3. Examine what the data tells you.

As you gather data from your sales metrics, start drawing conclusions.

“As your business begins to mature whether it’s verticals or it’s deal sizes or teams or regions or these kinds of things begin to cohort the data so you can get some benchmarking within your own organization,” David said.

Effective sales metrics provide useful information about the sales organization. Data shouldn’t just tell you how many deals you’ve won it should show you how and why you won those deals.  

“You can see … better ways to focus on mid-market companies in the central region that are doing X, Y and Z,” David detailed. “Then, you can really begin to hone your focus that way.”

If your sales metrics aren’t yielding actionable insights, consider switching them up – which brings us to our next point.

4. Adjust metrics when needed.

As your business evolves, your sales metrics will, too. Richard explained that his team might weight a certain metric heavily to start, but it doesn’t have to stay that way: “That weighting might change as we have more data, as we back-test it relative to other steps associated with the sales cycle.”

If sales metrics aren’t working or you find other metrics that might work better don’t be afraid to change them. Richard described finding the right sales metrics as an “ongoing, iterative, data-driven process.”

Finding the right sales metrics for your team is a tricky endeavor. Use these steps, along with our sales metric research, to determine your best metrics.

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