The most important part of choosing sales metrics is to just start somewhere.
You don’t need to get it right the first time. Take a scientific approach, and test out different metrics until you find the right fit.
A great best practice is to focus on three leading indicators and one lagging indicator as your team’s main key performance indicators.
For example: Deal Size is a lagging indicator. It’s not a controllable behavior. But there are leading indicators that would improve the likelihood of increasing that deal size metric, like VP-level conversations, ROI discussions and prospecting into larger companies. If increasing your deal size is a key company goal, then consider establishing leading indicators that align with it.
We researched more than 1,500 sales activities being used as metrics for over 100 sales teams. With this information, we uncovered the best sales metrics to start with, based on your type of team.
In our research, we distinguish between alternative ways to measure certain parts of the sales process, such as Conversations vs. Talk Time. While Conversations would measure simply the number of conversations your reps are having, Talk Time measures how long they are on the phone with prospects.
In the same way, Proposals count the number of proposals sent to opportunities, but Pipe in Contract measures the amount of sales pipeline in the contract stage, which is an indication of how much reps are likely to sell.
Recommended sales metrics for 4 types of sales teams
Inside sales metrics …
- Conversations / Talk Time: Conversations with prospects versus amount of time spent on the phone with prospects.
- Proposals / Pipe in Contract: Proposals sent to opportunities versus amount of sales pipeline in the contract stage.
- Discovery Calls: Initial conversation with prospective customer to determine if there’s a fit.
- Wins: Deals closed.
Field sales metrics …
- Face to Face Meetings: Face to face meetings with prospects.
- VP Level Conversations: Conversations with VP-level prospect or above.
- New Opportunities: New opportunities uncovered.
- Wins: Deals closed.
Sales development metrics …
- Calls: Calls made to leads.
- Conversations: Connecting with leads for conversations.
- Meetings Scheduled: Meetings scheduled for sales reps.
- Sales Accepted Opportunities: Opportunities accepted by sales reps.
Customer success metrics …
- Conversations: Connecting with existing customers.
- Opportunities Created: Opportunities uncovered for increased business through upsells, cross-sells, etc.
- Milestones Completed: Customers who have reached the peak stage of engagement with your product or service.
- Wins: Renewals, upsells or cross-sells.
There’s a lot more research and expert advice to go along with these sales metrics. Ready to start building a metrics-driven organization? Grab a copy of our KPI guides and find out the strategy that works best for your type of team.