Why you need secondary sales metrics

This is the first in a new series of product-focused blogs to help our customers achieve even greater ROI with LevelEleven. To view other stories in the series, click here.

When implemented properly, sales metrics help salespeople get and stay focused on the critical few behaviors fundamental to closing business.

But too many sales metrics can be a dangerous thing. Focus is demolished when you ask reps to manage six, seven or even eight metrics all at the same time. If everything’s important, then nothing is important. That’s why a standard best practice for sales metrics is to identify the three to four controllable activities that reps need to focus on to close deals.  

What we’ve learned from working with our customers – and using LevelEleven within our own sales organization – is that sales leaders want to track metrics that aren’t part of their main key performance indicators. So we added a feature to our system for “secondary metrics” that managers could create and monitor without disrupting reps.

Based on even more feedback from customers, we decided to make it optional to also display those metrics to salespeople. Your primary metrics are still the four most important KPIs for reps to focus on. But your secondary metrics can be more distinct to help drive specific initiatives.

If your secondary metrics were as follows:

  • Conversations
  • New pipeline
  • Proposals
  • Wins

Your secondary metrics might be things like:

  • Conversations with VPs
  • Proposals to customers with 250+ employees
  • Average deal size
  • ROI conversations

The key is to not let secondary metrics distract away from primary metrics. They are supplemental measurements to help better manage your sales team and strategy. Here’s why you should include them in your sales metrics.

Three major benefits of using secondary sales metrics

1. Secondary sales metrics are configurable.

With LevelEleven, you can choose whether or not you want to make secondary sales metrics visible to your reps. There might be metrics that you want to track and not necessarily keep front and center your reps. Or you might want reps to also keep an eye on these metrics, but prioritize their primary metrics. You can also adjust individual goals for secondary metrics if you want some reps to increase or decrease velocity around them.

Unique secondary metrics can be assigned for each of your teams. Secondary metrics for a sales development team could be conversations over 2 minutes, demos complete and opportunities created at SMB or above. But secondary metrics for an account executive might be VP-level conversations, ROI assessments and win rate.

2. Secondary sales metrics are coachable.

Secondary metrics add a richer experience to your sales coaching conversations.

When you enable secondary metrics for your reps, they’ll automatically be pulled into LevelEleven Coaching, which allows you to initiate coaching conversations, record and store session notes and snapshot activity data at given time.  As the manager, you’ll be able to leave metric-specific notes on each of your rep’s primary and secondary metrics, providing you with even more objective data to coach reps around. This allows you to drill down into very specific selling skills with reps.

3. Secondary sales metrics are exploratory.

Secondary metrics give you a chance to try out new metrics. You can start tracking secondary metrics, make them visible to reps and then potentially promote them to primary metrics (if you experience success).

We recommend working with your primary metrics in our Scorecard product for 30-60 days before introducing secondary metrics. Give your team a chance to get used to their primary metrics first. Otherwise, secondary metrics can easily become a distraction.

If you’re interested in learning more about what type of secondary metrics would be best for your team, contact your account manager or customer success manager to figure out what’s right for you.

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