The Sales Activity Tracking Spreadsheet Guide Every Manager Needs

A sales activity tracking spreadsheet is no ordinary template. Sometimes referred to as a sales scorecard, this tool allows sales leaders to better manage the cascading chain of controllable activities that lead to sales.

As “Cracking the Sales Management Code” authors Jason Jordan and Michelle Vazzana explain, these metrics quantify and track the day-to-day “doings” of your salespeople.

“What are the sales reps doing? How are they doing it? Sales activities are the causes that lead to other effects,” the authors write.

Salespeople often get lost in the business of their day-to-day role. But an inputs-drive-outputs approach allows you to create focus around the behaviors you know will lead to the outcomes you desire: closing more business. And that’s exactly what a sales activity tracking spreadsheet gives you.

Here are just three of the myriad benefits your entire sales team experiences when using one 

3 reasons you need a sales activity tracking spreadsheet

1. A sales activity tracking spreadsheet lets you simplify your sales process.

Instead of leaving your reps with a trial-and-error approach to winning deals, you likely have a defined sales process in place. What are the typical steps in that process at your organization? They might look something like this:

  1. Prospect Uncovered
  2. Prospect Qualified  
  3. Opportunity Created
  4. Discovery Scheduled
  5. Discovery Completed
  6. Proposal
  7. Contracting
  8. Closed Won/Lost

Now, consider the activities performed by reps that move opportunities from lead to close. Selling is a complex process, but breaking it down into 3-4 controllable activities for reps to focus on drives productivity. For the example sales process above, the key selling activities could be:

  1. Create Opportunity
  2. Complete Discovery
  3. Send Proposal
  4. Close Deal

After coming up with a hypothesis for your team’s key selling activities, interview reps and managers. Get their feedback on what they think are the most important activities in the sales process. Afterward, you might want to modify your key selling activities. But you don’t have to. Feedback from reps and managers also helps determine what might be good secondary metrics and creates buy-in from the whole team.

2. A sales activity tracking spreadsheet helps you calculate achievable goals.

You probably feel like your salespeople love to complain that the quota you set for them is too high, but in certain cases, they might actually be right. A sales activity tracking spreadsheet helps you figure out how.

Start with each rep’s yearly quota, then divide it by their average deal size. Here’s an example:

$1 million annual quota / $20,000 average deal size = 50 deals

This means your rep needs to close 50 deals this year, at a rate of four deals a month. In essence, your rep would need to close a $20,000 deal every week of the year to achieve that quota. That’s a lot to ask of one person.

To make this goal more achievable, you could split the quota between a team or cut the individual’s quota in half.

$500,000 annual quota / $20,000 average deal size = 25 deals

At this rate, your rep (or team of reps) have to close at least two deals a month, or one deal every other week. Much more achievable than our original quota, right?

From there, determine your average conversion rates between each step of your sales process: On average, how many proposals does it take to close one deal? How many discoveries does it take to send out a proposal? And how many opportunities do you usually source before one agrees to a discovery?

Now you can reverse-engineer your sales process and determine how many of each activity it will actually take to achieve quota. For the sake of simplicity, we’ll assume a 25 percent conversion rate for each step.

25 deals x .25 = 100 proposals

100 proposals x .25 = 400 discoveries

400 discoveries x .25 = 1600 opportunities

On your rep’s sales activity tracking spreadsheet, the goals above would look as follows (consider adding cushion to goals to ensure you achieve them):

Deals = 2-3 / month

Proposals = 2 / week

Discoveries = 8 / week

Opportunities = 7 / day

These activity goals are achievable, which shows that the quota your team contributes to is also achievable.

3. A sales activity tracking spreadsheet creates better accountability and coaching opportunities.

In general, salespeople want to be successful. They crave real-time performance feedback that tells them how and where they can improve. A CRM dashboard or report won’t tell them this. But a sales activity tracking spreadsheet can.

Once you’ve defined and calculated your team’s sales activity metrics, have reps use the spreadsheet to track them. The most efficient way to do this is in real time, right after reps complete an activity. Note that some sales stack tools include activity management capabilities that automatically track activities within your CRM, calculate pacing to goal and alert reps and managers when performance falls out of line.

Tracking these activities against goals in real time allows reps to see how they stand performance-wise (as well as what they need to do to get back on track or stay ahead of their goals). If a rep sees that they haven’t sourced enough opportunities this quarter, they can hit the phones and start qualifying leads. Another rep might notice that he has the right amount of discovery meetings, but not nearly enough proposals. That rep can then ask for some coaching on converting a discovery meeting into a proposal.

That brings us to the final benefit: This spreadsheet serves as a great foundation for weekly one-on-ones and coaching sessions. It allows sales leaders to quickly gauge how and what each rep is doing to reach quota, as well as identify pain points and coach accordingly.

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