Wondering how can LinkedIn Sales Navigator help your sales reps? Here’s how 16 experts use this tool to boost their prospecting strategy.
Sales | May 6
Jessica Malnik on April 29, 2021 (last modified on May 14, 2021) • 15 minute read
Did you know the average sales rep only spends 34% of their day selling? The rest of their time is spent on training, internal meetings, data entry in their CRM, and more.
These stats could vary wildly depending on the sales rep and company.
And that’s one of the major reasons to identify and track your sales reps’ productivity. In this post, we’re taking a closer look at the best metrics and tools for doing exactly that, including:
Most sales teams track sales productivity metrics through their CRM. According to the sales professionals we surveyed, the majority use either HubSpot or Salesforce.
In addition, most of the sales teams we surveyed had between 2 – 10 sales reps.
Here’s what some of the experts we surveyed have to say about using HubSpot CRM to measure sales productivity.
For example, Naomi Bishop of Surky says, “Where other systems are complicated and manual, HubSpot CRM was designed from the ground-up to be intuitive and automatic.
HubSpot CRM handles all the information, such as monitoring email addresses, recording calls, and managing data, saving you valuable marketing time. It is regularly rated as one of the top small business CRM tech resources. It comes preloaded with a number of free features that are critical for both small and large companies. Email marketing (up to 2000 emails a month), meeting schedulers, forms for websites and landing pages, email monitoring, live chat, chatbot designer, dashboard reporting, contacts, and pipeline management are some of the functionality available.
James Desmond of The Inbound Clinic adds, “We rely on HubSpot dashboards to report how many contacts are created, engaged with a sales rep and ultimately how many deals are created in a particular amount of time.
We also try to keep a wellness check on how our sales reps are doing on an individual basis, something that cannot be tracked with data – but rather human-to-human touchpoints on a weekly basis.”
Editor’s Note: If you use HubSpot, you can use this Sales Reps Performance Dashboard to track each rep’s performance against their personalized goals.
Others – like Laura Fuentes of Infinity Dish – prefer to use Salesforce to measure their team’s productivity.
“My team has used Salesforce for all of our CRM needs while effectively managing our productivity goals along the way,” says Fuentes. “We judge our sales after each quarter and make predictions on what we can accomplish for the next. Much or our sales are measured by our incoming net revenue, which Salesforce helps us keep track of and plan for the future.”
Related Reading: HubSpot CRM vs. Salesforce: How to choose the right CRM
A CRM is only as good as the sales productivity metrics your company is tracking. This starts by having systems and processes in place.
For example, Beverly Fidler of Classic Plantation Shutters explains, “We use a few different metrics to guide us – first is setting KPI expectations. We set a monthly average and review quarterly and yearly. The reason we review longer time periods is because all industries have peaks and troughs, and we’re aware that some months might not hit that KPI, while others will exceed it, so rather than review monthly, we review monthly averages over quarters and the financial year. This gives a much better overview of sales productivity and setting realistic KPIs that still drive growth.”
Most teams will track the number of calls and emails, closed-won, and close-rate.
However, you need to dive deeper than these surface-level metrics to get a sense for how productive a sales rep is.
Let’s dive in to the details.
That’s where we’ve seen that measuring leading indicators – i.e. your team’s output – can often be a better predictor of sales team success than lagging indicators – i.e. your results.
“We attempt to focus on managing LEADING indicators, not lagging,” says Casey Halloran of Costa Rican Luxury Vacations. “This took us two decades of trial & error to really get a handle on, but it has served us well. We obsess over PROCESS versus results. Yes, results are nice, but they are far more difficult to manage and control.”
Nate Rodriguez of LIFTOFF Digital adds, “Control the controllables. In other words, you can’t control if a prospect buys your software or product but you can control the number of dials you make, you can control how many emails you send, you can control your followups after a demo. If you focus on these controllable elements of sales you will be more consistent and hit your sales goals.”
One example of a leading indicator is the number of conversations a rep had with qualified prospects.
“We’re such a small agency and team so we have to be agile and also make sure we’re actually having fun doing sales,” says Alex Birkett of Omniscient Digital. “First, we tried to craft all these micro-metrics and KPIs for sales, but we frankly found it to be overwhelming and it became a chore. Now we literally just set a goal for the # of qualified prospects we send emails to and the # of clients we close. Everything in-between works itself out, and the two metrics we have represent leading and lagging indicators that make it so the team focuses their efforts and has fun in all the areas in the middle.”
Katheriin Liibert of Outfunnel agrees, “We measure the number of high quality customer interactions, sales reps have per week and month. In our case, that mainly means demo calls. It’s a good indicator as it shows qualified leads in interaction with sales.”
When you are dealing with longer sales cycles that are typical in B2B sales, tracking key productivity metrics by each deal stage can help you uncover potential roadblocks.
“Our company utilizes smaller performance metrics for the sales so we can better predict how the sales team is contributing to broader company goals,” says Stacey Kane of EasyMerchant. “We do this by implementing our KPIs around several of the steps and channels of our sales team such as active sales calls and funnel progression. This allows us a more definite view of the performance in each aspect, enabling us to make greater and more coherent revenue and overall growth forecasts.”
Of course, you will also want to track sales closed on a weekly, monthly, and/or quarterly basis.
“We measure productivity based on sales closed,” says Marie Cosgrove of BalanceBack. “This may sound strange to many, however, as a sales expert who was fired for ‘selling too much,’ then came back and bought the company that fired me, I implement strategies a little differently. I’ve been running the company for 10 years since I bought it, and learned early on that the only number that really matters is how many sales have closed.
I learned long ago, that projections/forecasts, the quantity of calls/emails/appointments mean nothing if sales are not being closed. If a sales rep is not closing deals, we conduct a one-on-one, full audit to customize training & development for the sales rep.
For instance, if a sales rep has many appointments, emails, calls etc. but is not closing any deals, an audit is necessary to find out where the sales rep needs improvement. Are they losing the sale during the sales pitch? During the presentation? Or, during their closing techniques? When the problem is identified, we implement a strategy to ensure the team reaches the only number that matters–how many sales have closed.”
Another way you can track sales closed is by tracking your monthly sales growth rate.
“Monthly sales growth is absolutely the most important productivity measurement,” says Mike Nemeroff of RushOrderTees. “Really, any growth statistic is what we look for – because if we’re not growing, we’re stagnating, and that means something in our process needs to be fixed.
Month-to-month sales metrics are always the best to look at, because the growth is easiest to see. We also gauge growth over each quarter, as well, to determine a more long-term performance picture, as well.”
Hays Bailey of Sheqsy agrees, “We have decided to go with a sales/month approach as it gives time to work prospects that aren’t ready to sign up after one call. This also allows our sales reps to plan out the work as they see it fit. To encourage high-performers we are giving bonuses to the best two every month. With a growing number of sales reps, we are planning to increase this.”
From data entry in your CRM to internal meetings, your sales reps aren’t selling 100% of the time.
“Our number one metric is the percentage of time selling,” says Jason Brown of ApprovedCosts. “We measure this activity via CRM which acts as our central hub. Team members report back on their daily KPIs and feed the data into a central database which we then use to create a personalized dashboard.
We monitor our sales team’s performance based on actively selling to customers (phone or face to face) vs everything else that their role requires.
We want to ensure that our reps are putting their time into the highest ROI activities when possible.”
Many teams also look at sales conversion rates.
“The term conversion rate is commonly used to describe how well a sales team is doing,” says Damien Knight of Workever. “It’s a great place to start if you want to get a general sense of how successful your sales process is.
While conversion rate is just one aspect of the productivity scale, measuring the number of opportunities generated at each point of the sales funnel will help you see where improvements in the sales team’s output can be made more easily.”
Daniel Velez Vasquez of Home Security adds, “Conversion rate is one of the most important sales productivity indicators to measure employees’ direct performance employees direct performance. It indicates the number of opportunities a professional had and which ones were used – that is, how many sales were closed.
If you own a physical store, this fee is measured as follows: The number of sales made about the number of people who entered your store. To do the calculation, multiply the number of customers who made a purchase by 100 and divide the result by the total number of customers who entered the establishment. Conversion Rate = number of buyers X 100 / Total number of visiting customers.
In eCommerce, the formula is the same. But visitors represent those who visited the company’s website. If you received 500 customers and 50 of them bought in a single day, your conversion rate is 10%. Due to its versatility, the conversion rate is one of the essential sales productivity indicators.”
Another popular metric to track is average deal size.
“The average ticket size is one of the most critical sales indicators for evaluating the performance of your company,” says Timothy Robinson of inVPN. “The idea is to measure the operation of the business more broadly and identify everything that needs improvement. In many cases, its purpose is to understand sales dynamics from three different points of view: the seller, the customer, and the sale. When the company directs this calculation to customers, it can understand how many times a consumer buys. And, as a result, discover how it can offer differentiated service to increase your satisfaction.
When directed by a salesperson, it is possible to identify the employees with the highest performance and how much they produce in actual sales.
Daily, this planning makes all the difference in identifying problems and increasing revenue by increasing the range of services, changing the price of products, or creating consumer incentive programs.”
Editor’s Note: If you use HubSpot, this Sales Manager KPIs dashboard allows you to monitor your sales team’s output and outcomes, including average deal size, the number of deals won, new deals created, and sales closed.
If you are looking to spur healthy competition among your sales rep, you might turn to a sales leadership board.
Natalie Sullivan of Cooler Air Today explains, “On top of using our CRM, we ensure our sales team are hitting monthly goals by keeping a leaderboard that highlights who’s generating the most sales. Those who hit certain milestones or number of sales within a month get an added bonus. We try to make it fun for our sales team and to reward them for their hard work through this. We also offer yearly bonuses for those who surpass the set goals. Those who sell more AC services get a higher chance of enjoying a nice vacation.”
What percentage of opportunities are your reps closing?
“Win-rate is an overall metric that indicates whether or not we’ll meet our goals,” says Melanie Musson of CompareLifeInsurance.com. “Striving for a higher win rate will get us closer to our sales goals.
We also track the ratio of open opportunities to closed opportunities. Both metrics show positive interactions, but if open opportunities trend upward but closed opportunities don’t follow, we know we have to address the reason.”
Sarah Walters of The Whit Group adds, “From our experience, we measure sales productivity by opportunity win rates. When a lead visits your website and finds your content, for example, it’s not guaranteed that all of those leads would turn into conversions. By monitoring the win rates, it allows you to see how many of those opportunities have led to conversions.”
Another way of measuring this is through your close rate.
“The primary metric is the close ratio for leads and opportunities,” says Jenny Winstead of LA Tutors 123. “Sales reps are only as good as the leads they are given, so everything starts there. Once that’s in line with our goals, each rep should be closing between over 20% of the opportunities generated.”
Devin Ahern of Mid Florida Material Handling adds, “We generally look at our sales team’s close rate, closed won and deals by stage. We know if we’re closing at the right rate and have enough deals in each stage, we should be able to hit our target.
If we’re lacking in deals at certain stages, we know to look to our opportunity and lead funnel. We don’t meticulously track calls/emails/site visits unless we see that our funnel is drying up.”
Editor’s note: If you are a HubSpot CRM user, you can use Databox to track and visualize Close Rate by Sales Rep in HubSpot CRM, a metric that otherwise requires creating a lot of manual workarounds in order to track it. Take a look at the video below to find out how or check out this post for more details.
“Are your salespeople hitting their expected numbers or are they not,” says Doug C. Brown of Business Success Factors. “Are they hitting them in the percentage of efficiency that you want or are they not? Productivity first needs to be qualified and then quantified.”
Ben Wallington of Designerwear adds, “Each sales rep we have on the team has a quota they need to reach for lead generation and sales conversion. We understand that the two numbers are different, therefore without putting pressure on our team we have realistic numbers. These KPIs are calculated from previous quarters and years of business. We will always add a higher quota each quarter, and if it is generally a quiet time of year we boost our marketing efforts. We are always moving up.
If a sales rep is not meeting their quote then we have a review meeting. Not necessarily to fire them, but to fine-comb their SOP to discover where improvements need to be made. Some people just aren’t made for Sales! We do our best to keep the employee in the company rather than letting them go.”
This one might seem less intuitive than many of you. However, if your sales team is closing a bunch of deals that aren’t great fits for your product or service and they churn out right away, that’s problematic.
For example, Ashwinn Krishnaswamy of Oklahoma Smokes explains, “Oklahoma Smokes was built on brand loyalty. We connected with potential customers on social media from Day One when building our anti-smoking product, and it’s those strong customer bonds that have helped us become so successful over the past year.
If we see our customer retention rate slipping below 60 percent, that’s when we know our sales productivity is not where we want it to be. Luckily, that hasn’t yet been a problem for our company, but we understand the importance of a high customer lifetime value. Any downward fluctuation in our customer retention is a sign that we need to refine our sales strategy to meet our quarterly goals.”
Measuring the productivity of your sales reps can be as simple or as complicated as you make it. The key is to identify the core productivity KPIs that you care about and then track them regularly over time.
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