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on November 5, 2021 (last modified on January 30, 2023) • 17 minute read
Tracking the right sales metrics not only keeps you informed about your sales pipeline’s health but also gives you an insider look at your team’s performance.
With the data at hand, you also don’t need to second guess the fruits your sales efforts are reaping. Plus, with an overview of your sales investment, pipeline, and more, you can save sinking deals before it’s too late and improvise sales strategies as needed.
In short, the benefits of sales metrics reporting are numerous.
The only catch? You need to make sure you’re tracking the most impactful (and valuable) sales key performance indicators (KPIs). This ensures you’re looking at metrics that aid decision-making and improve team productivity without confusing you in the process. For most companies, choosing the right KPIs is not an easy task – Databox study about business reporting shows that most companies are not 100% sure they are tracking the right KPIs.
So which sales metrics should be looking at? Find out as walk you through the sales metrics that respondents across various industries track:
Before we get into the meat, here are some important details about our survey that also show some basics of sales reporting, such as commonly used reporting practices and main takeaways from tracking certain sales metrics and KPIs.
We asked 56 respondents to answer which sales metrics they consider most important for their industry, and we got answers from people in the eCommerce sector, professional service providers, marketing agencies, SaaS, education, and healthcare industries.
When it comes to tracking their sales teams’ performance and the tools they use, over half of the contributors rely on interactive dashboards like Databox for sales reporting. while others prefer static reports or embedded analytics.
Lastly, generally speaking for all industries and niches, the most important sales metric according to our respondents is Sales Growth, followed by Sales Targets. Customer Lifetime Value and Lead Conversion Ratio are in third place, in a tied position.
Following these, Customer Acquisition Cost and Average Revenue per User/Unit are two more metrics with the same popularity.
Essentially, monitoring these KPIs as part of their sales reporting metrics helps our contributors plan future steps the most. In fact, the reports are 46.3% useful for helping with future planning.
They help 27.8% with providing a better understanding of their sales pipeline. 20.4% with keeping our contributors informed, and the remaining, 5.6%, helping in other different ways.
Smart Sales Managers know that to achieve your monthly and quarterly goals, you have to monitor your team’s sales performance on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. To do that, you need an actionable dashboard that summarizes both team and individual sales rep metrics and allows you to:
If you use the HubSpot CRM, you can benefit from the experience of our sales experts, who have put together a plug-and-play Databox template showing some of the most important metrics for monitoring your sales team performance. It’s simple to implement and start using as a standalone dashboard or in sales reports, and best of all, it’s free!
You can easily set it up in just a few clicks – no coding required.
To set up the dashboard, follow these 3 simple steps:
Step 1: Get the template
Step 2: Connect your HubSpot account with Databox.
Step 3: Watch your dashboard populate in seconds.
With that out of the way, let’s walk you through the sales metrics that respondents across various industries track.
Marketing agencies say the following KPIs are most important to track in your sales reporting software:
For agencies that are focused on outreach for sales, SalesBread’s Jack Reamer says this is an important metric.
Reamer clarifies “Contacted means they either sent a LinkedIn invite/message/inmail, cold email or made a phone call to the prospect.”
Related: LinkedIn Outreach: Get a Response to Your Cold Messages with These 16 Proven Tips
But why is the metric so important to track? Says Reamer: “This activity is 100% in the sales rep’s control. Therefore, they have a clear (and regularly attainable goal) they can achieve every day – unlike ‘set 5 appointments per day,’ which is not 100% in their control.”
“And. as any sales team knows,” Reamer continues, “these actions are directly correlated with more sales opportunities.”
In short, a rep may not be able to get a set number of appointments daily. But, as Reamer notes, contacting a specific number of people with a thoughtful outreach message is something they can control – even increase by using a proven sales outreach template that they personalize as needed.
Related: 8 Sales Prospecting Email Examples to Help You Come Up with Yours
“I’ve found the single most valuable KPI in tracking the performance of our sales team, is the projected revenue (for the first 3 months of a client engagement) of closed business,” shares Kent Lewis from Anvil Media.
The reason? “I’ve found annualizing the revenue doesn’t accurately reflect the true financial impact, due to changing engagement scope, client turnover, etc.,” points out Lewis based on their experience.
Adding this KPI to your sales metrics reporting is also helpful for ensuring you take remedial steps whenever you observe your projected revenue is decreasing. For example, you might end up switching from a cold outreach strategy to a relationship-based one.
“The second most important KPI is the number of touches on a client (in order of value: meetings/web conferences, phone calls, and emails),” according to Lewis.
This is essential information because it helps you understand the length of your average sales cycle so you can invest sufficient time in each prospect.
Knowing how many touchpoints it takes to convert a lead is also motivational fodder for the sales team. In fact, it takes eight touches on average to get the first meeting with a new prospect.
Having information on the number of touchpoints it takes to get a meeting, therefore, shows proof to reps – encouraging them to patiently target prospects.
“Customer acquisition cost is the most important KPI because it gives us a barometer reading on all our other KPIs,” opines Melanie Musson of SFAutoGuard.com.
“If our customer acquisition costs are where they should be, we know we’re not spending too much on advertising, and we’re targeting the right audience. It gives us a big picture,” Musson explains.
In simple words, to ensure your customer acquisition costs are low, you’ll need to track it to know where it stands for you.
This is another important KPI that’s invaluable for sales metrics reporting as it helps you understand reps are targeting the correct leads or leads that align with your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP).
Atlanta Web Design’s Lauren Walter agrees. “The conversion rate for leads is what I consider most important for tracking the performance of a sales team. This KPI takes into account much of the critical work that a sales team does, including finding opportunities well-suited to your offerings, effectively pitching your products or services, and, ultimately, making sales.”
“Of course, the number of opportunities your sales team finds and leads they nurture is important to keep in mind as well,” adds Walter. “A high conversion rate will be most valuable if the number of conversions supports your organization’s growth.” Easily track this metric using this sales dashboard software.
Related: Lead Scoring: 14 Ways For Identifying Your Highest Quality Leads
Folks from the professional services industry add the following sales metrics to the picture:
At TacMed Solutions, Zack Flathmann, comments, “the primary KPIs we use with our sales team are new opportunities month over month, new leads month over month, and ensuring we are building a healthy backlog by booking more than we ship out each month.”
This metric not only gives you an overview of how healthy your sales pipeline is, but it tells you a lot about your leads. For example, which month sees the highest influx of leads. For a service professional such as a realtor, this would mean understanding which months are most productive in terms of getting leads.
Jonathan Gleave of Hawx Pest Control echoes the same. “The most important sales KPI for our company is the number of sales opportunities. This is because we’re a highly seasonal business. But this seasonal variation can fluctuate a lot depending on the location and weather in each area.
Therefore, it’s critical our team have an understanding of the pipeline we can expect to generate so we can make sure we are properly staffed.”
“Two of the things I always look at are the number of deals in the pipeline and their value writes Job Alert’s Amit Verma.
Verma explains the importance of keeping tabs on this metric: “You need to know how many active transactions are in the sales pipeline as a sales manager. This measure can help you assess the health of your sales channel and anticipate revenues more accurately. You’ll want to measure the overall value of your pipeline or the total value of all qualifying leads in the pipeline.”
“In the same way, you’ll want to track the number of transactions,” Verma adds. “To increase sales, you must increase the value of your sales channel and the number of transactions you have in the pipeline while also reducing the sales cycle.”
Summarizing, Verma says, “you can improve your pipeline and effectively manage your sales team’s operations by analyzing these data, as well as your conversion rates.”
Next up, the SaaS industry contributors say the following metrics are important:
“Personally, I would choose conversion rate because it’s easy enough to measure and it gives you immediate feedback,” notes Lynda Fairly from Numlooker.
Fairly makes a solid point considering tracking conversion is critical for understanding how well your sales team is turning leads into users.
“It’s also cheaper to fix a low conversion rate than it is to spend money on hiring more salespeople,” continues Fairly.
“Sales are all about numbers, but it’s easy to get lost in the minutiae that come with trying to measure your success. It seems like every single KPI that could possibly exist, from quality of web traffic to time spent reading emails, has been developed. But there are only two stats you should really be concentrating on: conversion rate and average revenue per sale.”
“Conversion rate is, without a doubt, the most important KPI for sales teams,” reiterates Fairly. “It measures the percentage of visitors to your website who actually convert into paying customers. You can’t do anything without being able to track conversions, so it’s crucial to measure this metric each week.”
Related: Are Your Website Conversion Rates Dropping? Try These 20 Tips
At the end of the day, Fairly observes, “the more conversions you can get, the more money you’ll be able to make.”
“The one KPI that I feel is the most important for any sales manager to track is pipeline velocity,” adds Alex Moss from Tactical Arbitrage.
Moss explains the significance of this sales metric reporting:
Put simply, “the higher the pipeline velocity, the better because it means your deal flow and conversion rates are healthy and well-managed,” Moss points out.
In fact, where having a healthy sales pipeline full of sales leads is crucial, employing the right strategies is also essential for converting these leads at a steady pace.
No wonder, having this information helps you understand how fast your team is moving leads through the pipeline.
Moss also goes in to say, “This is my preferred metric especially because it gives you a very clear picture of where your reps are struggling and what they need help with most. Moreover, this KPI is easy to understand for all parties involved.”
“In tracking my team’s performance I consider lead-to-win as the most important KPI,” highlights Passport Photo Online’s Leszek Dudkiewicz.
“Lead-to-win shows the percentage of purchases in relation to the initial state,” Dudkiewicz defines.
“It is a simple and objective indicator including almost the whole spectrum of the sales funnel and a key to the company’s growth. So broad scope may seem unreliable at first but, in fact, it lets me look at the particular stages of a sales funnel and identify possibilities of improvements,”
“Eventually, improving lead-to-win KPI from e.g. 3% to 5% is a huge difference. It means that the sales effectiveness ratio almost doubles the company’s profits.”
Not to mention, this metric is helpful for understanding reps’ effectiveness in converting leads to customers.
Charles Cridland from YourParkingSpace agrees. “This sales KPI tells us how effective our sales team can convert a qualified lead into a paying customer. We can look at each rep’s opportunity-to-win ratio and identify areas of improvement. This valuable data can help us train our sales team in the specific areas they may need most to close more deals.”
Another valuable KPI to add to your sales metrics reporting is the sales growth metric.
For findpeoplefast.net, Daniela Sawyer shares they track this metric for an overview of their sales team’s performance. Talking about it, Sawyer writes, “It helps me determine how much we can grow compared to the last time and whether we need to change our strategies.”
Simultaneously, Sawyer shares they look at the sales target KPI too. “It tells whether our team can accomplish the set goals and objectives in time or not.” What’s more, monitoring this KPI helps sales managers set challenging yet realistic goals for their team based on their performance in the past.
For SaaS, customer churn is an uber-important metric. After all, if you can’t retain users, you’ll see high rates of churn, which is never good news for your app.
Alina Clark from CocoDoc writes about how they use this metric. “Monitoring the customer churn rates shows us two things:
“In practice, the customer churn rate should be consistent. But that only works if everything is kept constant,” Clark notes.
“The customer churn can also act as a pointer to business growth. Typically, you lose more customers when you’re not growing. However, it’s also essential that the sales team understands how a high churn rate feels like, and how to react in such situations.”
Now for KPIs that Estores track.
“Product Performance is the most important sales KPI here at Translation Equipment HQ,” comments Will Ward from Translation Equipment HQ.
“We’re a business which leverages our direct expertise and advice quite significantly, and one of the key elements of our service is walking our customers through the pros and cons of available products.”
“Tracking product performance brings us a direct insight into which products our customers are potentially having difficulty with comprehending, and it also tells us which products they’re more comfortable with,” Ward outlines.
In fact, this sales metric helps you understand not just which features are customer favorites but also how can you improve them to turn customers into loyalists.
For SD Bullion’s team too, the product performance metric is the most important according to Tyler Wall. “It allows us to gain insights into the trends when a particular product performs better than others.
Likewise, it helps us understand the factors that drive the performance of the product. When you know what works well, you can replicate the strategy and make your other products perform just as well.”
“This information ensures that all the members are performing well in their jobs,” according to CareMax’s Ryan Hsu. “It also provides for accountability among the team members.”
“It’s important to note that the number of closed deals might not be the only indicator in tracking performance. The deal size matters too,” Hsu says. “For example, if you are selling high-value products, it needs to be considered while measuring performance.”
Related: 29 Sales Tips for Improving Your Close Rate
This one’s another important metric for eCommerce businesses.
At SparkPaws, for example, Lisa Norton shares, “We track the performance of our sales team through Monthly Sales Growth. This is the most important KPI because we see the increase or decrease in sales on a monthly basis.”
This helps their team “see patterns and trends happening in our sales,” points out Norton. “Monitoring the monthly sales growth helps us see if, for a certain month, our sales team improved or not. By seeing the trends and patterns, it will be easier for us to think of ways to help the sales team prepare for incoming months.”
In fact, if a particular month sees excellent sales you can review the strategies that worked and double down on them.
“They can be able to improve their performance with a solid data basis rather than just relying on their instinct and own reports,” Norton adds.
Finally, here’s a sales KPI the educational sector recommends tracking, and that’s weekly strategy calls with qualified prospects.
“The number of weekly ‘strategy calls’ with qualified prospects is the most important metric for our sales team,” says Will Barron of Salesman.org.
“Strategy calls are phone calls that have been booked in the prospect’s calendar, with potential buyers who pass the BANT qualification process, where our team has the opportunity to uncover the prospect’s real pain-points and solve them on the call,” Barron elaborates.
Based on this Barron explains this metric is important for them because it helps them lay out their solution to their problem-aware prospects.
Barron adds, “our experts explain the DIY steps to fix the prospect’s issues on the call, which usually leads to the prospect asking us to solve the issue for them or they follow our advice and become an advocate for our training. In short, the strategy calls directly correlate to top-line revenue at Salesman.org.”
Now that you know the sales KPIs to track, we’re positive you’re feeling ready to strategically grow your sales and improve your sales team’s performance.
One last parting recommendation for you: make tracking easy for yourself by automating reporting on sales performance with Databox. Simply select a handful of the most important metrics you need to track, and then plug your data source into a Databox dashboard to instantly visualize data.
Easy, isn’t it? So what are you waiting for? Sign up for our free trial today.
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