So much is said about data these days that it can be easy to overlook the most important thing about it: Actually using it.
KPIs – Key Performance Indicators – are how you get around to “actually using it.” They are the most important metrics for some aspect of your business. Monitoring them allows you to know at a glance whether you are moving toward your goals in the way you want to.
Every part of your organization has its own KPIs that tell team members where they stand.
Sales KPIs are particularly important because so many of them can translate directly into revenue. Still, sales KPIs need to be looked at as part of a greater whole to be efficient. That’s especially true in a modern, inbound-focused organization where marketing and sales interface daily.
Which sales KPIs are the most important for success?
Although that can vary, we’ve narrowed it down to a good start.
The Sales KPIs You Should Be Watching in 2017
Sales KPIs come in all shapes and sizes in a modern enterprise. However, just like more Web traffic won’t necessarily make your website profitable, not all sales KPIs are valuable at all times.
Plus, there can be too much of a good thing: A sudden influx in sales may give your business more orders than it can service. Likewise, a big jump in leads can leave you without the ability to follow up and get things done. Either way, your company’s brand image suffers.
So, which sales KPIs really matter?
If you want to pare things down to the true essentials, start with these.
1. New Contact Rate
New Contact Rate is the KPI most sales managers have the best handle on. It directly shows how salespeople are contributing in their assigned territory. It tells you who’s reaching quota and who isn’t – which can tell you if quota adjustment or talent development might be needed.
2. Client Acquisition Rate
On the inbound side of things, Client Acquisition Rate has another name: Conversion Rate! It’s the percentage of new contacts that actually convert into customers, taken as a function of sales efforts. Client Acquisition Rates can help you learn how many touches are needed for a sale.
3. Sales Volume Per Channel
This was formerly thought of as “Sales Volume Per Location.” Now, it’s important to compare the figures from physical locations as well as Web properties – your own and others where sales can take place. Determining which channels are the most valuable can raise elevate sales and marketing ROI.
4. Pricing Against Competitors
Pricing strategy is an important part of staying competitive in sales. When prices don’t differ much, a price-matching approach can be helpful. When there are significant pricing differences, they become part of your brand positioning as the premium or affordable option.
5. Client Engagement Rates
Web technology has changed the game on client engagement. These days, there are more ways for clients to engage than ever before. Sales pros should be touching base with a regimented post-sale follow up plan. Data on customers’ Web engagement should also filter down to sales.
6. Lead Response Time
It’s easy to get fixated on the lead’s response time, but Lead Response Time actually flips the script: It’s about how responsive your team is to incoming lead contacts. The faster you are, the more responsive (and therefore trustworthy!) your company is perceived to be.
7. Rate of Follow Up Contact
Just as you should start building rapport with clients as promptly as you can, also try to look at follow up as an exciting opportunity. Many sales pros never follow up with potential leads, but lots of sales don’t happen until eight or more contacts between lead and sales team.
8. Sales Email Clickthrough Rate
Since digital technology gives us access to so much data, it makes sense to level the playing field by incentivizing your leads to use digital channels. When the sales organization sends out a follow up email, clickthrough rates tell you how well the message is aligned to the prospects’ needs.
9. Opportunity to Win Ratio
Last, but certainly not least – the percentage of actual sales to new opportunities is probably the most fundamental sales KPI of all, and shouldn’t be overlooked. It’s the ultimate gauge of the individual’s performance, but its meaning might not be clear without all the others.
Good Sales KPIs Can Be One Part of a Big Picture
Sure, there are other KPIs you could zoom in on. One big one that might come immediately to mind is social media usage. If you’re in the B2B sector, you want to know that your team is really making use of the bountiful lead opportunities to be found on LinkedIn, for example.
Still, there is such a thing as paralysis by analysis.
If you start tracking too much data, you’ll soon find that you need a new data expert to interpret it for you. New tracking and reporting requirements will make it harder to get the message data is telling you. Then, the very things you’re trying to learn with data become easier to overlook.
With all that in mind, it’s a good idea to narrow the field of action.
Keep your focus mainly on the KPIs that:
- Sales pros find most useful in planning their weekly, monthly, and quarterly efforts;
- Sales pros actually have influence over, so the data can truly guide their behavior.
No matter whether you have a fully inbound-focused organization or you blend inbound and outbound-based methods, the sales team remains vital. While marketing builds and nurtures the lead relationship, it’s usually up to sales to take it to the next level by inspiring a conversion.
When everyone has the data they need, each part of the organization performs better. Plus, you can easily see areas that are in need of improvement, which raises ROI across the board. With new digital analytics technology, tracking your sales KPIs is a sure step toward success.