b2b sales performance metrics

The Most Important Sales Performance Metrics to Measure

You have a great product and a willing and eager sales team. Maybe you even have a steady stream of leads coming in and things seem…good! But as a business owner, when things are good it’s always normal to question, “Could things be better?” 

Measuring the efforts and effectiveness of your sales team can be difficult. You want to ensure they are consistently doing the most they can with b2b lead generation and prospecting to bring in new sales for your organization. But you also know that a B2B sales process takes time, and sometimes, it also takes luck.


So how do you combat some of the traditionally ill-defined metrics used for measuring sales performance and come up with real, accurate key performance indicators (KPIs)? What do you really need to track to help you gain visibility into your sales team’s progress? 

That’s exactly what we’ll explore in this blog. Read on to find out what KPIs you should be measuring for your B2B sales team and how to help all of your sales reps achieve consistency and success.

What are the Best KPIs to Measure for my Sales Team(s)

There are three specific things every sales manager should be tracking to get a holistic view of their sales team’s performance:

  • Activity
  • Quality
  • Conversions 

Let’s break these down below:

Activity

To put it simply, activity measures the day-to-day activities your salespeople perform in order to generate more leads and close more deals. The way you measure activity is going to depend on how your sales team normally approaches lead generation, but your KPIs could look something like the points below:

  • The number of outbound or cold calls made per day 
  • The number of demos booked
  • The number of meetings scheduled
  • The number of outreach emails sent 
  • The number of prospects in a salesperson’s pipeline

Because all of these metrics are so easily quantifiable, it makes it clear for sales managers to really understand what the daily output of effort looks like from each sales team member.

For example, if you notice that the majority of your reps’ book between 1-3 demos per week, and another rep isn’t able to book a demo for weeks, they may need additional training in that area since the KPI you’re setting is obviously achievable. 

Sales reps really don’t have much power over how many responses they get to their cold email outreach or how many cold calls are answered, but they do have complete power over how many they send and make. Therefore, measuring the output is a better way to measure effort than a response rate would be. 

Quality

The next KPI to look at when understanding sales team performance is the quality of their pipeline. This will really help shed some light on how well your salesperson is prospecting, and also how well they really understand your ideal customer. 

Quality can be measured through KPIs like:

  • Email open rates
  • Call back rates
  • Trial Sign-ups vs. demos given
  • Warm sales appointment setting
  • How far leads get in a rep’s funnel 
  • Warm lead generation 

These KPIs are easy to measure as well and should be able to tell you which of your salespeople have really perfected their prospecting and outreach methods, and which might need some work in this department.

Measuring these KPIs is also a great way to get best practices that your sales reps can share with the rest of the team. For example, say you notice that one sales rep gets an email open rate of 60+% for every email they send out. Perhaps they can share what types of subject lines they are using and how they’re building out their email list with the rest of the team.

Conversion  

Conversion measures the outcome of all the activities mentioned above. Normally, conversion is measured by things like:

  • Quote to close ratios
  • Sales by contact method
  • Average conversion value
  • Customer retainment
  • Time to close 

While most sales managers focus on the list above to measure progress in their sales teams, you cannot rely solely on conversion KPIs to gauge success. Unless you pair conversions with the other two types of KPIs above, you really won’t get the full picture on performance. 

For example, maybe one of your sales reps has a very low conversion value. However, you notice from the other KPIs above, that he or she is closing more deals than anyone else on the team. This might indicate that they are particularly skilled in faster yet lower-tier sales.

Or, perhaps, one of your sales reps isn’t closing many deals, but you notice that the majority of their prospects do move very far into the funnel. Perhaps their low close rate has less to do with their efforts and more to do with bad timing, bad luck, pricing or some other issue out of their control.

For all of the KPIs mentioned above, there are things sales managers can do to help ensure that their team is consistently meeting goals and driving the business forward. And that’s what we’ll look at next:

How to Help Your B2B Sales Team Meet Their KPI Goals 

Keep KPIs Clear, Visible and Consistent

Your KPIs should never be something that management or leadership keeps to themselves. Instead, all KPIs should be clear and visible to all members of your sales team. Your reps need to know how their performance is being measured, so they can ensure they’re rising to the task. 

When you first set your KPIs, hold a meeting with your entire sales team and get their input on the structure of performance measurement. The more your team feels like they can own their goals, the more motivated they’ll be to achieve them. 

Offer Coaching, Not Criticism

If you notice that one of your salespeople is not meeting their KPIs regularly, or struggling in a particular area, offer coaching instead of criticism. Perhaps they need additional training in a certain area or mentorship in a particular part of their role.

One surprising recent survey showed that 84% of all sales training is lost after 90 days, and 82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are unprepared. What this tells us is that poor performers on your sales team may be trying their best, and simply falling short due to a lack of training. 

It’s important to keep investing in your sales reps if you want to see them keep investing in your company. 

Review Goals Quarterly

Company goals change. Maybe your original revenue target for the year seems really out of reach at the end of Q2, or maybe you launch a new product and priorities quickly shift. When these things happen, it’s important to look at our KPIs and determine if they still make sense. If not, involve your team in the process of changing them to reflect the new goals. 

Even if there hasn’t been a major priority shift in your business, reviewing your KPIs regularly (perhaps every quarter) is still a best practice. It will remind everyone what they are working toward and how close they are to achieving their goals. 

Give Incentives 

Of course, your sales reps want to see your business achieve its goals. But when they’re working on meeting their own KPIs, they likely also want to know what’s in it for them.

This is where an incentive structure can really come into play. Maybe you have bonuses for deals closed at your organization, and that’s great. But do you have any other incentives in place for other KPIs being met?

For example, if you are finding your sales team is really struggling to make cold calls, perhaps you could create an incentive for any rep that meets their daily cold call goals for a week or a month. Or, if you have a rep who is prospecting really well, perhaps they get an incentive for sharing their tips with other team members.

You can get pretty creative here, it depends on what your KPIs are and what you have found best motivates your team. 

Get Your Sales Reps Some Help 

If you’re finding that your sales team is working as hard as they possibly can, but they’re still not able to meet their KPIs, it may be time to bring in some outside help. Hiring a third-party company that can assist with prospecting; lead generation or cold calling services can make a world of difference in helping you achieve your business goals and scale more quickly.

For example, a company like Leads at Scale can help you reach thousands of more prospects each month through cold calling services, assist with lead nurturing and qualifying, and deliver warm leads to your sales reps that are ready to close. 

Interested in learning more? Book a demo with our team here

John Dubay

John Dubay is the Managing Partner at Leads at Scale, an outsourced sales support company that helps B2B companies generate well-qualified leads at scale, ready to be closed.

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