KPIs are crucial to understand how your business is performing. KPIs, or key performance indicators, are metrics that sales managers, reps, and marketers can use to measure specific activities and gauge how effective their sales strategies are. Tracking KPIs can provide insight into which activities are benefitting your business and even help determine how to reallocate your time and resources so that your team is not investing time and energy into costly activities that yield little result. By using KPIs, you can gain a better understanding of your sales process and optimize your close rates.
However, in order to utilize the fullest potential of KPIs, you need to know which ones track the right metrics for your business. Most organizations utilize KPIs across multiple levels and departments to get a full picture of the business’s successes and failures. This means that some indicators are catered to high level functions whereas others look at specific processes, departments, or even individual employees. Not all KPIs are created equal or for the same purpose, and you do not want to invest time and money into tracking metrics that are suboptimal for your business.
To avoid this pitfall, we’ve compiled a list of the top sales KPIs that will help you improve your close rates, whether your business is just starting to analyze key performance indicators, or has been at the game for a while and is looking for a more detailed approach, this list can help maximize your data analysis and increase your overall performance.
New to the game
If your business is new to KPI analysis and you don’t know where to start, there are a few indicators that are simple, straightforward, and serve as a gateway into more complex performance metrics. You may want to take a look at every metric under the sun, but this can bog down your team, especially if you’re just getting started and are not sure which metrics will actually be beneficial. If you have a good CRM and data tracking, that information is not going anywhere, and you can circle back to it eventually once your team has a better understanding of key performance indicators.
So start simple. Here are 5 core KPIs to get you started:
Probably the most basic KPI, the quantity metric looks at the number of opportunities in your sales pipeline as well as the number of opportunities within each stage of the pipeline. By looking at the sheer numbers, you can identify whether or not your business has enough opportunities to begin with, or if your marketing team needs to step up its strategy to get more prospects in the door. Additionally, if there are plenty of opportunities in the pipeline, but there are more stuck in a specific stage, then you may need to dedicate more resources to that part of the pipeline. Quantity analysis can lead to the identification of bottlenecks and help create solutions.
The next KPI we’re going to focus on is size, which looks at how much revenue your opportunities are likely to generate. This information tells you the potential value that a prospect can deliver and where to prioritize your efforts. An opportunity worth $100,000 should be garnering more attention and resources than an opportunity only worth $10,000. Size can also help you evaluate your lead funnel to make sure that you’re not only getting small opportunities, but some medium and large ones too. By understanding the size of your opportunities and the proper allocation of your resources toward those opportunities, you can close bigger deals better.
Velocity refers to how quickly opportunities pass through each stage of your pipeline. While quantity looks at where opportunities are within the pipeline, velocity oversees the movement from one stage to the next. By keeping an eye on velocity, you can evaluate your efficiency and prioritize opportunities that are moving along at a faster rate, enabling you to make a sale faster. On the flipside, if an opportunity is taking a long time to move through the different stages of your pipeline, then you know to dedicate less resources to them, since they will not turn a sale as quickly. Additionally, the velocity metric can help you identify patterns in your pipeline. If all your opportunities are slowing down at a particular step in the process, perhaps there is a problem or inefficiency that you can remedy. Finally, these patterns can also help you plan effectively, by knowing how quickly your prospects move through the system, you can create accurate revenue forecasts, which can help you plan how to allocate your resources next quarter.
Quality is the combination of quantity, size, and velocity. This metric asks the question: does this opportunity offer enough value to justify the time and money spent to win it? By looking at the quality, or return on investment, you can identify whether or not the effort needed to secure an opportunity is worth it. Winning a sale is great, but you want those sales to turn a profit, and more sizable sales often take more resources to secure, and you may be better off letting the prospect move through your pipeline with a more hands off approach. Then that energy and resources can be dedicated to higher quality sales. Looking at the quality of an opportunity helps you to know whether a deal is going to be lucrative. Although the size metric is important, sometimes that higher revenue sale is too costly to be worthwhile. By identifying these discrepancies early in the process, you can save your sales team a lot of time and money, and will find yourself less likely to overcommit to low quality opportunities.
The fifth and final fundamental sales KPI is close rate, which refers to the percentage of active opportunities that you close each evaluation period. When analyzing the close rate, it is important to use our other key performance indicators in tandem to identify patterns. Obviously a higher close rate is better, but what if that close rate is only among small or low quality opportunities? Or maybe your close rate is high, but you still are not generating enough revenue because you do not have enough opportunities to begin with, or the opportunities you have are moving at too low of a velocity to turn a profit. Close rate helps expand our understanding of the other metrics to identify patterns in your sales process. Applying the close rate metric across various categories can help you gather enough information to devise a solution that is specific to your problem. If you have an issue with large accounts stalling at a specific point in your pipeline, you can analyze your metrics for other accounts, comparing size, velocity, and value to see which gear needs to be oiled. Perhaps you need to eliminate the source of the stall or just mitigate the effects. Even for issues that cannot be fixed, at least you now have the knowledge of where the problem is occurring so that you can dedicate the appropriate amount of resources to that point in the process. An understanding of close rates paired with other key performance indicators opens up your mind to better understand your market, build forecasts, and allocate resources for your team.
For Experienced KPI Analysis
Once you have mastered the 5 basic KPIs and have figured out which ones are beneficial for your business, you can hone your processes to get more granular specific analysis. By combining multiple data fields and looking at more specific metrics, you can really focus on the details of your business performance.
We have already seen the benefits of KPI analysis and what combining the five fundamental metrics can do, and it is through an understanding of these basics that we can delve into more complex KPIs. Most of these indicators can be sorted into one of the five categories above, but they each have their own unique focus that can help maximize your efficiency and your profit. Additionally, while the five basic metrics mainly focus on our leads, there are also metrics that can highlight your team’s performance and patterns.
Sales Volume by Location
This metric looks at profit in a physical location and asks the question: where is my product in high demand? Whether your product is in stores or an online service that is popular amongst specific demographics, this metric can help you identify what geographic locations are likely to produce higher sale rates for you and your team.
By keeping track of the average price of your competitors’ products, you can ensure that you are either matching that or offering a lower price to your potential customers as well as the ones you already have.
Existing Client Engagement
Keeping track of how many touches you have with existing clients builds a metric for customer retention based on engagement. By simply keeping track of customer engagement, you can identify patterns in which customers stay with you longer. Additionally, by identifying what types of engagement keep existing customers at your business, you can apply this knowledge to prospective clients and identify which ones fall into similar engagement patterns.
Positive vs. Negative Reply Rates
In a similar vein to client engagement, it is important to keep track of how prospective clients are engaging. Positive vs. negative reply rates keep track of all prospect replies across any channel with one goal in mind: to identify whether they are or are not interested. By tracking this figure, you can identify trends and adjust your approach accordingly.
Meeting Acceptance Rates
This metric is calculated by dividing the number of meetings a rep schedules by the total amount of replies they receive from prospects. Meeting Acceptance Rates can help you identify how effective your sales reps are at creating a sense of urgency in their prospect. By recognizing which representatives or strategies are most effective, you can train the rest of your team to adopt these strategies.
System touches is another metric that looks at your employees’ effectiveness. By knowing how many touchpoints your team is engaging in per closed deal, you can find that perfect combination of video meetings, phone calls, and emails. Additionally, this metric can help you identify when a specific employee is struggling with a tried and true method and help adjust their strategy accordingly.
And many more
There are dozens of key performance indicators out there that could help your business. These are just a few, and with a good lead management system and CRM, all the data you need is right at your fingertips, allowing you to test out different metrics at your leisure.
Key performance indicators help streamline your sales process, with a strong focus on reallocating resources to save your business time and money. After all, improved close rates are not just about closing more deals faster, it’s about finding quality leads that will have a solid return on investment. By working with the five fundamental building blocks of KPI, you can employ many different metrics to identify patterns and pain points in your pipeline and perfect your system.
Want more? Check out our article on outbound lead generation for more information on how to use KPIs to secure new leads: