Selling in 2020 has not been a breeze. (Unless we're talking about a breeze that's blowing volcanic ash, discarded litter, and sand all at once into your eyes.)

For this year, the sales quotas you had in mind are difficult, if not nearly impossible, to hit. And results are tough to predict. The upside is that you can, and should, start focusing more on your sales process. This means spending more time monitoring your reps' day-to-day sales activities to improve your team's overall efforts. And unlike a tornado of volcanic ash, garbage, and sand that you have absolutely no control over, you can directly influence your results by tweaking the way your reps work.

Because we know how confusing sales metrics can be, we've summed up the main numbers you should be tracking to increase your chances of hitting those targets. You're welcome.

Sales Activities Metrics

Sales activity metrics are crucial as they mirror the performance and behavior of your sales team. And now that everyone is working remotely, they come even more in handy as they give you an idea of what your reps are up to daily and how much time they spend on each task. Tracking and setting weekly expectations for these numbers is crucial for your bottom line and for improving the areas where your sales team is lacking.

Just remember: You can complete sales activities without getting any results, but you can't get results without doing activities. So make sure that your team is properly tackling these tasks.

Number of Calls Made

According to the Telfer School of Management Sales Engagement Study, there is no direct relationship between the number of calls salespeople complete in a day and their performance. In fact, more calls could be associated with less chances of success. Why? Because a salesperson who attempts to make more calls to one particular lead will likely close more deals than a salesperson making single attempts to several different leads.

Instead, it is recommended to focus on contact attempts as well as call duration. And don’t forget to monitor the quality of your calls, so you can tweak your pitch accordingly.

Number of Emails Sent

Separate the number of emails sent out to unique prospects, and those delivered to people that your company has interacted with before. Then, you can break it all down by the number of emails opened, the engagement and click-through rate, and the number of recipients who are ready to move on to the next step.

These will help you gauge the effectiveness of your message and the quality of your subject line as well.

The Number of Follow-ups

According to a Hubspot report, it takes at least eight attempts before successfully connecting with a potential client – yeah just to connect. Also, the Telfer School of Management found that on average the number of contact attempts needed for a positive outcome with a lead is 5.7 for B2B companies and 5.9 for B2C companies.

Unfortunately, sales reps often give up after two. This means that tracking this number will give you a direct sign of the level of commitment your sales reps show while doing their job. You'll also want to keep an eye on how recipients react to these follow-ups to make sure your message is clear and effective.

The Number of Social Media Interactions

You heard it here first (probably not): Social selling has become a big part of modern sellings. According to LinkedIn, 62% of B2B customers respond to salespeople who connect by sharing insightful and relevant content. Don’t overlook this tactic, especially now in the 2020 climate when people are looking and researching a lot more before spending. Make sure that your team is using social platforms to uncover sales opportunities.

For this metric, you can track the percentage of accepted connections, the message response rate, and the number of people who wish to further discuss your product.

Number of Meetings Scheduled

A request to schedule an appointment is not a definitive yes, but it gives your reps a pretty good chance to win over that prospect with their convincing pitch and charming personality. You can break down this category by contact channel (email, phone call, text, or social) to understand which strategy works best for your business.

Number of Demos or Sales Presentations

This metric is a good indicator of how well your reps are able to transform conversations with leads into a potential sale. Here's a tip: If you see a high number of meetings and discovery calls, but a low number of demo requests, you might need to have one-on-ones with your team members to figure out what part of the conversation isn't working.

Number of Referral Requests

91% of customers say they'd give referrals, but yet only 11% of salespeople ask for referrals (The Brevet Group). And although a lot of factors (including some that may be out of the sales reps control) go into whether or not someone will consider giving a referral, it’s often worth a try. Just make sure your reps are asking the right people.

Number of Proposals Sent

Proposals are pretty much the last step of your sales process. This number will reveal how skilled your reps are in the closing stage of a deal.

There is no magic number for success – you have to go with what is realistic for your team. Our advice is to set up weekly meetings with each sales rep to figure out how much time it should take per activity, and come up with weekly targets that will increase their chances of closing a deal.

Sales Success Metrics

Success metrics quantify your sales team’s performance. In other words, they help you figure out how effective your reps are when completing their daily activities. Besides your typical win/loss ratios, here are the other success metrics we think you should consider tracking.

Total Pipeline Value

This includes every qualified lead opportunity in your rep’s pipeline. If you wish to grow your business, make sure that your reps have a healthy and profitable pipeline.

Customer Lifetime Value

This can be a key metric to determine if your reps are reaching the right target audience members as well as doing enough to keep them on board for as long as possible.

Cost to Acquire

Your reps should be bringing in profitable customers. Monitor this metric to help you calculate whether or not those customers actually are improving your bottom line.

Average Deal Size

This one is a no-brainer – reps who are able to acquire larger deals are the ones you want to keep around.

Upsell/Cross-sell Revenue

Upselling and cross-selling are simple ways to bring in extra revenue, so you’ll want your reps to try and increase their average order value

New Business Revenue

This reflects how successful your sales reps are at closing deals with new customers. Although renewals are important, you also want your reps to be able to bring in new business.

Percentage of Reps Meeting Quota

If the majority of your reps aren’t hitting their goals, you might want to consider changing strategy, offering some extra training, or even adjusting the quotas.

Get Your Sales Back on Track

Yeah, I get it...2020 has been a crappy year. But don’t let that discourage your sales team.

Bottom line, sales activity metrics are the gateway to bigger-picture sales performance analytics. You can't directly change your reps' conversion rate, but you can improve how they work to get better results. There are also several other success metrics you should monitor to quantify your reps’ performance. Just don’t forget to consistently track your numbers, and log in all of your reps efforts. Thankfully, there are sales engagement tools available to help you out. So do yourself a favor, and end this hell of a year the right way.

Posted by Darryl Praill
Darryl Praill
Darryl Praill is the Chief Revenue Officer at VanillaSoft, the industry’s most established Sales Engagement Platform. As an accomplished award-winning marketer, a Sales World Top 50 Keynote speaker, a 2020 top 10 SaaS Branding Expert, a Top 19 B2B Marketer to Watch in 2019, a social media influencer, a category-leading podcaster, and a serial entrepreneur. Darryl has raised almost $100 million in venture capital, acquired, merged and taken companies public, been hired and fired, and worked for companies of all sizes.

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