You can’t measure improvement if you don’t know where you’re starting from. This is true in all areas of life, but it’s especially relevant to sales. To determine whether your business’s sales process is improving over time, you need to regularly track certain sales metrics.
A sales metric is any data point related to the performance of an individual sales rep, your sales team, or your company as a whole. With the right sales metrics on hand, you can paint a picture of the overall health of your company. This allows you to develop a strategy for consistent improvement. Without these numbers, however, you’re essentially operating in the dark without knowing when, where or how to focus your efforts.
If your business is already using CRM software to manage leads and customers, you have a wealth of sales-related data on hand. But how do you know which metrics to focus on? In this post, we’re breaking down the five key sales metrics that businesses in all industries should be tracking. These metrics will reveal valuable information about your customers’ purchasing activity as well as the performance of your sales team. By monitoring this data regularly, you’ll gain the insight you need to reach (or exceed!) your sales goals.
1. Top Lead Sources
The first step in making sales is filling your sales pipeline with qualified leads. To make the most of your marketing efforts, you should regularly assess where most of your sales leads come from. Examples of lead sources might include referrals, advertisements, trade shows, or your website.
Tracking lead sources in your CRM makes it easy to review which ones generate the most leads every month. This can be done by exporting your lead data into spreadsheets or using the built-in reporting features in your CRM. Ideally, you want to focus on the sources of those leads who ultimately became paying customers. If this metric reveals that certain channels consistently bring in high-value leads, you can redirect your marketing efforts to focus on these promising lead sources. Alternatively, you can aim to diversify your lead generation strategy if you notice a strong dependency on one lead source.
2. Number of Touches Per Lead
Transforming potential leads into confirmed sales can take 7 to 13 touches, or points of contact. These touches might include emails, sales calls, and in-person meetings. It’s important to review the average number of touches per lead to assess the efficacy of your sales process. Having too few or too many points of contact without making a sale can reveal problems with your closing strategy.
Look for patterns in the number of touches per lead and the likelihood of the lead converting. This can be done on both a team-wide and an individual basis. If you notice large differences between individual reps’ results, you may need to start from the ground up with comprehensive training on lead nurturing and quality points of contact. Making smart adjustments to your sales approach can be the difference between simply having a conversation or closing the deal.
3. Sales Cycle Length
Looking at the average length of your sales cycle indicates how efficiently your team is closing sales. Your sales cycle length refers to the amount of time between the first point of contact (for example, an initial email) to the closed deal. Of course, it’s inevitable that certain businesses will have longer sales cycles than others. But in general, the faster you can close sales, the more you can close in a given time period — so this metric can reveal opportunities to optimize your sales process.
If you’re using lead management software with activity tracking capabilities, compare the date of your first activity for a lead with the date on which you made the sale. You may also want to look at the time elapsed between each activity in the sales process. If you notice that prospective customers get stuck at a certain phase of the buyer journey for an extended time, consider providing additional training to your sales reps. With the right tools and resources on hand, they’ll be able to move leads through the sales funnel more effectively.
4. Lead Conversion Rate
Your lead conversion rate is a measure of how well your sales team successfully converts leads into closed sales. It is typically expressed as a percentage of closed sales relative to all sales opportunities in a given timeframe. Not surprisingly, a low conversion rate can signal trouble with your sales approach. However, it may also indicate that you’re filling your funnel with unqualified leads and should revisit your marketing strategy.
Many CRMs have built-in reporting tools to help you dive into your lead conversion data. In addition to looking at your conversion rate each month, you’ll also want to review your team’s performance over time. If this metric tends to fluctuate wildly, it’s worth going back to basics to ensure your team is well-versed in sales and customer support tactics. You can also look at detailed activities from each stage of the sales process to identify problem areas where sales are frequently lost.
5. Average Purchase Size
To get a bigger-picture view of your business’s sales process, keep an eye on your average purchase size. This is especially important if your business offers a wide range of products or services: you may be surprised by your distribution of small-ticket versus big-ticket purchases. While it’s easy to focus on revenue as a whole, knowing what types of sales make up this revenue is essential for creating smart plans and projections.
When looking at your purchase data, you should also break down the average purchase size by sales rep. If you notice large discrepancies between reps, this may be a sign that some reps need additional training to help them close deals. Alternatively, the reps responsible for the larger purchases may be utilizing creative upselling techniques to boost their sales. In this case, this is a great opportunity to incorporate these strategies into your sales team’s playbook.
Optimize Your Sales Process with Key Sales Metrics
To optimize your sales process and achieve your goals, you need a solid understanding of where your sales team is at today. This means you need to take a hard look at the data to identify your strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities for improvement. By regularly tracking the five sales metrics listed above, you’ll gain the insights you need to nurture leads more effectively and close sales more efficiently.