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How to Create a Data-Driven Sales Culture

5 min read
Updated Aug. 4, 2021
Published Jul. 28, 2016

While having a list of metrics in hand is nice to have as a sales organization grows — it’s not always enough to guarantee success. They must create a data-driven sales culture that values key metrics and analytics at every point in the sales funnel.

And through this focus on a data-driven sales culture, organizations must be prepared to transform through improved efficiency, effectiveness, and clarity around sales analytics.

Thankfully, as tracking, recording, and data-syncing technology has evolved, the number of metrics available to sales organizations has increased dramatically. The only problem is that, with so many numbers available, it can be difficult to prioritize which metrics should be tracked, and even harder to determine the value of each metric.

That’s why we created the our newest eBook, “The Essential Guide to Sales Analytics,” to help the modern sales organization prioritize what you should be tracking and how each metric contributes to your data-driven sales success.

Download the eBook today

To start, there are the beginner analytics, the easiest sales metrics to track, and the ones you absolutely must be monitoring. But as your data-driven sales operation becomes more advanced, there are some deeper metrics that are slightly more complex and add more clarity to your process. We call these Intermediate Analytics:

Data-Driven Sales Prospecting

Average Outbound Call Duration. This is the average length of time that SDRs are connected with a prospect on outbound calls.
The Value? While not foolproof, time spent on calls often indicates how effective your reps are during their calls. A short average call duration for a rep may indicate additional coaching is needed.

Voicemail Return Rate. This is the percentage of callbacks that come from voicemails your sales team has left.
The Value? A voicemail return rate can indicate which reps are leaving the most successful voicemails and which reps need to improve. Tracking this rate overtime for underperformers can also help you determine if coaching initiatives are helping.

Contact Attempts per Account. This is the number of times anyone on a particular account is contacted.
The Value? It can be difficult to see the big picture for reps who are grinding away all day. It’s important to have a macro view of which reps are reaching out to each account and how often. It’s important to ensure that accounts aren’t being pursued by multiple sales reps or contacted too frequently.

Dials-to-Connection Percentage. This is the percentage of dials that result in a conversation.
The Value? Call volume does not always translate to success. There may be reps that are dialing less but are simply more efficient at connecting with customers. Dial-to-connection percentage can clarify performance and what’s influencing it.

Closing Data-Driven Sales Deals

Opportunities vs. Goal. This is the total number of opportunities generated vs. opportunity goal.
The Value? Sales Development Reps are often given an opportunity quota in place of a standard revenue quota. This metric helps access an SDR’s progress toward that goal.

Contact Attempts per Opportunity. This is the total number of times a rep contacts an open opportunity.
The Value? A consistent cadence and touch is important for moving deals through the pipeline. It’s important to ensure that reps are reaching out to open opportunities often enough to move deals forward.

Data-Driven Sales Performance Analysis

MQL to Opportunity Rate. This is the percentage of marketing-qualified leads (MQLs) that result in opportunities.
The Value? MQLs are leads that Marketing signs off on before handing to Sales. The percentage of MQLs that turn into opportunities is a good indication of marketing-sourced lead quality. If only a small number of MQLs are resulting in opportunities, it could be an indication that Marketing may need to change their qualification standards or their lead sourcing techniques.

Age in Current Opportunity Stage. This is the number of days that an opportunity has been in a particular stage of the sales cycle.
The Value? By tracking opportunity age in various stages of the sales cycle, it can enable you to develop strategies that move deals through various opportunity stages faster.

Average Sales Cycle Length. This is the average time required to close a deal. This is calculated from the time a lead is created until it is closed/won.
The Value? Sales teams should constantly strive to reduce their sales cycle length through experimentation and technology, as well as sales coaching. Reduced sales cycle length means an increase in revenue and decrease in time-to-quota.

Lead Velocity Rate (LVR). Leads of Current Month minus Qualified Leads Previous divided by Month Qualified Leads Previous Month.
The Value? LVR is often correlated with revenue. Growing your lead velocity rate tends to have a positive effect on revenue.

Quota Attainment. Amount of revenue closed by a rep divided by quota.
The Value? This is the most direct way to measure the success of a sales rep as it measures their performance directly against their goal. Team quota measurement can also indicate whether the company is setting realistic goals for itself.

Keep in mind that while the number of dials vs. deals closed can fluctuate based on a number of factors, you can still manage this ratio within a relatively predictable band.

Sales Development Reps must perform repeatable and predictable actions and when they pass opportunities to Account Executives to close, and those AEs, too, must behave in a repeatable and predictable manner.

The combined effect of this data-driven sales culture is that performance ratios will be consistent from development to close, from dials all the way to deals.

Download your free copy of the guide today!

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