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Making Sure “Metrics-Driven Sales” Means More New Business

3 min read
October 6, 2016

As the Dreamforce sessions continue to impress, we’re excited to watch Salesloft VP of Sales Derek Grant hit the stage with a panel of leaders from modern sales organizations including Bob Marsh of LevelEleven, Janet Jansen of Paycor, and Doug Mantelli of Jackson National Life, as well as the author of Cracking the Sales Management Code, Jason Jordan.

These experts have tackled challenges like sorting through an abundance of sales data, trying to identify where your team should focus to increase revenue, and ultimately how to generate focus and motivation around what you find. Today, we got to get an insider scoop on what they’ve learned throughout battling those challenges.

The first lesson was shared by Bob Marsh, where he talked about the importance of KPIs and the processes that ultimately lead an organization to closed deals:

“Only two percent of a sales reps time is spent closing deals. The rest of their time is spent on the processes that get them there.” -Bob Marsh

According to Marsh, KPIs are best segmented by team. For example, sales development should focus on number of calls and scheduled meetings, where inside sales is focused on proposals in the pipeline and wins. Field sales top KPIs are definitely going to be the number of face-to-face meetings and new opportunities, while account management is primarily focused on opportunities created and milestones completed.

But the number one KPI for each of these roles? Conversations. Which ultimately leads to the most important KPI in modern sales, which is the prospect to qualified appointment ratio. But it’s not all numbers and facts, because it really comes down to the skill and efficiency of the rep. “It’s easy to get lost trying to find a silver bullet,” says Marsh, “but most of the time it’s about going back to the fundamentals.”

“We convince ourselves that this is so complex,” Jason Jordan agrees, “but if you take a step back, metrics are really straightforward.” And that’s the power behind intelligent and intentional analytics. If you’re focusing on the predictive data at hand and the analytics behind your activities, then you’re way more likely to affect the ultimate deal.

“Don’t focus on the outcomes, because that’s not what you can effect. Keep it simple.” -Jason Jordan

In the same vain of “keeping it simple,” Doug Mantelli is clearly an essentialist at heart, stating that, “if you’re telling your reps that 30 metrics are important, they really won’t know what’s important.” The motivation behind the word important is priority, and priorities are hierarchical. KPIs should be limited to what the rep prioritizes, and most importantly, what they can realistically and visibly aim for in their activities.

“If you make the metrics visible, people will work towards them.” -Derek Grant

Metrics only matter if they mean something significant to the reps shooting for them. Jordan agreed with Derek, adding that, “when you start measuring something, people start paying attention to it. When you tie it to compensation, people start paying a lot of attention to it.” All of these things mean that the more your reps are tied to their KPIs, and the more metrics-driven your organization, the more new business you will have the opportunity to create.

These modern sales pros have given us access to exclusive KPI research on which metrics serve as the strongest focus for which types of sales teams, and tips on how to not only manage modern sales performance, but accelerate it. We’re in for sales analytics just as much as we’re in for more new business. Here’s to more sales wins.