Key Sales Metrics You Should Track in 2018

July 5, 2018

As a sales manager or business owner, your problem isn’t too little data; it’s probably too much. From sales velocity and average deal size to sales funnel leakage and onboarding time, there’s a nearly endless list of metrics and data points to sift through. Which metrics are the most important? That depends on industry, your sales organization, and your sales cycle, but there are a handful of key sales metrics across the board that can help you make smart decisions regarding your people and processes. As an added bonus, Murray Goodman, CEO of Intelemark, explains how outsourced lead generation campaigns help in the following areas.

Time Spent Selling

Do you know how your salespeople spend their time? According to one study, sales reps only spend 36% of their time actually selling. What are they doing instead? A recent survey by HubSpot suggests:

  • 21% of their day is spent writing emails
  • 17% is spent entering data
  • 17% is spent prospecting and researching leads
  • 12% is spent going to internal meetings
  • 12% is spent scheduling calls

By tracking the time your salespeople spend on various activities, you can discover opportunities to eliminate or outsource different tasks to free up more time for your team to do what they do best: close deals. For example, if your sales representatives report spending a lot of time entering data, you might want to reexamine your CRM platform. Or if your agents are spending nearly a fifth of their time researching and prospecting leads (as the above study suggests) you might think about outsourcing these activities to a lead generation provider.

“Outsourced lead generation and appointment setting services allow salespeople to focus more of their time on the deals they are working. They also mitigate the peaks and valleys that most salespeople must endure. Salespeople who do their own lead generation will focus on getting a bunch of leads and working those deals, but when those deals close or dry up they must start the cycle all over again with nothing in the pipeline.”

Outreach Actions

It could be argued that the number of outreach actions isn’t as important as the quality of actions, but it’s still important to know how hard your reps are working to turn prospects into customers. Keeping tabs on outreach action (outreach emails sent, follow-up calls made, demos given, etc.) can also provide you with valuable insight into what your salespeople are doing so you can elevate your bottom performers. For example, if your reps are only making half as many outreach or follow-up calls as your top people, you’ll have actionable steps to lay out for improving their performance—and ultimately your bottom line.

Tracking outreach actions will also reveal how your sales team performs against industry-wide benchmarks, revealing further opportunities for improvement. Some key statistics in this category:

“Companies that don’t use a lead generation or appointment setting vendor may never connect with key decision-makers because their sales people don’t have the time or patience to reach out until they ultimately get the chance to speak with them. Salespeople who generate their own leads may never come close to making 9-12 attempts, leaving opportunities uncovered.”

Lead Flow

Lead flow is the number of new leads that come into your sales pipeline in a defined period of time. But more important than the quantity of leads is the quality. Increasing quality leads is the top priority for 68% of B2B professionals, followed by increasing lead volume (55%). Ideally, you should track the total number of leads as well as where each lead originated. This will help you identify which channels are bringing in the best leads—and you should have multiple channels. According to HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound report, 43% of salespeople struggle most with prospecting. Having other ways of bringing in leads is critical to the health and growth of your sales pipeline.

“For most salespeople, their natural inclination is to focus on the deals they are working instead of spending time prospecting. When the time comes to determine what task to do next, most salespeople will focus on the task that generates revenue in the shortest time possible. At Intelemark, prospecting is all our agents do. It’s what they’ve chosen to do for their careers, and they’re exceedingly good at it. We recruit carefully to find agents with the requisite skills and experience needed to succeed where so many salespeople struggle.”

Close Rate

Close rate is the number of closed won opportunities divided by the number of opportunities created in the same period of time. Measuring each salesperson’s close rate can provide additional context and insights when compared against metrics like “time spent selling” and “outreach actions.” At the same time, HubSpot’s 2017 State of Inbound report found that 34% of salespeople say closing deals is getting harder, so your sales team may not be completely responsible for sub-par close rates. If that’s the case, you don’t need more salespeople if you want to increase revenue—what you really need is more leads.

 “Assuming it’s true that one-third of salespeople say closing deals is getting harder, the only way for salespeople to make their numbers is to have more deals in the pipeline. How do you get more deals? Intelemark can help.”

Is Your Sales Team Having Difficulty Generating B2B Leads?

Intelemark can fill your sales pipeline with a consistent volume of quality leads, meaning your salespeople can spend more time working to close sales and less time trying to find deals to work. Before our agents pick up the phone, we’ve already spent hours understanding your message, your market, and your offering, so you can be sure the leads we deliver are not only highly qualified but willing and excited to speak with you.

Learn more about our B2B lead generation and appointment setting services.