Metrics Matter…..Establish Them and Use Them!!

As a followup to my recent blog about hiring great sales people, I thought the next logical focal point would be metrics. Check out the following tips and let me know your thoughts….

Establish the Correct Sales Metrics and USE Them!!

  • Obviously….REVENUE IS KING!!!
    • Set realistic revenue targets and drive over achievement
      • True sales people will gravitate to good comp plans
    • Revenue results are a “lagging” indicator to performance
  • Set good metrics around “LEADING” indicators to performance
    • “If an Inside Salesperson does XXXXX weekly, we can say that we had a good week and our pipeline is moving correctly.”
      • Call activity 
        • Number of outbound?
        • Number of Inbound?
        • Time?
      • Email Activity
        • Is the number of them important?
      • Demos/Downloads
        • Is a demo critical to my Sales process?
        • Is a download important?
      • Net new Opportunities added to the pipeline
        • Define what a net new is
          • Example: A new opportunity is an opportunity where we have spoke to the correct person, identified pain, have a definitive next step(download, call , demo) and confirmed the prospect is truly interested.
  • Set Expectations for each
    • Competitive salespeople want targets and challenges
    • Each metric should have an expectation or target
    • Present these expectations to the team in a written format and confirm that they are understood
  • Feedback
    • Post results on white boards in your office
    • Send results out weekly to entire organization
    • Discuss them at weekly meetings
    • Use them to praise, reprimand, or (if not understood) redirect the focus
  • Use metrics to scale your team
    • Assess a “day in the life’ of your salesperson
      • Are they following your “Model Day for Success”?
        • Are the number of Reactive activities taking time away from Proactive ones?
        • If so, it is time to scale
  • Use metrics to act on low performers
    • By only evaluating revenue numbers, you risk investing too long in an underachiever
    • 90 day factor
      • If in 90 days, a salesperson is not hitting your “leading” indicators, you must act quickly regardless of revenue numbers
        • Blue birds, and ramp up quotas can allow underachievers to hide…productivity metrics do not

Spending time with various expansion stage companies implementing metrics has been the easy part, using them is and maintaining them is the challenge.

Brian Zimmerman
SVP Marketing & Sales

Brian Zimmerman was a Partner at OpenView from 2006 until 2014. While at OpenView he worked with our portfolio executive teams to deliver the highest impact value-add consulting services, primarily focused on go-to-market strategies. Brian is currently the Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing at 5Nine Software.
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