Building on the sales pipeline post from last week, a pipeline is about understanding the state of sales. Providing a structure to the sales process enables a team to assess key sales metrics (read: “performance”).

A few metrics to track once an opportunity is created:

  • Close win/ loss rate – what is the ratio of opportunities that are won/ loss
  • Sales stage aging – how long are opportunities in sales stages
  • Close rate by prospect source – based on how the prospect became a lead and then an opportunity, what is the ratio of opportunities that are won
  • Sales cycle time – how long does it take to close opportunities
  • # of close date moves – that is, how often are close dates adjusted for opportunities? This can reflect poor sales forecasts
  • Total win amounts – simply, how much money is generated
  • Conversion rates at every stage – how often are opportunities moving beyond the first stage? Second stage? Etc.

The above sales metrics can further be grouped or aggregated on finer details including:

  • By sales professional – which sales professionals are closing more, less
  • By date(s) – aggregated by months, weeks, quarters, etc.
  • Other standard or custom attributes of opportunities and accounts –fields beyond the above including opportunity size, opportunity creation, account size, account geography, or other custom fields on the opportunity or account level

Then, if data is captured well, a sales leader can go deeper by understanding the activities involved…

  • How many meetings were completed to close a deal?
  • How many people were involved in the sales process? Buying process?
  • How well do customers continue buying services/ products later? That is, understand the renewal rates, cross-sells, and up-sells

There are many sales metrics available once a structure is created and data is gathered. The important element of metrics is keeping them focused and driving action. Consider all the sales metrics mentioned above are gathered. Are there specific areas that need attention this month? Are there specific sales pods or professionals who need more coaching? Stay focused, and have your data inform how to achieve better performance.

Tags: sales, metrics, sales leaders, pipeline

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