Let’s take a minute to talk about performance. I’m talking specifically about sales performance; the performance of your salespeople in doing activities that generate revenue. Now, all sales managers have an idea of what they think it takes to be successful. In my experience, that opinion is built on years of prior history and behaviors. Most importantly, however, those ideas are built from anecdotal evidence that managers have seen from reps, offices, and overall revenue.
But what about actual activity performance indicators? As a manager, do you know which key performance indicators (KPIs) are the ones that are most likely to drive revenue and sales effectiveness for your team? From experience, here are five sales KPIs you should be tracking to improve the performance of your sales team:
Whether it’s for inside sales, field sales, or anything in between, the email and phone call data that reps produce each day is critical to determining whether they’re generating enough activity to meet their goals and objectives. If your sales reps are not picking up the telephone and making calls, chances are you’re not doing your job – and you’re not going to be successful. There are always exceptions, but this one is pretty much a lock.
While making telephone calls is a very important part of any sales person’s job, the real business comes from having productive conversations with customers and prospects with whom you’d like to do business. If you can’t get somebody on the telephone, you’re not going to be able to set any appointments, and you’re not going to be able to sell a thing. That is matter-of-fact, and the way it always has always been.
Quality conversations are also going to drive how many calls need to be made each day. The ratio between the number of phone calls made and the number of conversations had will help drive topline revenue attainment and benchmark standards that managers can rely upon to hit activity goals and ultimately reach their numbers.
Because we’re talking about the telephone here, it’s important to understand what the outcome of a good phone call is in your particular sales arena. For many companies, setting up an appointment or meeting over the phone is the clearest indicator of whether a call was successful. So, based on the number of phone calls made and conversations had, the best sales reps set the most appointments – with the smallest ratio of appointments set to conversations had.
Another key ratio is the number of contacts to the number of appointments set. As a rep, you can be making fewer phone calls but be generally more effective at getting a commitment from your customers. For managers, this is an indicator of a rep’s unique value and skills, which the manager can then try to replicate across the rest of their team.
Average Talk Time
This one is a bit tricky. How much time you spend on the phone with a prospect or customer varies from industry to industry. With some customers, sales conversations that go on for three or even 45 minutes are the ideal wow for others, as they are the opposite of what is expected (a “no thanks” or even a hang up). However, it is nonetheless a key indicator of the effectiveness of the salesperson in their productivity. A rep may spend an average of seven minutes on the phone per call, but are they converting those long conversations into next actions, appointments, or revenue?
Perhaps all that relationship building by a rep is converting itself into desired activities or new revenue, but it also may be getting them nowhere. Either way, the average talk time per rep is an important metric that will help you identify patterns that you can use to establish a standard for management.
Call Attempt Frequency
Most sales managers have no idea how many times their sales reps call a phone number before abandoning ship. But, how many times a rep attempts to contact a lead or prospect before deciding that the situation is hopeless is a critical indicator of the rep’s focus, commitment, and ability to be successful.
Analyzing these five sales KPIs is a surefire way for managers to get a better grasp on what is working and what is not amongst their sales teams. By doing so, it will become clear which reps are truly performing to standard and generating revenue.