"KPI" is hurled around so often that it has become a bit of a buzzword. Not all metrics matter to everyone, and some matter a great deal more than most. The real question you should be asking is: Which KPIs matter to my organization? Let's sift through the mountain of recommendations and look at the tried-and-true top performance trackers you can start implementing today.
1. Bite-Sized Actions
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step,” isn’t just a cliché on a graduation mug. Slices make the pie, and daily actions yield yearly achievements. For sales reps, the big three are:
• Contact Touch Points (per day)
How often are your employees picking up the phone and blasting emails? Salesforce reports it takes six to eight touches to generate a single viable sales lead. Old-school or automated, that’s a lot of sweat. Spoils go to the rep who makes the effort.
• Prospect/Client Meetings (per week)
It’s easy to mistake digital communication as a substitute for face-to-face interaction but, as Forbes reminds us, “you do business with people, not entities.” Deals are made over coffee, not email.
• Physical Events Attended (per month)
A salesperson’s network is their lifeblood. Nurture existing clients, target new prospects, and monitor competitors at industry events. Ensure your teams are evangelizing—and learning—in the field.
Determine your team’s bite-sized actions. Now improve each by a fraction. The 1% strategy brought home the Gold for Great Britain (World Economic Forum). Make it work for you.
2. Smarketing Process
Amid all the talk of change management, the rift between marketing and sales endures. This division is grounded in the assumption that each department is largely unaccountable to the other save for the raw leads marketing generates and the number sales closes. In reality, each has its own specialization, but they constitute one team: business development. They oversee one business funnel, just different ends of it. There are a multitude of ways to integrate the two to surpass quotas (check out HubSpot’s extensive guide on sales-marketing unification). Start with these two key metrics:
• MQL-SQL Ratio
The percentage of marketing qualified leads that sales accepts represents arguably the most important quantifiable bridge between the two halves of business development. Improve this ratio and MQLs become increasingly synonymous with SQLs, which means less time and money wasted on buyer personas unsuited for your product. Note that this ratio will vary according to your organization’s inbound-outbound structure.
• Lead Response Time
Follow up with leads within one hour of generation. Marketing communicates hot leads; sales executes and communicates contact attempts in return. Automation platforms facilitate the exchange. Watch lead interactions become 7 times more meaningful.
3. Customer Fidelity
Retention separates a great company from a flash in the pan. Existing clients are not only a captive audience, but a legion of potential ambassadors willing to preach your brand. Delight them. Then measure that delight. Here’s how:
“On a scale of 0-10, how likely would you recommend us?” Subtract the percentage of detractors (score 0-6) from the percentage of promoters (9-10) to determine your Net Promoter Score (NPS). The more evangelists, the fuller your sales pipeline.
• Client Churn Rate
How many customers are one-and-done? If your sales force does not know this number by heart, they are not hitting the revenue targets they should be. Product scalability and virality rely on a reliable base of customers. Let them slip away, and your teams will be trying to make quota without a foundation.