Become a Data-Driven Sales Coach: Eight Advanced Metrics to Track and Why

Become a Data-Driven Sales Coach: Eight Advanced Metrics to Track and Why

The sales dashboard is the place every sales leader logs into at the beginning of each day to measure, monitor and understand the performance of individual salespeople and sales teams. But what’s the point of tracking sales metrics if the numbers aren’t going to be used for actionable insights such as better sales coaching? Some metrics lack granularity and just give “big picture” information. That’s why we’ve put together a list of eight advanced metrics to focus in on to identify issues in the sales process. Your salespeople will also benefit from improved sales coaching!

1. Age and Stage Age

How long should it take a salesperson to move an opportunity through each stage and through the entirety of the pipeline? Age refers to how many days an opportunity has been in the pipeline and stage age refers to how many days an opportunity is in each stage of the pipeline.

Why It’s Important

What is the typical behavior of an opportunity? Age and stage age historically define how long an opportunity sits in one place. If it’s “normal” for an opportunity to take 30 days to move from Qualify to Propose in the pipeline, then an opportunity at 80 days should certainly be flagged and reassessed! When age and stage age are used as indicators, it’s easy to monitor and reassess opportunities that act in an unusual way and with this information, decisions such as whether an opportunity should be excluded from the forecast can be made.

2. Stage-by-Stage Conversion Rates

While many organizations will measure overall conversion rate, which refers to the salesperson’s ability to move opportunities through the pipeline and win a deal, it’s critical to also measure stage-by-stage conversion rate, which refers to the portion of opportunities that move from Stage A to Stage B.

Why It’s Important

Measuring only conversion rate lacks granularity and makes it more difficult for sales leaders to pinpoint issues and breakdown in the pipeline. Conversion rate gives the big picture of the entire process and stage-by-stage conversion rate fills in the details. Perhaps opportunities are dropping off consistently from Qualification to Proposal because customers aren’t receiving the targeted content necessary to educate the buyer at this point. Or perhaps a salesperson is much more seasoned at closing deals than moving a lead to a qualified lead. Whatever the case may be, more information about how customers move within the pipeline only helps to improve the overall sales process.

3. Win Rate

Win Rate is the percentage of Won opportunities of both Won + Lost opportunities.

Why It’s Important

Win Rate takes into consideration both won and lost opportunities and for this reason, gives a more accurate picture of salesperson performance. As long as the salespeople are measured by the same standards, win rate can really tell you who is a top performer and who isn’t.

4. Pipeline Shortfall (or Pipeline Gap)

Pipeline Shortfall is the amount of additional pipeline needed to meet a target or forecast based on a historic win rate. If you convert your current pipeline at an assumed win rate, which still might not get you to your target, then more is pipeline needed.

Why It’s Important

Salespeople can’t meet the targets and forecasts that are set if there aren’t enough opportunities in the pipeline, or halfway through a quarter the pipeline is depleted. Understanding the Pipeline Shortfall warns managers that they urgently need more pipeline or they need to focus on improving win rates.

5. Number of Opportunities per Rep (Utilization)

There is plenty of evidence that shows the degrading effects on a salesperson’s ability to convert when there are too many open deals, it is about capacity and managing the right capacity.

Why It’s Important

A salesperson’s most valuable resource is their time and for this reason, their time shouldn’t be spent pursuing low-quality opportunities. Understanding which deals to walk away from, or at least when to put them on the back burner, is a vital skill. It also leaves less room for burnout and sales leaders can talk to their salespeople to understand why a deal is considered low-quality. Perhaps there’s an issue with how qualified leads are defined?

There’s no magic one-size-fits-all answer to what that number might be. Check out this post for a detailed framework for how to manage and optimize salesperson utilization for your sales organization.

6. New-to-Closed Ratio

New-to-Closed Ratio tells sales leaders whether a salesperson is creating more/less than they are closing.

Why It’s Important
If you constantly close more than create, your pipeline will eventually dry up! If you create more then you close, the pipeline continues to fill, but opportunities are not proactively managed and potential sales are going to be lost.

7. Average and Median Days to Close by Team, by Deal Size, by Line of Business

The median is the middle point of a number set and the average is calculated by adding several quantities together and dividing the sum by the number of quantities. Median and average can be used to measure how long it takes to close a deal by team, deal size and line of business.

Why It’s Important

Measuring all aspects of the business—team, deal size, line of business, only serves to give sales leaders more information to make better decisions. These metrics also offer comparables between periods, for example, how seasonality can effect different lines of business. With seasonality in mind, you wouldn’t compare Q2 to Q1 for example, you’d compare average and median days to close for Q2 2018 to Q2 2017.

8. Qualify Rate

The Qualify Rate is the number of leads that end up as qualified opportunities.

Why It’s Important

Salespeople handle numerous leads per day, but not all leads are weighted the same. Sometimes the profile of a customer is more ideal and of course, there are some leads that are more enthusiastic than others. Gathering leads is important, but what is even more important is creating qualified leads that will then move through the pipeline. If unqualified leads are consistently passed through the pipeline, it wastes valuable resources in the sales department. This measurement can help sales leaders educate salespeople about which leads should be considered qualified and what are best practices to optimize qualify rate.

Track Advanced Metrics to Become a Data-Driven Sales Coach

In order to track advanced metrics, sales leaders need accurate and far-reaching historical data at their fingertips. They also need to understand which types of metrics are important to track to become data-driven sales coaches and improve the quality of their sales teams. In this case, the data is there to help and guide, but it’s the human aspect of the sales process that ensures a healthy pipeline and a productive sales team.

Vortini has a library of metrics to choose from including your standard run-of-the-mill metrics and advanced metrics to track on your dashboard. Dashboards can be customized to meet the needs of your organization so you measure precisely what’s important to you.  Contact us today to learn more.

Jess is a communications professional and Vortini’s lead content/web developer. Her current interests lie in the intersection of sales technology and machine learning. In her free time she reads a book-a-week, practices yoga, and is an avid gardener.

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