You wouldn’t run a modern sales team without a solid set of goals. But having the wrong goals can be costly, too.
The solution? Set crystal clear key performance indicators (KPIs) from the get-go. These are metrics that prioritize and improve sales performance and yield valuable specifics like percent of team meeting quota, average on-target earnings, and sales cycle length.
KPIs should match the specific needs of your sales team. Setting and tracking the right KPIs entails knowing your options and team so that you can carefully map out the KPIs that fit your goals.
“Our teams have different activities that lead up to hitting our number,” says Steve Bryerton, vice president of sales at ZoomInfo. “I need to focus on win rate or average sales price, and our SDR needs to focus on inbound conversion rate, outbound demo sets, show rate.”
Here are the top sales KPIs for B2B sales reps and the leaders who coach them.
The Sales KPIs You Need to Know
To help you select the most effective KPIs for your team, we’ve categorized the list into six buckets, each reflecting a broader sales goal. Each KPI includes a quick explanation and the benefits for using it.
Sales Rep Activity
1. Number of calls quantifies calling activity on a predetermined basis. This KPI spotlights where reps are falling short and what they can act on quickly to improve performance. The number of calls quantifies calling activity on a predetermined basis. This KPI is especially useful for understanding your sales team’s call-to-connect rate, a metric that directly impacts your revenue. Use our handy revenue calculator for tracking ROI against improved connect rates.
2. Number of emails sent helps companies understand the number of prospects discovered per number of emails sent. It also helps assess prospect interest in messages sent by your team.
3. Number of new meetings booked or attended provides a daily view of ongoing performance, including follow-up logs and stalled communications. It makes the connection between sales activity per rep and revenue.
4. Number of touchpoints made is a combined figure of a rep’s total contact activity (calls, emails, etc.) and appointments made with prospects. While the number of connections made can point to overall success, the number of attempts made reflects a rep’s ongoing effort to succeed and gives room for analysis of areas in need of improvement.
Sales reps are some of the biggest drivers of revenue. These KPI dig into the why and how behind revenue gains. Closing the largest deals sometimes isn’t enough; consider costs that influence prospecting and retention.
1. Sales volume by location shows where demand for a service or product is highest and lowest. This KPI helps your sales team customize strategies to increase demand in areas where it’s lower. For example, once reps compare what’s working, they can conduct A/B test messaging and push out promotions to boost interest.
2. Amount of discounts applied per sale (or percent of sales discounts) takes into account the price decrease of the service or product after including a promotion. Discounts benefit the buyer and have the potential to increase short-term sales. This KPI helps the rep understand which discounts are most effective, which can help reach sales objectives faster by attracting prospects with incentives that work.
3. Revenue growth rate measures growth of sales revenue over a certain period of time or following the launch of a new product. This KPI helps teams understand any progress made, including which strategies are making a difference in your bottom line.
4. Average cost or price per unit measures the marketing costs your company spent on a single purchase of your product or service. While this metric varies depending on industry and type of product, it is generally used to measure the effectiveness of your marketing, sales and advertising campaigns, as well as the effects of other factors, such as promotions.
5. Customer acquisition cost tracks the amount it costs your company to acquire a new customer. This KPI indicates the health of business growth through successful customer acquisition. It’s a metric that investors weigh heavily in their decisions.
Business development is a broad category that can be closely tied to revenue or used more for tactical strategy. On the tactical side, business development can be a major driver of sales and typically involves all the sales reps and their processes. The list of KPIs are often most prevalent in the business development sales process.
1. Number of opportunities created tracks the number of in-market, active prospects that your sales teams are pushing into the funnel. This KPI helps forecast future sales and identifies the most worthwhile prospects to connect with again.
2. Number of deals closed measures your prospecting efforts, such as the number of communications via email or phone, against the actual number of deals closed in a given period. This helps your sales team better understand the time spent on prospecting and waiting on opportunities.
3. Sales cycle length tracks the amount of time from a rep’s first prospecting event to completion (closed/won deal). This KPI measures the efficiency of the sales process and identifies areas for improvement.
Read More: How to Shorten the Sales Cycle at Each Stage
4. Number of proposals sent indicates if your sales reps are prospecting to the right in-market buyers. This number can be compared with the number of generated sales qualified leads (SQLs) and created opportunities to better gauge the effectiveness of your team’s prospecting efforts.
As the “openers” of the buying process, Sales Development Reps (SDRs) identify suitable leads for deal closings. The warmer the lead, the better chance for success. These KPI deal with the ongoing process of developing, nurturing, and qualifying a lead.
1. Average lead response time measures how long it takes a sales rep to follow up with a lead or engaged prospect. This KPI can point to possible reasons for a lost lead (like an overly slow response time) as well as to the likelihood of a conversion given a timely and helpful response.
2. Average follow-up attempts tracks the number of prospecting activities your reps make from their first outreach attempt to close or end of activity. Generally, the fewer the number of attempts it takes to reach a prospect or lead, the more likely it is that the prospect is in-market and interested in your offer. This KPI also highlights a rep’s persistence in contacting leads.
3. Meeting acceptance rate divides the number of meetings your sales rep books by the total number of replies they receive from prospects. The higher the meeting acceptance rate, the better chance Account Executives (AEs) have to convert prospects.
4. Lead-to-opportunity ratio tracks the percentage of leads that convert to opportunities. This KPI can be thought of as the effort it takes to qualify a lead and turn it into an opportunity. You can use this metric to track the number of opportunities in your pipeline and better forecast your team’s sales performance.
As the sales “closers,” AEs take leads from SDRs to turn them into paying customers. These KPI focus on the final stages of the sales process.
1. Opportunity-to-win ratio (aka win rate) measures the overall success of your rep’s prospecting efforts—from an early opportunity to a closed-won. This KPI is helpful in spotting misses, stalls, objections, conversions, and ultimate successes and shows leaders where to step in with extra coaching or training.
2. Deal win-loss ratio (or win-loss analysis) is a calculation of won opportunities over lost opportunities. This KPI is essential for understanding why deals are won or lost and can help decode the process of losing versus successful deals. Sales teams and leaders can look at the data, analyze it, and deliberate the next steps based on the outcome.
Read More: How to Conduct a Win/Loss Analysis
Sales and Marketing Alignment
These KPI help you understand and align your sales and marketing efforts. When departments operate cohesively, customers enjoy a smoother experience from initial marketing messages through sales demos and deal closings.
1. Number of leads in each funnel stage looks at leads from a sales and a marketing perspective. Each category below is important to assess a pipeline filled with prospective SQLs (sales qualified leads) capable of making a purchasing decision in the near future.
- Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs) are ready to be contacted by a sales rep based on responses to campaigns, e.g., filling in a web form or downloading an ebook.
- Sales accepted leads (SALs) are MQLs that have been passed on to sales reps to contact and convert to a business opportunity.
- Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) are prospects that have been contacted by a sales rep to explore their interest and actual ability to purchase. Leads become sales qualified once they have a clear idea of what they need in a solution, know their budget, and have been nurtured by marketing and sales. Once qualified, they can move down the sales funnel.
2. Customer churn rate measures the rate at which you lose customers, most often in the form of cancellations or non-renewals. Given that it costs less to retain a current customer than to attain a new one, a low churn rate is a significant indicator of sustained revenue.
3. Customer engagement tracks the consistency of interactions and communications between a company and its customers. Active customer engagement can include the following: event attendance, content views, interaction on social media, product reviews and comments, website engagement, and app or device use. As a general rule, higher customer engagement can increase customer satisfaction, brand advocacy, and overall revenue.
4. Upsell and cross-sell rates tracks when, how, and to what type of customer your sales reps are upselling and cross-selling. Keeping track of upsell and cross-sell initiatives can reveal needs that similar customers may have and uncover product features that either work or don’t.
5. Customer lifetime value (CLV) measures or estimates the total revenue your company has or will likely generate from a particular customer. This KPI is valuable for knowing how profitable a certain customer is and the key factors that drive their CLV, like customer experience and satisfaction.
To help your reps grow revenue, set and track specific KPIs. Deciding on the right KPIs differs from company to company, and sales teams often have their own metrics that don’t apply to other departments. Before choosing KPIs for your sales teams, make sure to outline objectives and what actions to take to overcome challenges.