For every enterprise sales leader who wants to rethink their team’s key performance indicators (KPIs), there’s a seemingly endless supply of best practices to choose from.
The problem with best practices, however, is that they’re usually past practices. What may have worked well even five years ago is far from a guarantee of success today.
For enterprise sales leaders, that means the conventional wisdom around KPIs should be continually questioned — just as companies recalibrate their go-to-market efforts to meet changes in buyer behavior.
Here are five enterprise sales KPIs you should focus on to achieve ambitious, sustainable growth in even the most challenging market conditions.
5 Enterprise Sales KPIs to Watch in 2023
1. Annual contract value (ACV) per demo
ACV is a crucial metric for all sales teams, but examining the ratio of ACV generated per demo is one of the most important sales KPIs for enterprise businesses.
To calculate your ACV per demo rate, simply divide the ACV won for a given period by the total number of demos booked during that same period. Depending on your product and typical sales cycle, demos booked could be defined as the first scheduled meeting, or a completed good-fit meeting with a prospect.
This metric is important because it measures, in aggregate, how much value each meeting with a prospective customer represents. It also serves as a bellwether for the overall efficiency of your sales motion. If your reps are spending significant time and effort securing demos that translate into lower ACV, that’s a signal their time could and should be diverted elsewhere.
Many businesses focus on annual recurring revenue (ARR), but this poses some potential pitfalls, such as a handful of larger accounts being overrepresented in the overall share of the ARR. Assessing performance with this metric can be risky, because a few dominant accounts can hide an array of problems lurking in team performance — and expose them abruptly if a major account is lost..
2. Sales cycle length
Enterprise businesses often face a significantly longer sales cycle than smaller companies: big deals take time to win, often involve many stakeholders, and are typically subject to more scrutiny.
Data from MarketLauncher suggests that the average enterprise sales cycle is six months — a figure that some enterprise salespeople may find overly optimistic — requiring between 6–8 touchpoints to successfully contact a decision-maker, and a further 10–12 touchpoints to book an initial meeting.
There are several steps sales leaders can take to reduce their sales cycles, including engaging prospects almost immediately, automating their GTM motions, and removing friction from the contract process.
Sales cycle length should also strongly inform pipeline creation and broader goal-setting. Underestimating the length of time between creating an opportunity and closing that deal can result in missed targets and lower revenue, not to mention demoralized reps.
3. Win/paper sent
Enterprise sales teams face not only longer sales cycles, but asymmetric ones, too. As talks progress and teams edge closer to a deal, negotiations can actually become more complex and time-consuming.
The win/paper sent ratio — the number of closed-won deals divided by the total number of contracts sent — can reveal how efficient (or not) late-stage negotiations have been. Imbalanced ratios, indicated by more deals “won” than contracts sent, can reveal potential problems in late-stage discussions.
With elongated sales cycles, more stakeholders, and greater scrutiny, many factors that can delay later-stage negotiations are beyond sales reps’ control. Identifying potential deal roadblocks is a vital first step in determining what reps and AMs can do to optimize their discussions with prospects and close deals faster.
4. Average selling price (ASP) and product mix
Not all products are created equal. It’s not enough for sales leaders to only focus on ratios of total deals won or average sales cycle duration – it’s also vital that they examine the average selling price (ASP) as it relates to the product mix.
Take Adobe, for example. Between 2018 and 2022, the value of Adobe’s digital media solutions (including its flagship Creative Cloud product) was approximately three times that of Adobe’s digital experience offerings. While both categories experienced similar, consistent growth during that period, Creative Cloud is a significantly more valuable product than Adobe’s tertiary offerings. Selling these products in the same way wouldn’t make sense for Adobe or its prospective customers.
If reps are closing larger deals, but resorting to extensive discounting or promising additional access to smaller products or services to close those deals, the team may need to simplify its approach. Focusing on the value of the core product and the solutions it offers, rather than resorting to deep discounts or excessive bundling to close a deal, could actually drive higher revenue over the long run while also resulting in a much less complex sales process.
5. Seller productivity by tenure
Data from Salesforce suggests that a majority of sales reps move on to other roles and opportunities within 12 months, revealing the urgency with which sales leaders must ramp new hires. To complicate matters, data from Gallup indicates that it also takes an average of 12 months for employees to reach their full potential.
One of the most pervasive challenges faced by sales leaders is gauging when specific reps are ready to accept more responsibility and be assigned higher-value leads.
Examining seller productivity by tenure can deliver valuable insights into how much new-business or upsell revenue individual reps can expect to achieve in a given period. It makes little sense to give new account executives (AEs) and account managers (AMs) revenue targets that match those of more experienced sellers — doing so risks missing targets and demoralizing new hires.
Ideally, calculating seller productivity by tenure should be done in cohorts, rather than examining individualized performance data. This enables sales leaders to set realistic, achievable targets for both new and experienced sellers, and create feasible onboarding and ramping plans.
ZoomInfo did something like this when we refactored our lead-routing model to assign higher-quality leads to more experienced salespeople — an experiment that resulted in significantly higher win rates.
“Before, we never factored in channel, even though we all knew that leads from our website are the best leads,” says Steven Bryerton, senior vice president of sales at ZoomInfo. “Now, that’s a major component of the model and how leads are routed to specific reps, regardless of a prospect’s size. That starts to trump some of those other data points when it comes to how we assign leads.”
Enterprise Sales Has Changed
The rules of enterprise sales are ever-changing and competition for new and existing business is always intense. Buyers grow more discerning and are engaging salespeople much later in the process. Investments in new technologies are under increasing scrutiny, and even products that demonstrate real value can be a tough sell for cautious companies examining their budgets.
But changes to the sales landscape also bring unprecedented opportunities for forward-thinking businesses. ZoomInfo has helped some of the world’s biggest and best-known brands, including PayPal, Snowflake, and Unilever, reach new audiences and achieve strong, sustainable growth.
Sign up for a free trial of ZoomInfo and learn how we can help your company unlock insights, engage customers, and win faster.