Performance measurement

Using KPIs to drive sales activity

Sales volume is the number one measure that ultimately matters to sales managers.
Not surprisingly, it also provides the lead metric in calculating the vast majority of bonus and commission rewards globally.
But Key Performance Indicators around sales activity provide the key measures which show that your sales team is actually doing the things (the sales inputs) they need to do to subsequently be successful in terms of outputs (hitting sales volume targets). Monitoring, and rewarding sales team KPI achievement is one of the best ways to keep your strategy on track towards your goals.
Constantly working on improving your sales team inputs will ultimately lead them to achieving even greater output results.
There are a wide range of tools available to help track and monitor sales team KPIs, and we would be delighted to help you select and implement the right one/s for you.
In the mean-time and to help you with your thinking, here are some ideas about activities which readily lend themselves to measurement due to their proven positive impact on sales results, and which you may wish to reward in your organisation.

Increase sales inputs ---> increase performance

‘Speed to Lead’ Contact

Leads are 'hot' when they first arrive, but they ‘go cold’ frighteningly fast.
The faster impressive contact is made, the greater the sales person’s chance of converting a lead to a sale.
A wide range of research confirms this. For example, a Harvard study revealed that sales people who contacted leads within 1 hour were seven times more likely to have a good quality conversation with a real decision maker.
But just throwing any random marketing content (however fast) through an email auto-responder for example, is just as likely to turn as many customers off as is ignoring them for too long.
What is required is direct contact by a knowledgeable sales person, capable of quickly building trust and agreeing a positive way forwards with the prospect.
Many salesforce automation solutions provide the tools to measure ‘speed to lead’ and conversion to next stage in the sales process. Both of which should ideally contribute to your incentive payments calculation formula.

Prospecting rate

Winning new customers is vital to the long term success of every business.
Monitoring the number of prospecting communications, be they visits, phone calls emails etc and their conversion rates to the next stages in your sales process reveals a host of treasure.
A high level of activity, combined with a low level of conversions, might indicate that the time has come to ‘lift the bonnet’ on the quality of the activity and the propositions being communicated.
Likewise, you will also find that the higher the level of the right activity, the higher the end results.

Follow up rate

Too many sales people decide that if at first they don’t succeed, they 'give up'.
Depending on your industry/market, some 10% of sales are closed on the first to third contact, 10% on the fourth to fifth contact, and 75% are made on the fifth to 12th contact.
Therefore, measuring how frequently each prospect is contacted over time, building the relationship, is another useful KPI.

Use of Marketing Materials

Being realistic, much of the content created to support sales processes goes unused.
Possibly because sales people have had the odd piece of bad feedback from it it in the past, because they forget it exists, or possibly because they weren’t aware that it was even available.
We know that the right marketing support can deliver real power to sales activities.
Using your CRM Content Library can tell you who is using which pieces of marketing support material, in what volume and with what success.

Conversion Ratios

How many conversions to next stage do your sales people achieve on average for each prospect opportunity?
This is a seriously important KPI.
You may have sales people working for you who are really good at getting their face around and opening new opportunities, but terrible at closing the opportunities they create.
Only by tracking the results of each member of your team against this KPI will you come to realise who needs support in the closing area and who needs perhaps to be considered for more of a pre-sales role...