In a world driven by data (or lack thereof) sales leaders are constantly looking for what will give them the best leg up for their team. We get so caught up in the numbers and industry benchmarks, we forget what we’re measuring in the first place.
Reporting on sales efforts should always answer AT LEAST one of two questions:
- Are we meeting our goals?
- What changes do we need to make?
Most people are solving the first question, but how many people can say their dashboards shed light on the second?
Because of all the jargon, metrics, and “industry benchmarks” we lose sight of what matters most. Once we figure out what we need to measure, we’re stuck with the challenge of figuring out how to do it.
Get everyone motivated around the same goal
The first thing every leader should know is the company’s annual goal. I like to describe it as the amount it will take for your company to have a successful year. Oftentimes it’s an Annual Operating Plan (AOP), revenue target, or sales target. Managers and Directors should be able to figure out every single team member’s KPI’s down from that.
Nobody likes to feel like their work doesn’t matter. When someone can’t see how their work affects the good of the company, it’s hard to stay motivated. While establishing the company’s goal is the first step, making everyone’s contribution visible is equally important.
This doesn’t only apply to your SDR’s and Account Executives. Customer Success and Marketing teams can also contribute to reaching these goals! Measuring renewals, upsells, and MQLs contributing to closed won business is a step you can take to align different groups in your organization to the same goal.
Reporting only matters when it gives you actionable insights
Many sales Managers and Directors use out-of-the-box reports or metrics that aren’t meant for their team. The most important thing a report can give you are actionable insights. Actionable insights are what comes out of the data that is prepared and analyzed to give you the ability to make decisions or more importantly, ask more questions.
If your data isn’t allowing you to positively impact your future, then you and your team should step back and re-evaluate your reporting and dashboards. Here’s an example of data being used to address sales rep activity:
- You have two reports. One is analyzing activity completed by reps and another analyzing connections and meetings.
- SDR (A) is leading the team in activity but is at the back of the pack for connections and meetings.
- SDR (B) is in the middle of the pack for completed activities, but leading the team in connections and meetings.
In this example, these reports give us actionable insight because SDR (B) is generating more opportunity than SDR (A) with less activity. We can then start to ask why? and uncover productive behaviors. Does SDR (A) need call coaching? Can other SDRs learn from how SDR (B) is personalizing emails? These are the questions reports should be getting us to ask. Not, “who completed their 50 calls for the day?”
Where do I start?
If you haven’t done so already, figure out your company’s goal and make sure your team’s goals are aligned to that number. You can use the simplified example below as a starting point.
Once you’ve aligned to your goal, next review your reporting and dashboarding tools, whether it’s in CRM, Sales Engagement, or other data visualization platforms. Work with your Admins, Ops, and Data teams to ensure you’re interpreting everything correctly.
In this simplified example, you can see the clear line between a rep’s daily activity, and their contribution to the company’s goal. For example, for a team with 5 reps, an ASP of $5,000, and a 20% close rate, the following breakdown shows the monthly activity and bookings a rep would need to hit to achieve the company target of $1,200,000:
Once you’ve got your foundation set, you can begin to ask this question: do I have what I need to make the necessary decisions that will get me to my goal? Remember, data is meant to enable us! If you’re interested more in understanding sales engagement KPI’s or building insightful reports and dashboards, let us know. We’d love to hear from you and work together hands on.