If you’re in sales, your job literally depends on numbers — in more ways than one.

Not only does the overall number of sales you close reflect your job performance, but it’s also crucial in the modern age to use different data metrics to make positive changes. If you want to see improvement, you need to start measuring.

What gets measured, gets improved.
Peter Drucker

If you oversee a sales team, you need data to make strategic decisions to assure that your team is happy, productive and effective. If you’re a salesperson, sales reporting data allows for better sales forecasting. With data, you can quickly and easily understand past and current sales trends and the number of opportunities in the pipeline.

According to research from McKinsey, companies rooting marketing and sales decisions in data see 5-10% revenue growth, often within the first few months. These companies aren’t just referencing data here and there — they’ve incorporated it into their everyday routine. Having the analytics laid out daily allows sales leaders to identify each team member’s specific skills and adjust workloads accordingly.

If businesses want to maintain a competitive advantage and continue to grow, decisions need to be data-based. By using analytics to inform daily decisions, you are able to see patterns and make decisions to increase your bottom line.

The real question lies in choosing what analytics to actually look at. Total sales by time period, sales by product, sales by lead source, revenue per sales, deal size, number of deals in the pipelines, conversation rate… the list goes on. There are so many stats to measure, and the ones you use depends greatly on your industry, your business type, and your goals. We asked sales experts what works for them and gained some insight that can be applied to any business. Here’s what they said:

1. Time Spent Selling

Instead of powering through calls just to hit quota, it’s important to remember the goal of sales is to build meaningful relationships and ensure your product or service will make a positive impact on your customer. That’s why CloserIQ founder and CEO Jordan Wan says, “The number of calls that are greater than five minutes is one of the most important sales statistics for motivating your team. Most sales organizations track call volume and minutes but, to encourage reps to focus on quality conversations instead of burning through a lead list, add a definition of quality to calls.”

Jordan Wan

The benefits of focusing on quality sales conversations are hard to ignore. According to RAIN Group President Mike Schultz, “Sellers that maximize selling vs. administrative time win more, achieve more, and feel more motivated as they are not frustrated by wasting time.”

Mike Shultz
RAIN Group

2. Revenue or Percentage Quote Achieved

“It’s important that the things you measure are tied to desired business outcomes. So, Revenue or Percentage Quota Achieved for the quarter and year-to-date still work well for direct sales,” says Antivia CMO Bryan Motteram. “For business development teams, focus more on number of new opportunities created (for example). However, whatever you measure, it’s making this information visible that motivates a sales team. Display these metrics in a leader-board. Put this leader-board front and center on a big screen on the sales floor. One thing’s for sure, your sales people will all want to be top of that leaderboard!”

Bryan Motteram

3. Probability Adjusted Pipeline Value

While it’s important to keep long-term goals in mind, tracking small steps along the way is crucial in seeing overall progress. “Most CRMs allow you to assign a probability for each stage of your sales process. Weighing your deal opportunities by these probabilities can help you better assess the expected revenue close to help forecast and improve pipeline management conversations,” explains CloserIQ Founder and CEO Jordan Wan.

4. Leads Contacted to Leads Closed Ratio

Healthy competition is a great way to challenge one’s routine and reenergize efforts. “One great statistic to measure and motivate a sales team is the lead/close ratio,” shares Jacob Dayan, CEO and founder of Community Tax and Finance Pal“This is essentially a statistic of leads contacted to leads closed per employee. Not only does is help measure the efficiency of individuals on your sales team, after seeing this number, employees will start to figure out ways to improve their number. This will promote innovation and efficiency that will ultimately help your bottom line. Finally, teams can use the historical leads/close ratio to plan monthly and quarterly strategy and identify a number of leads they will need to contact to hit their sales numbers, based on their historical leads/closed ratio.”

Jacob Dayan
Community Tax

5. Percentage of Reps Over Quota

It’s a sales industry standard to set quotas, but the actual definition behind these goals varies from company to company.  As CloserIQ Founder and CEO Jordan Wan says, “For some teams, it’s a stretch goal while for other teams, it’s the median (or minimum performance expected). Regardless of your definition, you should have a realistic understanding of what percentage of your team is actually attaining quota. If your % is too low, it can be discouraging for your team to believe it’s an attainable measure.“

6. Number of Thank-You Messages From Customers

Thank you messages aren’t just a sweet sentiment; they can serve as an indicator of good work. Cristian Rennella, VP of Sales and Co-Founder of El Major Trato says, “After 9 years of work and being able to learn from mistakes and successes in order to motivate our salespeople, we finally arrived at the solution: Measure the number of thank you messages that we receive from our customers. The sellers who receive emails, calls, or different messages (whatsapp + facebook messenger) of gratitude from customers satisfied with the sales and service process, are those who have 46.7% more sales than the rest! For this reason, being able to measure and follow this statistic each month is fundamental for our company to continue growing long term.”

Cristian Rennella
El Major Trato

About Camille Smith
Originally from the Blue Ridge Mountains in Virginia, Content Marketing Strategist, Camille Smith came out to California to attend UCSB and fell in love with Santa Barbara’s perfect mountain to ocean ratio. During her time in college, Camille also worked on the growth marketing teams for several technology companies. When she’s not putting her Communication degree to use at work, she’s using her minor in French to remind everyone the correct pronunciation of her name à la française (pronounced cah-mee, not kah-meal).