Tracking Sales Performance? Try These 4 Metrics for Major Results

Rob Danna
Rob Danna
Two sales employees looking over sales performance results in a meeting

If there were a sales leadership hall of fame, Peter Drucker wouldn’t just have a plaque dedicated to him. He’d probably have a wing of the building—or at least a marble bust.

Drucker, the inimitable management expert and author, is no small name in the world of business. He brought countless ideas into fruition, including concepts that ring true today.

One of my favorite quotes will resonate with sales leaders looking for the right performance metrics to focus on: “What gets measured gets managed.”

In other words, if you aren’t tracking sales performance, it’s impossible to judge success.

But what metrics do sales leaders need to focus on to ensure sales team success? Track these four sales performance metrics to get enormous results from your team—and try incentives to get them closer to your goal.

Key Sales Performance Metric #1: Time Spent Selling

According to Docurated’s State of Sales Productivity Report, salespeople only spent one-third of their time actually selling things last year.

The rest of the time, they were looking for content that addressed their prospects’ objections, dealing with administrative work and other unavoidable tasks. While this kind of work is important to closing sales, it’s certainly not bringing cash in the front door.

Accordingly, time spent selling should be a major focus of any company’s sales force.

How Incentives Can Help:

Have your people conduct a time audit—what do they spend the most time doing? What percentage of their time do they spend selling?

Using that figure as a benchmark, set an attainable goal above their current state, then offer incentives for taking steps in the right direction.

Related: Get your people moving with these sales productivity hacks.

Key Sales Performance Metric #2: Opportunity-to-Win Ratio

To paraphrase hockey great Wayne Gretzky, you miss 100% of the sales opportunities you don’t make.

At the same time, taking bad opportunities isn’t the best idea. An open-goal breakaway shot? That’s a winner. Going solo against a tough defense? Not much of a sure bet.

The opportunity-to-win ratio is a major indicator of sales performance. To increase your reps’ win rate, you need to track where they have the most difficulty converting opportunities from stage to stage.

By analyzing their wins and losses, sales leaders can peek behind the curtain to determine what was successful and what wasn’t in any opportunity. If there’s funnel leakage in the early stages, your team might need help with qualification, product knowledge or demo skills. If problems happen later, negotiation skills or objection management might be a concern.

How Incentives Can Help:

The secret to a thriving opportunity-to-win ratio lies in understanding what your team is most successful at and what they could use help with. After analyzing your team’s wins and losses, incent your people for taking steps toward learning and practicing aspects of the sales process they could use help with.

Key Sales Performance Metric #3: CRM Usage

Your company’s CRM is the glue that holds your sales operations together, and it’s perfect for tracking sales performance. It’s the water cooler your sales team gathers around—and then some. A CRM assists with client interaction, stores important customer data, serves as the central repository for marketing information and puts crucial facts in the hands of the right person at the right time.

But if some of your people aren’t adopting your CRM, there’s work to be done.

How Incentives Can Help:

Making a shift in your CRM—or installing a CRM for the first time—can be a bit of a culture shock for your people. It’s adding another step to their workflow, and for some people, it can be a big pill to swallow.

Incentives can help inspire CRM adoption by giving your people something to work toward.

Key Sales Performance Metric #4: Lead Response Time

When a customer fills out a lead form online, their interest is piqued, but it tapers off from there. Generally speaking, the faster you respond to a lead, the more likely you are to see success with it.

One lead response study found that:

  • The average first response time of B2B companies to their leads was 42 hours
  • 24% of companies took more than 24 hours
  • 23% of the companies never responded at all

Further than that, one study examined the correlation of lead viability and speed of response and found something stunning—the odds of the lead entering the sales process, or becoming qualified, are 21 times greater when contacted within five minutes versus 30 minutes after the lead was submitted.

How Incentives Can Help:

By tiering response rates for different times and incenting them accordingly—10 points for a response within a certain time window, for instance—it’s simple to incent your people to rapidly respond to leads.

Sprinkle in incentives for closing a lead, and you will add even more motivation.

The sales incentive of the future isn’t what you imagine. To keep your sales team competitive—and keep them engaged with your company’s goals—you need to focus on the strategy of your incentives to break ahead of the pack. Read more about our unique approach to sales incentives.

Rob Danna

Rob Danna

With a 25-year background in technology and sales management, Rob brings real-world performance improvement solutions to hundreds of large companies. As Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ITA Group, he prides himself by staying on the front lines of performance improvement technology and innovation.