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3 Metrics That Matter for Improving Sales Performance

Sales leaders can quickly improve inside sales performance by with data centric coaching. Metrics are a crucial way to measure performance, predict revenue, and evaluate the progress of your sales reps. But which metrics are the most important? In this article I outline the three metrics that matter most. 

Here’s a question to consider: What are the three most important metrics you should use to track and coach inside sales performance and, make sales outcomes more predictable? 

Survey Says . . .

Before we jump into my answer, let me share some of the answers I received from a recent LinkedIn Survey I conducted: 

Answer #1

The first answer I’ll highlight was from a SaaS sales leader:

  1. Opportunities created
  2. # of times contacted
  3. conversions, deals closed.

I thought this was interesting, especially the “# of times contacted.” 

Still, while I understand the opportunities created and conversion or deals closed, I don’t know that I’d include # of times contacted as one of the three most important metrics to measure.  Obviously it’s important to know how much time a sales rep is spending chasing a sale, and also how effectively they are closing on each call, but I think there is a more important metric that I’ll share later on.

Answer #2

The second answer that I felt was worthy of including here was from an entrepreneur in financial services sector:

  1. Opportunities created
  2. Calls made on the accounts
  3. Quality of the call

These metrics are focused more on account management calls to existing clients. Yet, once again opportunities created was listed number one. 

The thing that I found interesting with this answer was quality of the call. As you’ll see later in the article, quality of the call, and, more specifically, how that quality is measured, is one of my top three metrics. 

Answer #3

The most interesting answer came from a VP of Sales in the business services sector:

  1. # of open deals (times)
  2. Historical win rate (times)
  3. Historical ave. deal size = Pipeline.

He wrote: “One metric I’ve found very effective is: (# open deals) x (historical win rate) x (historical avg. deal size) = Pipeline. This takes some of the moving variables out of measuring just the numbers that are in the existing open deals and is based on past performance which should better indicate likelihood than a probability entered by the sales person.”

What I liked about this answer is that it seemed to most accurately predict the upcoming pipeline.  I’ve sat in a lot of pipeline meetings, some worldwide even, and almost everyone in the room knows there is a lot of ‘wood’ that isn’t going to close.  Getting an accurate account of what is truly likely to come in seems hard.  This formula seems easy.  You should try it.

The 3 MTMs that Improve Inside Sales Performance

After considering the answers above, along with the other responses to my survey I settled on the three metrics that I feel matter the most for coaching and improving inside sales performance:

  1. # of opportunities,
  2. Close percentage
  3. Script grading adherence evaluation per closing call

Metric #3 – Script Grading Adherence – is based on recording each call and grading adherence to your best practice script and scripted rebuttals. The reason, is if a rep is winging it, they won’t get better and you can’t coach them.

The manager’s job is to teach the best practice approach and then coach to it. Then you measure who is adhering to it and who isn’t. Every other metric (number of calls, number of contacts, trending to revenue for the month), etc., flows from that direct metric.

I always like to talk metrics with managers to see if they are measuring this very important component.  Bottom line is if your reps aren’t using the best approach and handling objections and sales situations effectively, then the other metrics won’t improve much.  If you ask them to make more calls, all you will get is more bad calls.

Sales Coaching Challenge

Here’s my challenge to you: Start listening to how your inside sales reps are performing during their calls. Note where they have opportunities to improve. Then develop a coaching plan, to improve inside sales performance.


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About the author

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks

Mike Brooks is the founder of Mr. Inside Sales, a North Carolina based inside…

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