Sales is a unique industry because the languages and expectations are different from company to company. We even see varied techniques and processes between people on the same team. And that makes the job very difficult to track and manage. However, there are key sales metrics that every business should look for, no matter what.
Unique verbiage across businesses is inevitable and understandable. That’s not what we’re talking about here.
We want to standardize the right thing, your key sales metrics.
The Key Sales Metrics of a New Business
When first starting a small company, most Founders must also be salespeople. And fairly quickly, you begin to see value in several different things that can happen on a call:
- A quick, time-saving no from an unqualified prospect,
- Disqualifying a crazy client who would end up being the one that everyone hates,
- Or closing a deal.
But as the company grows, the founder has too much on their plate to continue making those sales calls. So they hire a salesperson.
Should Those Metrics Shift When You Hire Salespeople?
When founders hire a new salesperson, they shift and start looking at only one metric: conversion.
Sure, closed deals were important when they were handling calls. But the other values listed above were just as important then.
And then, for several reasons, that changes when you hand over the task of taking those sales calls to somebody else. Because listening to every conversation is impossible, you start to only care about how many sales they close.
But those other metrics should still be just as important when scaling sales beyond yourself.
The new salesperson does not have the benefit of knowing what it was like dealing with that last client who was a bad fit; they weren’t around for it. So when a new prospect displays indicators that they might be trouble, your salesperson doesn’t see it.
Then the fulfillment side of the house has to deal with another unqualified client. So they blame the salesperson and break out the pitchforks.
But wait a second.
It isn’t the salesperson’s fault; it is actually the founder’s.
Qualifications Will Always Be One of the Most Important Sales Metrics
Most founders and owners don’t tell their salespeople what to look out for as far as a bad fit goes. That is problematic enough, but we are dealing with another problem.
You are holding them to a data point that doesn’t make sense.
You were proud of yourself for three different outcomes, remember?
- More time.
- GREAT fit.
- Getting paid.
You might continue to say that you only want a good fit, but your actions imply otherwise.
There will always be a volume approach to sales, but those who crush sales goals don’t spend time trying to hypnotize everybody into a yes. They spend a lot of energy trying to save their time for the best prospects.
When they spend some time going for the no and disqualifying ill-fitting prospects, they can have more conversations to find the best fit for their company. But you take that option out of play when you only look at “closed deals” metrics as the indicator of success.
As the founder, you stopped taking bad clients as soon as you realized that they were more hurtful to your business than helpful.
Your salespeople need to be able to do the same thing.
But how do we accomplish that?
Developing a Process for Measuring Success
First, you develop a standard or process for disqualifying bad clients. Talk to your team about the best way to do this so that everybody is on the same page.
Next, make sure that you can communicate and document them. These become vital steps in the sales process, and recording them ensures proper training and adoption.
Then, start assessing the quality of each sales conversation regardless of the result. Grade your salespeople on the quality of the call, not whether or not the prospect said yes.
Those key sales metrics help create an environment that allows them to see the value in bringing in the right clients, keeping the bad ones away, and managing their sales pipeline well.
Approachable Key Sales Metrics Create a Happier Workplace
You want your salespeople to thrive just as much as your business to grow.
Looking at these key sales metrics and having a process will make hiring new salespeople easier. They’ll know what you expect and how to get there. And every salesperson will have the same rulebook to follow, which makes tracking their data much more manageable.
It’s about standardizing and holding everybody to the same realistic expectations.
But even more than that, creating a company culture that empowers salespeople to wait for good clients makes everybody’s lives easier.
The fulfillment side of your business will have an easier time with the right clients, and the salespeople won’t have the pressure of always having to close, close, close.
And you will be able to trust that everybody is on the same page about what key sales metrics are best for the business as a whole.