The metrics that are most important to sales attainment are generally similar, even if the statistics differ greatly from industry to industry and sales team to sales team. Here are the key metrics that almost any sales team can use to measure and analyze to enhance their success. Mix and match them and set goals based on the needs of your company and characteristics of your product & market.

As we go through this conversation, don’t worry about the scale of the numbers that I use in my examples – they are just examples and can differ greatly for you.

Number of reaches.

This might mean how many calls you make, how many emails you send or how many times you reach out by social networks to get the first touch with the prospect. In general, the more often you reach out, the more likely you’ll reach somebody who will become a customer.

Numbers of good conversations or engagements

Reaching out doesn’t mean you’ll actually get to engage your prospect. In most sales scenarios, you’ll only engage a small subset (whether by phone or email response). Here the appropriate metric is not just the number of people who respond – it’s the percentage of reaches that become good exchanges. If you reach out to 100 people, and engage 5, that’s much better than engaging 1. The percentage is an indication of how effectively you reach out – perhaps affected by your list or the pitch you use to get their interest. So it gives you actionable data.

How many conversations turn into meetings

Unless you close business consistently on the first conversation (which is possible in some industries and for some products), you’ll need to get a meeting. Again, the percentages are important compared to how many you engaged from your initial reach. Phone, email or other methods (LinkedIn, SMS/text, Twitter direct message or Facebook messaging) could all be reasonable techniques to get that meeting – so having the flexibility to reach the prospect in all of them could be helpful. You may also want to measure which are most effective.

How many meetings turn into proposals

If you have a product of substantial value, you’ll have a proposal of some sort; although the proposal might mean a large document for some sellers and a simple price list for others, again depending on product & market.

How many proposals turn into sales

In simplest terms, this is what you’re trying to achieve – a prospect who turns into a customer and hands over his money. To be actionable, you’ll use this metric to understand why your proposals yield sales in those percentages, which might take some digging. It could be due to your proposal, your price or the expectations you set earlier in the sales cycle.

There’s a lot of variation in process and in expectation levels for each metric based on your specific situation. Most companies also must consider customer satisfaction with product, number of orders and lifetime value of a customer or client before fully fleshing out how your sales process should work and how to improve it.

We’ll cover those topics and provide further details and examples in additional articles.


Posted by David Radin
Leadership & Sales Productivity Coach