In a matter of a few years, we have gone from having few ways to quantify business progress to having so many metrics that it’s hard to choose. As a sales leader - It is important for you to identify the right sales metrics which help you grow your team and take out the competition. One way to look at your metrics is to split them into leading indicators and lagging indicators.
What are leading indicators and lagging indicators? Consider that you are out without an umbrella and it starts raining. The lagging indicators, in this case, would be the puddles on the ground and that you are wet. They tell you what you already knew but if you did not want to get wet, not very helpful. The leading indicators could have been cloudy weather, thunder, drop in temperature, anything that could have warned you that it is about to rain.
Lagging indicators basically tell you something that has already happened. Though they can be easily identified, they are difficult to regulate. They also help you validate long term patterns, however, they don't anticipate them. Some of the lagging indicators in sales that could prove helpful are Revenue Booked, Deals Won/Lost, Sales Cycles in Days, Closing rate, Number of calls, demos and meetings, Percentage of revenue from existing customers and new customers etc.
Most sales leaders get this data on their Sales CRM. You probably have elaborate dashboards which include some of these metrics and more.
Leading indicators, tell you something that is happening right now. And although they are difficult to gauge they can alert you towards a trend. There is some conversation ration like Contacts to Leads, Leads to Opportunities, Conversations per Deal etc which indicate trends to sales performance. A drop in Leads to Opportunities today could mean a higher cost of acquisition and lower pipeline, a month from now.
Conversation Intelligence tools (like Salesken) provide insights into how your conversations are progressing. And can often provide you with metrics that act as leading indicators to your sales performance.
How? Think of your pipeline as a stack of deals and opportunities. Each of these deals, in turn, is made up of many conversions between your customers and your sales reps. If the conversations improve, so will your deal flow and therefore your pipeline.
There are several important metrics that you can get on Salesken to see how your sales are going and take proactive measures to fix performance issues. Some of them are Talk to listen ratio, Number of Touches to Convert a “Suspect” to a “Prospect”, Growth gap, average conversations per lead stage, talk ratio of conversations, length of conversations, specific signals in conversations like Price Objections, Competitors, etc. A low Talk to listen ratio could mean that the customer is engaging more or a low Number of Touches to Convert a “Suspect” to a “Prospect” could mean that the reps are performing well.
Detecting problems early and fixing them before they have a wide impact - is the key to all good decisions. As a sales leader, it is your job to constantly adapt your sales process to changes in the market, your team and other variables. With the help of conversation intelligence, you will always have a preview of outcomes months and years ahead.