Sales managers are always striving to improve the productivity of their staff. With all sales teams, there are several metrics for sales managers to monitor and make actionable decisions. The different types of sales metrics vary from Key Performance Indicators, Pipeline Sales Metrics, Lead Generation Sales Metrics, and many more. The metric that allows managers to directly influence the daily activities of their sales staff and improve the performance of individual sales agents is the Sales Activity Metrics.
This article will discuss the key Sales Activity Metrics and the tools sales managers can use to coach and train their staff to improve performance.
What are Sales Activity Metrics?
Sales Activity Metrics answers the question, “What are the sales agents doing?” for the sales manager. Sales Activity Metrics are activities conducted by a sales agent or a sales representative that are trackable and measurable. Sales activities are specific and focus on singular tasks to be measured and analyzed to determine the performance of a sales team. These activities are conducted everyday which allows managers to directly influence them and change their results.
Every business is unique and the most important sales activities to monitor in one business may not be the same for another. It is best for all businesses to identify the sales activities that best fit the goals of their company.
The following lists core and essential sales activities all companies should monitor and optimize for improvement.
- Number of outbound calls made – Outbound call numbers will vary depending on the type of the outbound call made. The varying types of outbound calls may be cold calling new leads or prospects, following up on existing leads or prospects, contacting an existing customer for retention purposes or any other scenario. Call times will vary and companies must setup appropriate expectations of outbound call numbers for each objective.
Businesses must also establish a time period for each type of outbound. For example, a sales agent may be assigned a specific amount of time at the beginning of the day to perform follow up or retention calls while saving cold calling at the end of the work day to free up the middle of their day to receive inbound calls.
Now that the type and timing of the call has been established, the ratio of calls made vs answered, calls answered vs hang up and calls answered vs converted may be tracked. These metrics will provide sales managers an opportunity to review the hang up and converted call ratios and understand which sales agent is performing well and which sales agent requires coaching and training.
- Number of emails sent – There are people who prefer an email over a phone call so number of emails sent is just as important as calls made. The number of emails sent will vary depending on the type of email sent and should be categorized accordingly. The varying types of emails sent could be emailing new leads, following up or summarizing a conversation, providing information on a new feature or something relevant to the product.
Sales managers must bear in mind, sending the same type of emails about the company’s product or service to the same person repeatedly may become mundane to the recipient. The sales agent may also try sending a relevant and informative email that contains value or entertainment. When the agent makes the email personal, it stands out from the other emails from the competitors in the recipient’s inbox. By personalizing the email by using the prospect’s name and customizing the message makes a difference in how the prospect sees the sales agent. It builds a relationship between the prospect and the sales agent when the prospect sees that the sales agent took time to create a custom email for them as opposed to a mass email blast.
To improve email performance, managers can track the ratio between emails sent vs emails opened, emails opened vs click-throughs and emails sent vs un-subscription. By examining these metrics, sales managers can coach the sales agent on how to craft a better email message to improve their performance.
- Number of follow ups – Following up on a prospect is critical for any sale. To follow up on a prospect, there are several methods such as a live phone conversation, email or leaving a voice message. These are considered touchpoints. A touchpoint is an attempted line of communication from the sales agent to the prospect. Each touchpoint has varying degrees of effectiveness. It is important for the sales manager to define which touchpoints their sales agents may use and determine the required number of follow up attempts for each touchpoint the sales agent must use.
Sales managers should determine which touchpoints are most effective (eg – live conversation vs voicemail), how many touchpoints to make and the timing. A recent study conducted by Hubspot determined response rates rise with every outreach attempt and the most effective number of touchpoints for sales agents to make is eight before the sale agent reaches diminishing returns. Of course, every business is different and the company or sales manager must determine the correct number of touchpoints they want their sales agents to make.
Timing also plays an important role in follow up sales activity success. For initial contact to be made, a study conducted by Lead Response Management shows a company has less than five minutes after prospect creation to successfully make contact and turn that prospect into a contacted lead. After five minutes, the probability decreases by 10 times and the prospect has most likely moved on to a competitor.
After the initial touchpoint attempt, a regular touchpoint schedule should be established. The same Hubspot study, mentioned earlier, identifies the ideal times to be the end of the month (on they 28th day or after of the month), on a Thursday or Friday and after 3PM local to the prospect. Bear in mind, all businesses are different and these recommendations may not be ideal. Sales managers should setup the touchpoint schedule that is the most effective for their sales team.
- Number of Prospects Validated into Leads – There is a distinction between a prospect and a lead. When an individual expresses interest in a company’s product (for example – the individual fills out a form for a sample or demonstration of the company’s product on the company’s website), this individual becomes a prospect. In many industries, they are also known as a Marketing Qualified Lead. After a sales agent or a representative from the company contacts the prospect and determines there is genuine interest and this prospect may be a paying customer, the prospect changes into a Lead or Sales Qualified Lead. Definitions between prospects and leads may vary from business to business.
The Number of Prospects Validated into Leads metric measures the conversion rate the sales agent or company representative produces from turning a prospect into a lead. This activity comes from the Following Up activity using a touchpoint. The ratio is generated by taking the number of leads produced and dividing it by the total number of prospects. For sales teams with low lead validation ratios, sales managers may examine the follow up methods and touchpoint schedule, mentioned earlier, and adjust behavior to improve their results.
- Number of Submitted Proposals – The submitted proposals metric represents the number of quotes sent to a lead after the sales agent has demonstrated the product to the potential customer. The proposal is sent to the lead only after the sales agent learns what the potential customer needs and demonstrates how the product will solve the issue. This becomes an entry point for a sale. This metric will be used to determine the Closing Ratio and provides the sales manager insight on how effective the sales agent is performing.
- Closing Ratio – The closing ratio is the Number of Submitted Proposals that turn into a paying customer divided by the total Number of Submitted Proposals. The closing ratio demonstrates how the sales agent and the sales team is effective. Sales teams or sales agents that suffer from a low closing ratio should examine their selling propositions, lead qualification methods, selling and closing techniques. In depth coaching and training with employee activity monitoring and call monitoring tools should be used regularly.
To provide in depth coaching and sales training, employee activity monitoring and call monitoring tools must be utilized.
Call Monitoring Tools – Versadial Solutions provides a powerful phone recording software solution to enable Sales Managers the ability to listen and record live calls. This solution may be used to track and record the Number of Outbound Calls Made sales activity and examine in depth in the Number of Follow Ups sales activity. The sales manager can listen to each touchpoint the sales agent makes and discuss with the sales agent how they can alter their discussion to improve their performance. The Call Recording Solution has many features such as the ability to create Bookmarks to indicate important portions of a call and Extraction to download a section of a call to review with the agent or with the sales team.
Employee Monitoring Tools – Versadial also offers Screen Capture, a powerful computer screen recorder program to record the activity on a sales agent’s computer screen. The program is designed to run silently in the background and may be setup to trigger a recording when the sales agent begins a phone call, chat session or any other specified activity. This solution may be used to ensure sales agents are adhering to the touchpoint schedule established by their sales manager. Businesses also have the option to combine Screen Capture and Call Recording into a single audio/video recording.
There are a lot more Sales Activity Metrics businesses can monitor. This article introduced and identified the core essential metrics to monitor. Every sales agent has a finite amount of time in their day to complete their Sales Activities. It is the duty of the sales manager to optimize the activities of their agents, to ensure their sales agents are making the most out of their time and improve the customer’s experience so they will not be lost to a competitor.
To stay ahead of the competition, it is important for businesses to implement the right employee monitoring tools. These tools enable sales managers with insight on the Sales Activity Metrics and allow them to identify areas for improvement and provide sales training and coaching to their agents. By improving the daily activities of the sales agents and the sales team as a whole, it increases sales and the ROI for the company.
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