KPIs for Sales

Webinar: Building the Sales Machine

Presented by Russ Hearl, VP Sales at Datahug

Many sales leaders are able to apply their knowledge towards improving and scaling an existing sales organization. But only a few sales leaders possess the valuable ability to build a high-velocity sales machine from the group up. After all, optimizing each stage of the sales funnel is no simple task.

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Cultivating a Sales Culture of Transparency

Building a sales culture of transparency and accountability is a new concept for most sales teams. In an environment filled with strong personalities, this can be a difficult thing to accomplish. You may have hired a group of sales managers and salespeople who hold their cards firmly close to the chest. They bring home the big deals at the end of the quarter and don’t expect to account for their activities in the interim.

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Four Sales Activities That Kill Sales Performance

As a Sales Ops leader and Sales Optimizer, I’m a big believer in the modern consensus that sales performance should be data driven. By studying patterns in behavior of our reps and benchmarking them against success, we have the power to build the most highly optimized sales teams to hit the industry thus far. We can all achieve quota and we can build a repeatable sales process that enables our companies to scale. This approach has been popularized by modern inside sales experts, who champion the process of coaching with metrics as the best way to build a high-performance team.

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Don’t Make These Common Revenue Mistakes

Calculating Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR) and applying it to strategic business decisions can get ridiculously complicated when a sales organization is juggling hundreds of customers and thousands of prospects. Proper discipline and awareness of the following pitfalls can make a sales operations manager the beacon of reason in the otherwise messy process of calculating subscription revenue.
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The “Weighted Pipeline” is Killing Your Forecast Accuracy Metrics

According to research published by CSO Insights, less than half of all forecasted sales opportunities actually result in a sales win. Poor forecast accuracy metrics are a nightmare for most companies, as sales forecasts are one of the primary ways to predict revenue. The root of the sales forecasting problem is not lack of data – most sales teams employ some form of analytics to build their forecasts. The problem is bad data.

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4 Most Important Sales Metrics in SaaS

Sales teams create some of the most valuable data of any department in a business, because theirs is the data that shows exactly when and how revenue is generated. When examined thoroughly and through multiple lenses, this data can often point to ways that an entire company can be improved. There are four key sales metrics to capture, analyze and compare in order to optimize a business:

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Do Conventional Sales Quotas Work in a Start-Up?

Conventional wisdom is often wrong. Did you hear that sales people are all solely motivated by money? Did you not know that accelerators, end-of-quarter discounts, month-on-month quota increases, and performance plans for underachievers are what makes the world of sales go around? Most people will tell you that when you are building your start-up sales team, you should reach for the sales management books written by the people who built Oracle and Salesforce. There is another way.

The Challenge of Start-Up Sales Quotas

Large organizations develop quotas using data from previous sales performance and specific firmographic information about a particular geography. In a start-up, you don’t have that previous performance data and you don’t have benchmarks for how much revenue your product can earn in a given industry or location.

Developing sales quotas is also made more complicated by the type of sales people who are going to join your start-up. The people who are most suited to selling an innovative product are entrepreneurs at heart. They are future CEOs, not future VPs of Sales. Sales quotas are a necessary evil for them, something to exceed to keep the adventure going, not something to strive for as an end in itself.

Start-up sales quotas, if designed incorrectly, can also lead to a culture of ‘elephant chasing’, where everyone in the company, from CEO down, fantasizes about that one big deal that will exceed the years’ targets and help secure that next round of funding. A seasoned CEO will tell you that these big deals a) rarely work out and b) rarely interest ambitious investors who are looking for a high velocity repeatable sales model.

An Alternative Approach

The secret, when building your sales team, is to build sales quotas around your company goals. This means setting targets for the number of new logos, as well as the revenue they bring in. It means setting quotas for building pipeline and generating meetings and it means setting quotas for finding customers who are highly likely be be successful with your product.

Your job as a founder or CEO is to find the people who will react best to working in this environment. Your job is to know when there is enough momentum being built in your pipeline, even if the revenue numbers don’t stack up. Getting away from a mentality of conventional sales quotas will help you do the right things and hire the right people in the short run, and be more successful and have a much greater chance of success in the long run.

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