Why sales tracking is important in B2B

Posted June 6, 2024

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Closing a deal in the highly competitive B2B world doesn't just require excellent communication skills and unyielding tenacity. While interpersonal skills are a very important aspect of your sales process, it's only the tip of the proverbial sales iceberg. Dive in, and you'll find that the best sales teams rely on high-quality sales data derived from sales experience and customer relationships.

But there's a caveat — this sales data is not something that you can collect overnight, nor is it something that can be accomplished by simply using a Sales CRM or sales app. The best way to ensure that you gather the right data to hit your sales goals is to adopt a thoughtful approach to sales tracking.

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Tap into the metrics that stand between you and your revenue goals. Get our checklist of basic and advanced KPIs that best-in-class sales organizations use to measure success. Use these slides as the framework to anchor your sales team meetings, training sessions, strategic planning, forecast calls, or executive briefings.

What is sales tracking? 

Sales tracking involves gathering actionable data from different sources within the existing B2B sales process and analyzing it to gain insights for strategic decision-making. These data points will then live within a centralized location, such as a cloud-based CRM software or sales tracker software, so that cross-functional team members can access them with a single click. 

Marketing teams and B2B sales representatives are under pressure to come up with innovative strategies that secure the attention of business decision-makers. Focusing on relevant data allows sales leaders to go into phone calls with confidence that they are well-equipped to provide potential leads with the best customer experience from the first step. 

What sales metrics should you pay the most attention to?

Sales metrics measure progress toward sales goals and identify weaknesses in the sales process. They also help companies to prepare for market changes and track sales reps' achievements.

These metrics hold significance for each step of the sales process, from training new sales reps to driving the customer down the sales funnel. Depending on the characteristics of the sales cycle, each company tracks its own set of what it considers to be the most important metrics. 

Metrics that B2B players use when tracking sales performance fall into several categories, including:

  • Sales activity metrics
  • Sales pipeline metrics
  • Lead generation metrics
  • Conversion metrics
  • Deal success metrics
  • Retention metrics

Some of the common metrics that each B2B organization should be tracking and incorporating into their marketing process are: 

Metric 1: Conversion rate

A conversion rate is the percentage by which your website traffic becomes a marketing qualified lead (MQLs), your MQLs become sales qualified, and your sales qualified leads turn into customers. By tracking all conversion rates, you can identify bottlenecks, inefficiencies, or areas of improvement. This data can help you make decisions about refining your sales message, changing the direction of the pitch, and adjusting the speed of guiding the particular prospect down the sales funnel.

This metric can provide valuable insights into adjusting the sales pipeline and increasing the conversion rate. It can also help you more accurately forecast revenue which can help to make key decisions that affect the company's bottom line. 

Metric 2: Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

CAC is the total cost of acquiring a customer which can include ad spend, time spend nurturing the lead by the sales rep, and spend on additional marketing activities required to attract the customer. Measuring CAC allows you to evaluate your sales methods' return on investment (ROI). By determining the cost of acquiring a new customer, you can evaluate the efficiency of your customer acquisition strategies. This can help with informed decision-making, such as:

  • Marketing spend optimization
  • Identifying high-value customer segments
  • Adjusting pricing strategies.

By tracking CAC, you can improve the bottom line and streamline resource allocation.

Metric 3: Customer lifetime value (CLV)

CLV is defined as the total monetary value a customer will bring to the organization during the time in which they’re a customer. This can be measured by using the average contract value times the average lifespan of a customer. Tracking CLV helps you identify customers with the highest potential and change your sales strategy towards tailoring the experience specifically to their needs. 

By focusing on maximizing the CLV, you can develop targeted retention strategies, prioritize customer satisfaction, and invest in initiatives that foster long-term relationships.

Metric 4: Pipeline velocity

Pipeline velocity is defined as the speed in which deals move from MQL to a customer. Tracking pipeline velocity allows you to find bottlenecks in the sales cycle and take proactive measures for its acceleration. Understanding this metric allows you to implement effective pipeline management tactics.

By running regular pipeline analysis, you can make decisions that lead to shorter sales cycles, create a more effective sales process, and increase revenue.

Each stage of the sales process has a certain set of metrics that helps your team perform informative analysis and use the gained insight to streamline the next stage. By tracking these metrics regularly, you can measure the progress toward the set goals and make real-time adjustments before an unsuccessful strategy turns into a lost deal.

How do you set up a sales tracking process?

Sales performance tracking isn't about gathering as many metrics as possible and analyzing them quickly. It's about creating an effective process that allocates tracking resources to the right phases of the sales cycle and provides insights in time for you to meet your sales quota. Here is how to track your sales. 

Identify relevant B2B sales metrics

To choose sales metrics that are relevant to your business, you need to consider several factors:

  • Metrics should help gauge your progress toward strategic goals
  • Metrics should be relevant to your sales process (e.g. SaaS companies measure monthly recurring revenue while eCommerce retailers measure online order frequency)
  • Metrics can differ for each stage of your sales process

Metrics aren't set in stone. Whatever you select at the beginning of your sales tracking process can be adjusted as the market or business goals change.

Choose a sales tracking system

To gain insights from the tracking process, you need to keep the gathered data centralized. You probably already have CRM software that you pull data from. It can serve as a repository for your metric data as well. You can go one step further and implement a sales tracking system that helps you analyze each part of your sales process.

Set up data collection processes

Establish processes to capture sales day accurately and regularly. Then ensure that your sales team consistently enters relevant information into the sales tracking and CRM systems according to the format you need for effective analytics. This data will serve as the foundation for tracking sales performance.

Implement regular reporting and analysis

Set up regular reporting intervals, weekly or monthly, to review and analyze your sales data. Create dashboards that provide an overview of your sales performance and progress toward your goals. Then you can use this information to identify areas for improvement and make data-driven decisions.

Conduct sales performance reviews

Once you have the necessary insights, you have to schedule meetings with your sales team to discuss the performance. During these meetings, you need to review the sales metrics, provide feedback, and identify opportunities for improvement. These sessions can be helpful for setting new targets, tracking progress, and celebrating achievements.

Why are sales metrics important in B2B

Sales metrics provide valuable data that helps B2B sales teams make actionable decisions. Besides demonstrating the effectiveness of the sales process, these metrics can help make predictions about sales performance.

Tracking sales metrics provides a clear view of the way your sales team performs and point out the weakness and strength of the process. This information allows you to make data-driven decisions about driving the customer down the sales funnel effectively.

Using metrics for sales monitoring allows you to set realistic sales goals. By evaluating historical performance, B2B companies can establish targets that are aligned with their growth objectives. This allows for better sales forecasting, resource allocation, and strategic planning.

Besides helping you adjust the sales strategy in real time, sales performance tracking drives continuous improvement. The more data you analyze, the better you can refine your sales strategies and optimize processes to stay ahead of the competition.

The benefits of tracking sales metrics

Tracking sales metrics is a simple way to gain significant value for your B2B organization. This internal data can have a positive impact on all aspects of business operations, not just sales. The most important advantages of structured sales monitoring include:

Improved performance

Tracking sales metrics allows your team to identify and optimize inefficiencies in the sales process. By analyzing metrics like conversion rates, sales cycle length, or win/loss ratios, you can streamline workflows and improve sales efficiency.

Enhanced decision-making

By analyzing metrics like customer acquisition cost, lifetime value, or profitability, your team can make data-driven decisions on pricing, product offerings, target markets, and sales strategies.

Better customer relationships

By monitoring metrics such as customer satisfaction scores, renewal rates, or upsell/cross-sell opportunities, you can proactively address customer needs, create tailored solutions, and foster long-term loyalty.

Higher sales forecast accuracy

Accurate sales tracking leads to more reliable sales forecasts. By analyzing your sales metrics, you can predict future sales performance, allowing for improved resource allocation, budgeting, and strategic planning.

Targeted sales coaching

Sales metrics provide insights for targeted sales coaching. By analyzing metrics at an individual level, your sales managers can identify areas where the reps need improvement. Then you can arrange tailored coaching, training, and support to enhance their performance.

Streamlined sales and marketing strategies

Sales metrics provide insights into the effectiveness of your sales and marketing campaigns. By analyzing metrics such as lead generation sources, conversion rates, or customer engagement, you can tailor your strategies to target high-value prospects and optimize marketing spend.

How do you keep track of sales?

To keep track of your B2B sales effectively, you need to create a straightforward tracking process, identify the most relevant metrics, and implement gained insights to make effective data-driven decisions.

Tools that can help you keep track of sales include:

  • CRM systems: help organize customer and prospect data in a way that tracks historical interactions and purchase behavior for the purpose of fostering strong relationships. 
  • Sales analytics software: helps organizations to better understand trends, model historical data, and forecast outcomes to identify where the improvements need to be made. 
  • Sales performance management platforms: these tools enable a data-informed method reviewing performance, and sales planning and management at scale. 
  • Sales enablement tools: these allow your teams to handle all of your customer-facing, full-funnel content materials in one, centralized location. 
  • Sales forecasting software: these tools allow businesses to better predict pipeline and conversions, as well as make data-driven decisions that allow the business to grow. 
  • Sales execution software is a tool that automates the sales process. It can help you close more deals by providing visibility into the sales pipeline, automating repetitive tasks, and providing insights to help you close deals faster.

Sales tracking is an essential part of B2B operations. By implementing top practices and integrating sales tracking tools, you can achieve your sales goals and obtain new market share.

Optimize your sales pipeline to deliver greater results with the power of Outreach

For sales leaders that need data-driven insights to increase pipeline velocity and fix conversion inefficiencies, Outreach’s Sales Execution Platform gives managers more visibility — and actionable data — to scale what works and change what doesn't through targeted coaching, best practice workflows, and real-time support.

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