Selling can be complicated in the best of circumstances. But when both reps and managers lack visibility into their sales pipeline or don’t know which metrics to track over the long term, it is often impossible to get to those ever-rising quota numbers.
Sales metrics allow you to clearly see your customer’s journey — as long as you follow the right data. With everyone looking to do more with less these days, no sales team can afford to waste time and energy tracking the wrong data or chasing down leads and opportunities that aren’t leading to conversion rates.
That energy should be spent selling. Especially since:
If you’re looking to increase conversions and start gaining confidence in your pipeline forecasts, it’s time to start with your sales pipeline analysis. Read on for an in-depth look at the sales pipeline and the critical metrics you need to know.
The sales pipeline is opportunity data that can be represented visually to allow reps and stakeholders to see where all their deals sit. It’s used for converting leads into sales and organizes how reps track and manage their sales activities. It allows reps to picture potential buyers as they move through different stages in their journey, with details about each prospect and deal.
A sales pipeline focuses on revenue opportunities, giving sellers insights to take meaningful actions to close deals faster. It visually demonstrates the stages (i.e., prospecting, proposal, negotiation, or closing) of the sales process and illustrates what’s needed to meet revenue targets.
The sales pipeline lets leaders make revenue forecasts, identify problem areas, and plan corrective actions — if you want better sales performance, you need to be tuned into your pipeline.
Here are a few tips for pipeline monitoring:
Leaders should set sales KPIs to track the effectiveness of sales activities to optimize the sales process overall.
For sales organizations, the pipeline is your lifeline. With that in mind, we’ve collected some of our favorite metrics to track and analyze to keep your pipeline in tip-top shape.
Since metrics serve as indicators of your sales team’s overall effectiveness, tracking the right ones can help illuminate what parts of your sales process should be adjusted — or repeated.
Below, we’ve compiled a cache of important metric areas to help sales leaders best support their rep productivity, efficiency, and execution.
Sales activity metrics are data points that reflect the performance of your sales team. They help leaders understand how individual efforts contribute to the team’s overall success. These metrics can include stats, such as:
For managers, keeping your pipeline healthy means keeping tabs on many moving parts. Leaders need a deep understanding of active deals and any issues that might be slowing things down.
A few key sales pipeline metrics include:
In sales, efficiency and productivity can be the difference between closing or losing deals.
Sales productivity metrics provide insight into where your reps spend their time so you can help them make adjustments as needed.
Start with the sales cycle duration; how long does it take your rep to bring a sale to completion?
Then, assess other factors which might be contributing to the inefficiencies of your sales reps, including:
Sales KPI metrics are data generated by sales activities that are used to measure performance against strategic goals. This information helps track if a business is meeting its objectives and is the easiest way to measure the health of your pipeline.
A few key sales KPI metrics include:
Sales leaders use leading and lagging indicators to understand trends, make predictions, and evaluate their team’s results — such as whether or not they are on track to meet their objectives.
Leading indicators are forward-thinking measurements that predict the likelihood of achieving a goal and include numbers such as new opportunities created or average opportunity size.
Lagging indicators quantify and reflect your team’s results and can include revenue generated, number of closed won opportunities, and quota attainment. Sales teams use these metrics to adjust their sales plans for the next cycle to achieve better outcomes.
Understanding lead generation metrics lets you measure the effectiveness of your lead generation strategies and can help improve sales and marketing alignment for your organization.
Sales lead generation metrics can be determined by:
In an economic downturn, every opportunity matters. Manually reviewing your pipeline to figure out which deals are at risk is often a requirement that comes at the cost of actually selling.
To give sales teams a more holistic view of pipeline health, Outreach assigns a Deal Health Score to every opportunity in your pipeline. As a result, sellers using Outreach proactively understand deal risk and gain more confidence in deal health accuracy. Deal Health, which is part of our revenue intelligence solution, Outreach Guide, gives sales managers and reps a tool to not only identify which deals may be off track – but specific insights about what is going well, what could be better, and quick actions that enable you to get the deal back on track all in one place.