Hi everybody. I’m Caryn Kopp, Chief Door Opener, and I’m here with the incredible Jack Daly. This is Sales B12™, the 10-minute dose of sales you don’t want to miss.
Today, we’re talking about the metrics you need to watch for the best sales effectiveness. And this is something, Jack, I’ve heard you say over and over again all these years – what gets measured gets done. So what exactly should sales teams measure? What do you recommend?
Align Your Metrics to Your Business and Sales Process
I love that you teed up the measurement, Caryn. And you know, the essence of success is setting out what you’re going to do and then measuring if, in fact, you did it. Now, I’d love to give everybody a clear answer and give them the seven things to write down. Unfortunately, that’s not possible because we have too many businesses that are operating in different ways. And so those things that get measured are unique to an industry and or a company.
So it depends on the business, but I’m not going to leave it at that. One of the questions I would ask of a client would be: Do your salespeople get their own leads? Are they responsible for going out and wrestling up the business? Or are they given leads? Because what we measure in those two situations would be very different from one another.
1: Conversation Rate
For example, the conversion rate would be significantly essential to measure. And I will even increase its significance if we’re providing leads; if the company’s providing leads to the salespeople, we better understand and gauge whether they’re getting the appropriate conversion rate salesperson by salesperson. The other thing I would talk to you about is high payoff activities or HPAs:
- The number of contacts they’ve made
- The number of appointments they’ve made
- The number of presentations they’ve created
- The number of wins that they’ve recorded
2. Goal Achievement Progress
Another category might be goal achievement. Where are they with their goals, and how are they progressing on their goals?
3. Number of Touches
Another topic you need to wrestle down when discussing measurement is managing the pipeline and the number of touches. Anybody who’s heard me speak professionally can tell you it takes nine touches before they even know you exist.
Are sellers doing the appropriate touches? And then I’m going to close with is practice, practice, practice. Measure whether your salespeople are practicing, because if they’re not practicing inside, they’re practicing on real deals. So I’m going to flip it back to you. When you talk about sales managers’ and leaders’ sales analytics, which ones are most important for you? You’ve got a team of sellers.
4. Percentage of First Meetings to Second Meetings
That’s right. So we get our clients in the door with their prospects for the first meeting. And one of the sales analytics that most people don’t do is the percentage of first meetings which go on to second meetings. In our world, 99.9% of the first meetings go to second meetings. If they don’t, there is one of three problems from a diagnostic standpoint:
- It was never the right prospect from the beginning. And that happens a lot.
- The seller may not have created enough value in the meeting to warrant a second meeting in the eyes of the prospect.
- This is the biggest offender; they didn’t ask for a second meeting.
Well, get this, Caryn, I was on a coaching call this morning with a client, and they were celebrating their second week compared to the first week that their outbound Salesforce has been in the field. It’s a new outbound Salesforce that they created. And they celebrated that they’ve gone from 10% second meetings to 20%. And you’re talking about 99.9%.
Listen, guys, there’s no reason a first meeting shouldn’t go to a second one if you hit those three factors.
5. # of Times Facing a Particular Objective
Another sales metric that people don’t typically measure that we measure is the percent of times you’re facing a particular objection. So let’s say 80% of the time your folks get an objection, and the objection is, “We’re not interested.”
A. They might not be talking to the correct prospects, which can affect that.
B. They may not be saying anything interesting.
What is the sales language they’re using to overcome the objection to ensure they get to the next step? If you’re measuring the percent of the time they receive a particular objection, you will know what you need to do with them.
- Is it role practice, as Jack says?
- Or is it a target change?
- Is it a change of message?
Once you know, you can reduce the percentage of times sellers face that objection.
6. Percentage of the RIGHT Wins
You talked about the percentage of wins. I like to take it one step further, especially since the pandemic, to what percentage of closed deals were the right deals. A lot of times people are closing deals, and then management is like, “Wow, it’s not a great deal.” Well, why not? Let’s measure that and ensure that the percentage of deals that are the right deals is really high.
That’s an awesome point. We had that same discussion on that coaching call with my client this morning. I’m going to utilize this medium right now for my benefit. 😊 If you were saddled with the situation that I just talked about, celebrating 20% going into the second meeting, what course corrections would you take as a leader to help me up the percentage?
How to Increase Number of Second Meetings
1. Overcome the Three Common Problems
Yeah. It’s definitely looking for those three things:
- Right List: Is the prospect group the right prospect group? When we go into a company and work with them, we look at their prospect list compared with the identified right group of prospects. And that’s if anybody has identified that recently. Often, sellers are working with the definition of a suitable prospect from four years ago, not what it is today. When we look at their current prospects list, usually 25% of the prospects on the list shouldn’t be there. That’s a big offender: are the prospect lists the correct list?
- Right Message: If your folks aren’t establishing enough value during the meeting, give them some coaching. Tell them the structure for a good conversation and help them identify high-gain questions. That’s what we call it.
- Right Close: What’s the path of dialogue? What are the closing questions they’re going to ask? And when are they asking that in the course of that meeting?
Sellers may need some coaching. It’s management’s responsibility to ensure they’re getting what they need and practicing in a safe environment. And not, like Jack said, on your prospects.
You made me feel really really good because we’ve spent a fair amount of time on our coach call today based on the stats we measured. Do we have the correct prospect list? Because you can have all of the right behaviors by your sellers and still be blowing it because you’re fishing in a lake with no fish.
2. Get Help from a Sales Strategist
Right? And that’s a strategic aspect of sales; not every phenomenal seller is phenomenal at strategy. And we’re talking sales strategy, not marketing strategy. There’s a little bit of a difference there. So if your folks are great sellers but not great strategists, get help from a strategist and refine the filters by which you have your prospect list defined.
And then double-check that every prospect on the list deserves your time and attention, and then make sure that the rest of the pieces are in place. It’s a critically important piece. Usually, when sales stall later in the sales process, after meeting number two, after meeting number three, and after the proposal, the big offender is the target. That’s what we find.
3. Be in the Field with Your Sellers
Well, let me go back to your second point, though. And that was what’s being said on the call, the quality, the right words, the right time, and all of that type of thing. The only way the leader of the salespeople, what I tend to call the sales manager, the only way that person’s going to be able to help their sellers with that type of stuff is if they are staying close to them. Are we ghosting calls? Are we riding shotgun? Are you out in the field with your salespeople? Not just anecdotally, but real belly-to-belly, side by side, because that’s when you understand what needs to be done.
If we go back to the very top of our 10 minutes, we’re talking about what gets measured gets done; make sure that when you pick the sales metrics that are right for your business, you’re utilizing your CRM and have a cadence for reviewing the sales analytics so you can provide your people feedback and the help they need. What did we miss, Jack? Bring it home.
4. Have the Right Sellers in the Right Role (Hunters vs. Farmers)
The only thing I would tell you, Caryn, is, do you have your people in the proper role? And when I talk about the people you have as your sellers in the right role: Are you looking for hunters or are you looking for farmers?
Because I can’t make a farmer into a hunter, and I don’t know how to make a hunter into a farmer. What is the role of that salesperson? Make sure that you’ve got the right complement. And the other thing that I would say is that some sellers are much more effective face to face and others are more effective over the phone. What do you have? And do you have them in the right place?
Absolutely. I’m going to add one more piece: within the world of hunters, there are different kinds of hunters. Some are great at attending meetings and closing sales; we call them the closers in our world.
Then there are the others who are intuitively tremendous and got it in their DNA to open up new relationships. Those are the openers, not every great hunter who’s a great closer is a great opener. Do you have door openers if you need door openers? That’s one last piece. Of course, I had to say that as the Chief Door Opener®.
You just underscored why I send so many of my clients over to you guys. No question.
Yeah. We’re happy to help. Thank you for joining us for this episode of sales B12. And we look forward to seeing you again.