Worthy Goals and Metrics for the Modern Sales Leader

January 9, 2018

I once overheard a sales candidate say to a VP of Sales, upon seeing the team rankings on the office door he was about to enter, “You’ve got to love the sales leaderboard. Tells you everything you need to know.”

Sure, it’s true that the sales leaderboard remains the most immediately telling report for team and rep performance – you’re bringing in revenue or you aren’t. What’s not to like about that? It’s like using the bottom line to measure company performance – you’re profitable or you aren’t. But contrary to some people’s beliefs, these reports hardly “tell you everything.” If investors only analyzed the bottom line of the companies they invest in, their clients would be broke. It’s no different for sales leaders. If you rely solely on the sales leaderboard, you risk missing insights that affect the profitability of your sales team. And that’s also why it makes sense to broaden the goals we chase and the metrics we use to track progress beyond simple revenue targets.

Recently we expounded upon modern sales goals for today’s sales pro. In this post, we do the same for the modern sales leader.

Modern Goals for Sales Leaders

Today’s sales leaders recognize that social selling activities are quantifiable and that it’s possible to measure these activities like any traditional sales metric, such as closed revenue. To that end, more sales leaders are identifying and tracking leading indicators of sales success to help their teams focus on the activities that matter.

Help Your Sales Team Establish an Effective Online Presence

Is your team losing sales without even knowing it? Or do you have reps who consistently pull in quality prospects using their strong online presence but the lessons go unnoticed, and aren’t transferred to the rest of the team? Track and measure these activities to determine the effectiveness of your sales reps’ profiles. Low numbers may indicate a need to develop a stronger, more active profiles that clearly convey value to the ideal buyers whom your sales reps need to impress. Here are a few metrics to track:

  • Number of profile views as it relates to inquiries
  • Number of articles the rep posts to the LinkedIn publishing platform (can be a huge advantage, but not for everyone)
  • If a sales rep doesn’t want to publish content, how often do they personalize marketing or third-party content and share it with their prospects
  • Number of page views published articles get, or the engagement rate of shared content
  • Number of followers the sales rep gains, or number of key contacts who engage with the sales rep’s social activity

Help Your Sales Team to Identify the Right Prospects

Track and measure these activities to determine how well your reps perform at searching for (and more importantly, finding) strong buying candidates. Low numbers here may signal the need for more training or accountability:

  • How often the rep uses the Lead Builder functionality in Sales Navigator
  • How many saved searches the rep consistently performs to identify new prospects
  • How many leads the rep saves in Sales Navigator so that they can better monitor a prospect’s LinkedIn activity

Help Your Sales Team to Engage with insights

These activities show how well reps embrace the concept of leading with value versus coming out of the gate with a generic sales pitch. If these numbers are low, the rep may need additional training or assistance with crafting insightful, personalized messaging via social content updates, emails, and InMail messages. Check in on LinkedIn, Twitter and any other social networks that make sense to see if reps are sharing content and their perspectives.

  • Number of shares, likes, and comments the rep’s posts receive among named sales contacts (engagement in general is good, but it shouldn’t divert reps from trying to gain actual interest from the right people)
  • Qualified leads secured from LinkedIn Groups and other relevant online forums
  • Number of saved accounts (companies) in Sales Navigator
  • Percentage of sales outreach that garners a response, by channel

Assist Your Sales Team’s Efforts to Build Stronger Relationships

Reps who focus on initiating and cultivating relationships using social selling best practices should see higher numbers in the following areas. If they aren’t, they may need coaching around requesting introductions through their extended networks, how to follow up on a warm introduction, and building relationships with more buying committee members at their target accounts.

  • Number of personalized connection requests
  • Acceptance rate on connection requests
  • Number of connections at named accounts
  • Number of buying committee members identified at named accounts
  • Number of “get introduced” requests

Driving Profits

Anyone can “drive revenue” if they are empowered to cut price. But driving revenue efficiently? And at a high profit margin? That takes talent. If you notice opportunities are slow to close or numerous prospects fall out of, or get stuck in the pipeline, make sure your rep is not falling back on old habits like leading with a pitch instead of insights or following up for the sake of following up alone.

  • Average time to close
  • Pipeline attrition rate
  • Average revenue per sale
  • Average margin per sale
  • Renewal rate among existing customers (if your sales reps are expected to stay involved post-sale, applying a metric like this can quickly shake up the sales leaderboard as you know it)

That’s a bunch of metrics you may not be measuring, but don’t worry about measuring them all. Every industry, every sales organization is different. That’s why it’s important to correlate each metric with pipeline metrics and win rates, so you get a better feel for what’s a true leading indicator at your company and what isn’t.

In general, though, by helping your reps to establish an effective online presence, identify the right people, and build stronger relationships, you are positioning your team to succeed in the modern selling environment. For more insights from sales experts and sales leaders in the field, be sure to subscribe to the LinkedIn Sales Solutions blog