How to Improve Sales Performance: KPIs for Better Decision-Making

Over the past 10+ years, I’ve seen sales performance management practices evolve. Thanks to technology, they’ve evolved for the better. Today, with Velocify’s ReportHub we’re able to get real-time, actionable insights that help us answer a question we ask ourselves everyday: How can I improve sales performance?

To be better at anything, we need to know how we’re currently doing. From that, we find opportunities to improve parts of the process that influence the greater whole. For sales managers, this means monitoring the right data that will help them understand which sales reps, lead sources, and sales strategies are performing well, and which ones aren’t. With the right insights the sales manager can improve their overall sales team performance.

1) Track Lead Source Performance

KPI: Volume Contribution by Lead Source

To effectively evaluate sales performance, consider which sources contribute the most to revenue. Whether the source is from a campaign, referral, or list buy, a good start to deciding how your team can convert more is to understand what is converting.

Evaluate lead sources that contribute more to your bottom line to understand how to improve other sources. If you need fresh ideas for lead sources with low volume contribution, consider a few ideas from our VP of Inside Sales in his post on how to revive aged leads.

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KPI: Lead Quality by Lead Source

Get granular! It’s one thing to know which lead sources are driving conversions, but it’s another to understand lead quality as it relates to source. If you have a high conversion source, it doesn’t necessarily mean the leads are high quality. You could have a lead source that has a very high conversion rate, but the conversion volume is lower than any other source (see lead source B in the chart below).

To improve sales performance, you’ll want to understand lead source conversion on a multi-dimensional level. As you assess lead quality within lead sources, consider the volume of leads and plot them against conversion rate and time to convert.

Higher conversion rates, shorter conversion times, higher conversion volumes – these are all indicators of success. Analyze lead quality to understand the success factors of each that might be duplicable.

improve sales performance
Bubble chart shows volume of leads converted by source, plotted against time and conversion rate.

KPI: Time to Convert by Lead Source

It’s helpful to know how long conversion takes for each lead source. Even better when you can attribute conversion across weeks, or days.

In the chart below, conversions for lead source A occurred during weeks zero, three, and nine. To improve sales performance, identify reasons for the gap between week three and nine. Did we send out additional communication? What was the trigger to drive an additional 5% in conversions from that lead source?

improve sales performance

2) Track Contact Attempt Performance

KPI: Average Days to Contact

To improve sales performance, make sure your contact attempts are effective. Know what the average number of days is for establishing contact and analyze the outliers! Determine how some of the longer days to convert could have been improved. Learn from the record-breaking shorter averages. Were there any duplicable factors you can use to improve your process?

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KPI: Contact Rate by Day of Week

Track the relationship of call volume and contact rate for each day of the week. Capitalize on days with higher contact rates to improve sales performance by making sure you have more sales reps available to make more calls.

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KPI: Contact Rate by Time of Day

Similar to contact rate by day of week, capitalize on times where contact is most likely. If contact rates are at their highest at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m., make sure reps are making the majority of their calls at this time or staff up to take full advantage of peak hours.

improve sales performance

3) Track Sales Rep Activity

KPI: Talk Time

The most important KPI for sales reps is talk time—and the only way to get talk time is to make more calls! Track the history of your team’s sales calls to understand if most conversations are coming from inbound or outbound calls.

Monitor the rate of answered, unanswered, and abandoned calls to make improvements around process. For example, if a high volume of calls are unanswered, an automated dialer might help. Zuman started using an automated dialer that allows reps to make calls to leads from the lead’s area code. Connect rates increased by 55% because leads recognized the caller ID area code. Needless to say, talk time increased and sales meetings went up by 180%—what a difference process improvements make!

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KPI: Daily Activity

Know what leads are being worked on each day, how they are being worked on, and by which reps. This high-level overview makes it easy to identify real-time gaps and opportunities.

If you notice a rep has a larger volume of “not contacted” leads than other reps, monitoring this provides an opportunity to redistribute so leads don’t get left behind.

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Monitoring sales performance with dashboards and reports is much like monitoring exercise performance with a fitness tracker. Velocify’s ReportHub tracks the sales team’s every move and gives the coach (sales manager) the best insights to motivate their reps on a daily and weekly basis to achieve long-term goals.

But it’s not just about sales rep performance. It all comes down to assessing the overall health by looking at individual parts of the whole, only by doing this will your organization truly hit its stride and achieve peak performance.

About the author: Matt Dowd joined Velocify in 2015 and VP of Product Management. Matt has been involved in different aspects of Product Management and Strategy for over 10 years and has a history of innovating towards where the market is going. His main focus is to drive product vision and execution towards crafting best-in-class solutions for Velocity’s clients.

  • Branden O’Donnell

    Great stuff! The dynamics behind all these reports’ approaches really allows for reps to have the best success. ReportHub will be a great addition to fine tune the sales approach for any company.

  • Mark Wray

    I love that along with the analytics, the system is also setup with basic questions to help users know what to do with the data that ReportHub is providing. Awesome stuff!

  • Tim Dunlea

    Would love to read more about how this data can be leveraged in an automated way to distribute / redistribute leads / opportunities and drive the follow-up activity of reps more strategically…

  • Rose Sandro Mahowald

    Impressive! A very valuable tool.

  • Focus on your goals. Test every activity for its importance and urgency. Create an ideal schedule, and test your actual time use against it daily. Remember, just one hour a day used more productively adds up to more than six extra weeks of productive time a year.

  • Jesse Peterson

    If you’ve got this type of data available, why not put it to use to help improve your team’s efficiency, effectiveness & success…?

  • AlyssaTrenkamp

    Sales processes are becoming increasingly digitized and generating enormous amounts performance data. ReportHub is a great tool for presenting data in an easily digestible way, helping sales leaders make data-driven decisions that will have a meaningful impact on sales growth.

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