Looking Past the Same Old Sales Metrics

This post is really all about making sure you don’t become what I like to call “VP of Sales Road Kill.”

For sales leaders, the metrics we choose to watch makes all the difference. More than once in my career I thought the month or the quarter was in good shape, only to find out I was looking at the wrong number. Not that the metric itself was inaccurate, but that it was a superficial measure of success – one that didn’t give me the deeper insight I needed to accurately predict sales.

One example is a measure called pipeline velocity. For a long time, the total number of deals in my pipeline, or the total value of the pipeline, were my standard measures evaluating sales progress – but I was frustrated that I couldn’t accurately predict my monthly and quarterly numbers from that pipeline value. So before I became the next VP of Sales Road Kill, I needed to get a better handle on the total pipeline picture.

That’s when I started to understand my pipeline velocity, which is a key metric that indicates how fast my qualified opportunities were moving through the funnel and turning into closed deals. By monitoring how quickly our deals were moving through each stage of the buying process, I was able to more accurately predict sales over the next month, quarter and year.

Of course, pipeline velocity is just one example. There are many other metrics that fall outside the “traditional” measures of sales performance that can deliver some very powerful insights. Here’s a list of 20 key performance indicators (KPIs) that sales leaders may not be watching but which my colleagues and I have found to be particularly valuable:

  • Pipeline Velocity
  • Average Selling Price
  • Winning Percentage
  • Most Neglected Opportunities
  • # of Opportunities by Stage
  • Attach Rate
  • Acquisition Cost
  • Revenue Leakage
  • New Logos
  • Customer Lifecycle
  • Sales Cycle Time
  • Lifetime Value of a Customer
  • Lead-to-Opportunity Ratio
  • Share of Wallet
  • Average Impressions to Close
  • Profit Per Customer Visit
  • Sales Rep Scorecard
  • Percentage of Repeat Business
  • Average New Hire Ramp-Up Time
  • Compensation Plan

I’d encourage you to consider this list and weigh it against the metrics you’re using today. And if you’d like a more in-depth discussion of these measures, check out the Domo webinar “20 Crucial Sales KPIs in 20 Minutes,” in which my colleague Chris Wintermeyer and I describe and highlight the benefits of each one. Consider it a quick, 20-minute tutorial on how to avoid becoming VP of Sales Road Kill.

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