Evaluating sales performance
At a surface level, evaluating sales performance seems a relatively simple task: bigger numbers = good, smaller numbers = bad. But scratch the surface and you’ll soon realise that a wealth of complexity lies beneath, making sales performance evaluation a rather involved task.
You need to understand exactly what ‘good performance’ means for your sales teams. You’ll need to establish a process to measure and analyse this performance, including the most critical metrics to track and the targets that you need to hit. Finally you’ll need to identify ways to improve upon this performance – there’s no such thing as perfection in sales – in order to meet (and ideally exceed) business growth goals.
These can all be difficult steps to take, particularly if a business has become set in its ways or even blind to its mistakes.
At SLP we’re a team of expert sales coaches who can offer a fresh view of your sales performance: what you’re doing well, the most pressing areas of improvement, and strategies you may have never thought of before. We guide you on the complex process of sales performance evaluation, and open up incredible growth opportunities while we do it.
We use the world's number one sales force assessment tool to show you how your people and process compare to global best practice, and how to improve your performance, based on 30 years worth of global research and data collection.
How to improve sales performance
Just as every business is different, every recipe for sales success will be different – there’s no single sales performance formula that will work for everyone.
That’s where we come in. SLP sales performance management and coaching begins by getting to know your business. We then use this knowledge to provide your salespeople with the tools they need to succeed, and sales managers with the knowledge and techniques to drive continual improvement within teams.
Improving sales performance can take any number of forms:
- Ensuring your salespeople understand their responsibilities, objectives and KPIs, and how these feed into the broader goals of the business.
- Adopting technology and techniques that make sales processes more efficient and effective.
- Providing your salespeople and teams with the training and resources they need to succeed.
- Taking a clear and consistent approach to performance management, like regularly offering feedback on how to increase sales team performance.
What are sales performance metrics?
Evaluating sales is a numbers game, and the secrets to success are held within business data. The good news is that every modern organisation has access to the necessary information. You just need to release the insights hidden within, which is a matter of tracking the right metrics.
Sales performance metrics are crucial for sales success. They form the foundation of performance management, so form one the initial focus areas in SLP sales performance management and coaching. These metrics can be split into three main categories:
These are the metrics most commonly linked to sales: revenue, conversion rates, new leads, client acquisition, customer lifetime value and the like. These metrics give a very clear indication of how efficiently and effectively sales are being generated.
A step back from the sales frontline, operational metrics focus on the indirect actions that nonetheless make sales possible. Consider metrics like cost per lead, email response times, meeting acceptance rates, sales cycle length and other admin and productivity-related metrics.
Professional development metrics
The most successful sales organisations are those that establish a culture of continuous improvement that extends to professional development. How much time do your salespeople and sales teams devote to education and training? How well do they apply the things they learn? While these metrics tend to take a longer term view, they can be surprisingly revealing.
What are key performance indicators for sales?
The most important sales performance metrics will change from organisation to organisation and salesperson to salesperson. At SLP some of the main KPIs we focus on include:
- Revenue per sale
- Total sales revenue
- Revenue vs cost (salesperson and sales team)
- Client acquisition
- Client retention
- Customer lifetime value
- How salespeople spend their time (networking, lead generation, pitching, admin, etc.)
- Email response times
- Conversion rates (e.g. percentage of pitches that result in a sale)
- Leads in the sales pipeline
- Resources (time and money) invested to make each sale
Your business will guide the sales performance metrics that are most important to you. The performance of a real estate agent will be measured very differently to the performance of a B2B salesperson, who in turn will be measured differently to a salesperson at a retail telco.
No matter what shape your sales team takes, at SLP we’re ready to help it to be better, faster and stronger. Our performance coaching and management experts can build a high-performing sales team that is more skilled, more confident and more motivated than ever before.