B2B Sales isn’t just about good performance – it’s about going beyond quota to measure improvement for individual reps based on their history and opportunities. These metrics are often ignored for the more obvious and straightforward establishment of quota. The pitfall for companies comes when they look too hard at quota over potential, hard work and hot streaks. Here’s how you can really look at whether or not your team is hitting a hot streak with their sales efforts.
It’s important to start by looking at what new leads are brought in each month to be cultivated. You might have a marketing team responsible for bringing new prospects towards conversion before handing them off to your sales team as qualified sales leads, but knowing what your team has been handed is important. If your new opportunities come in low, then it’s pretty easy to spot the problem.
However, if your team is getting lots of new leads and unable to hit quota, you will have to dig deeper. Your marketing team may not be passing along B2B sales leads that are fully qualified for sales, which means you will have to go back to the drawing board on your marketing strategy and lead qualification requirements. Or, your marketing team may be passing along great leads, and some of your salespeople are just struggling to close. Some reps might not be responding quickly enough to interest, while others might be too aggressive or company-centric (rather than customer-centric). Either your team is recording unqualified prospects as opportunities or there is a leak along some point of the B2B sales funnel.
Of course, you are going to want to look at the quota attainment of your team, but looking at individual performance is important for finding the weak links and power players. You can’t just look at one narrow section, because there are many reasons your reps might surpass or miss quota. A B2B sales contest might motivate some of your reps to blow out their numbers in one month but may leave them with far fewer qualified leads to work within the next month. Or, seasonal reasons for your business or the businesses of the new leads might make a certain month or two far lower than other times of the year. Use six or nine months to complete your individual rep pictures of how they meet quota and to identify trends.
You can spot a strength or weakness in your reps by measuring their average sales cycle length. Compare each individual’s sales cycle numbers to the company-wide average to spot the top performers and stragglers. Don’t forget to compare this to their success rates. Speed isn’t always better since some of your reps might let their prospects cultivate longer to produce a higher conversion rate than the company average.
If you have a content marketing strategy in place, then your sales team is valuable because of their in-depth numbers for closing deals. Now, your team has to know more than just the basics, since their qualified leads probably have already done quite a bit of the research to understand their needs, the possible solutions, price point comparisons, and even customer reviews. This means you are going to have to work on ways to track expertise among your reps to ensure they are able to answer the hard questions with complete accuracy and as representatives of your brand. Are your reps actively attending the product training and keeping up-to-date with company news? You can use eLearning software or content management systems for your employees to measure engagement and retention. Your managers can sit in on calls, record calls for training, utilize customer surveys or even roleplay with your reps.
Connect with us today and learn more about how we can help your B2B sales.