Tracking specific metrics is essential for evaluating performance of sales, marketing, and customer service initiatives – to determine where to invest more money and where to pull back or even “pull the plug” altogether. But what metrics are actually worth tracking?
This is an important question because your customer relationship management (CRM) system may quickly generate reports full of interesting data, but if it does not serve as actionable intelligence, you won’t have the information you need to drive sound business decisions that grow sales and profit.
How do you decide what metrics are worth tracking and should be configured in your CRM system?
The first step is to determine the WHY behind each metric you choose to track. In other words: Why is this data important? What will it tell us? How will we use it to inform decisions?
Take, for example, the following sales metrics and how they might be useful to companies that use outside sales representatives.
Number of sales calls made
How much effort are reps putting in? Which reps are putting forth the most effort? Also, this can serve as a starting point to help forecast sales, based on historical conversion ratios to number of calls made.
Number of new prospects and ratio to sales calls made
Of the sales calls made, how effective are sales reps in converting them into bona fide prospects? A low ratio of “new prospects to calls made” may signify that your company is going after the wrong prospects or that reps need better training in prospecting.
Number of new open proposals/ price quotes
Of the new prospects that have given your company permission-to-market to them, what percentage has requested proposals or price quotes? If the number of submitted proposals is low this month, what’s causing the drop? How will this impact revenue 30, 60, 90 days or more down the road? What adjustments do you need to make now to counteract a potential loss in revenue?
Projected revenue and profit value of open proposals/ quotes
You may have a high volume of proposals in the queue this month, but are they for large and/or profitable orders? What is the trend? What’s driving the trend?
Proposal conversion ratio
What ratio of proposals actually converts into new business? If it’s a downward trend, why? What are the reasons customers are requesting proposals from your company but not giving you the order? Is there an issue with the presentation part of the sales process? Are you priced too high? Or, are you priced too low, diminishing the perceived value and quality of your product or service?
How long is our sales cycle – from new prospect to new account? How is this trending? What adjustments could you make to shorten the cycle? Which stages in the sales process could you improve to speed time to close – to book more revenue, at a quicker turn?
The Bottom Line
When it comes to determining what metrics to track, one size does NOT fit all. Every business is different. However, the underlying principle at work here is this: Whatever metrics you track, define upfront how you will use that information to guide sound business decisions. For more information or professional guidance on configuring your CRM to capture and track the sales, marketing and customer service data most useful to your business, contact
Enterprise Resources Technology Group, Inc. (ERT Group) is a technology consulting firm that empowers companies to grow and succeed with business solutions that streamline processes, improve productivity, and squeeze more profit from operations.