What KPIs Should Sales Teams Measure? NYC Tech Weighs In.

February 16, 2021
An illustration of a team checking in on metrics
ILLUSTRATION BY NADIA SNOPEK FOR SHUTTERSTOCK

Finding a needle in a haystack is commonly thought to be impossible, but the odds on that are better than finding someone in tech sales who hasn’t heard the term: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Virtually everything an account executive does can provide valuable data to optimize the sales cycle, from the amount of cold calls a rep makes per day to the proposals they send out per quarter. Some leaders even use metrics to measure the intangible qualities salespeople need to succeed in crunch time, like “grit” and “drive.”

While there is a lot that could be measured, there are only so many hours in the day, and some data is more valuable than others. So, what’s most important to measure and why? To answer that deceptively simple question we checked in with two local sales leaders to learn what KPIs their teams are measured against and how these metrics help drive their success.

 

Coffee Is Not a KPIA Sales Expert Analyzes ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’

 

Michelle Reis
Senior Enterprise Sales Director

Key performance indicators are not set in stone and should change along with the business or the selling environment. The pandemic is a prime example of the need for KPIs to be flexible. Michelle Reis, a senior enterprise sales director at Conductor, said she began translating KPIS in a new way to let her team know that their grit and drive weren’t going unnoticed.

 

What are a few of the most important KPIs your salespeople are measured against, and why have you found these metrics to be so important?

I recently transitioned into leadership after having been an account executive and individual contributor for years, and my experience has given me an interesting perspective on KPIs, specifically around the potential disconnect between leadership expectations and sales rep motivations. There are the obvious and natural KPI culprits: revenue against quota, forecast coverage and of course the often dreaded “new opportunities created.” Some take it to the next level and consider the stages their prospective customers may experience and focus KPIs interchangeably, for example: number of proposals created/shared, number of business cases collaborated on, number of active product trials and number of demos completed.

I’d say that’s a step in the right direction. The key to a successful KPI for a sales executive is that we see success in that activity, and that doing more of it will render positive results. You want to avoid letting low-value KPIs creep in, those that can slow down a sales process and distract a sales executive from the desired end goal, finding more happy customers!

The key to a successful KPI for a sales executive is that we see success in that activity, and that doing more of it will render positive results.”


How do you help translate KPIs into tangible actions your salespeople can take to improve their numbers?

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to take a hard look at how we translate KPIs. Under strict stay-home measures, sales professionals have a choice: stay gritty and work harder to achieve similar or better results under difficult circumstances or take their foot off the gas pedal and enjoy the newfound freedom. For this reason, translating KPIs into effective measurements for effort has become critical.

Referring to things like progressing deals and closing business as “drive hours” and prospecting time as “grit time” has helped my remote team and I stay focused on the tasks at hand despite inconceivable distractions. This also requires my team to hold themselves to a higher standard of scrutiny. Effort, or drive and grit, aren’t management-driven traits, but those that come from within. The pandemic has shed light on this for me and my team, but its importance will outlive COVID-19. Drive and grit will be KPIs I continue to measure throughout my career, whether in management or self-management.

 

Tell us about a time when you changed your sales strategy based on a specific performance metric. What was the result?

Being in a fast-growing market and fast-paced sales environment, my team and I likely have over 100 answers to this question, but one particular strategy comes to mind. Conductor sells to organizations who are forward-thinking and looking for expert tools and solutions for tackling a problem many other organizations don’t know exists. In fact, most companies haven’t yet invested in enterprise SEO or the technology to support it. We need to work with our champions to create compelling cases that shed light on the opportunity companies have by working with us and the risk that exists if they don’t. 

But how do you do that when they haven’t worked with anyone in enterprise SEO and aren’t aware of the potential opportunity to capture new customers and revenue? This challenge has caused us to emphasize the importance of multifaceted collaborative business cases. One additional KPI my team needs to meet is working hand in hand with our prospective customers to create a presentation for their boss and beyond. Our sales strategy is always business-case focused. When it doesn’t start and end with the business case we lose  — and we like to win.

 

Allie Petzold
ADR Manager

Carefully selecting which metrics to measure enables a sales team to refine their strategy. Case in point: The team at Trustpilot, which Allie Petzold, an ADR manager, said uses data on email open rates to find subject lines and content that lead to conversions.

 

What are a few of the most important KPIs your salespeople are measured against, and why have you found these metrics to be so important?

KPIs are really useful to track performance for individual reps, and two KPIs my team are evaluated on are sales qualified opportunities per month and conversion rates. The first KPI measures how many opportunities created turn into sellable opportunities while the second focuses on how many of these opportunities result in deals. These are important because they are able to give us insight into the quality of opportunities being scheduled.

Two KPIs my team are evaluated on are sales qualified opportunities per month and conversion rates.”


How do you help translate KPIs into tangible actions your salespeople can take to improve their numbers?

We look at efficiency numbers for reps on a weekly and monthly basis. One of those stats is how many dials it takes someone to schedule a demo. If we’re finding it’s taking more dials than we’d like, we’ll spend time working on their pitch and objection-handling skills so they can make the most of every conversation.

 

Tell us about a time when you changed your sales strategy based on a specific performance metric. What was the result?

We use SalesLoft for our email outreach and are able to track reps’ open and reply rates on sent emails. This has allowed us to focus our outreach strategy on the higher-performing email templates and cadences within SalesLoft. We’re also able to adjust subject lines and email content based on the highest open and reply rates.

Jobs from companies in this blog27 open jobs
All Jobs
Dev + Engineer
HR + Recruiting
Legal
Marketing
Operations
Product
Sales
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
Marketing
new
Trustpilot
New York
HR + Recruiting
new
Conductor
New York
Developer
new
Conductor
New York
Developer
new
Conductor
New York
Operations
new
Conductor
New York
Product
new
Conductor
New York
Product
new
Conductor
New York
Product
new
Conductor
New York
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
Marketing
new
Conductor
New York
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
Marketing
new
Trustpilot
New York
Marketing
new
Trustpilot
New York
Sales
new
Trustpilot
New York
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
Sales
new
Trustpilot
New York
Operations
new
Conductor
New York
Developer
new
Conductor
Remote
Developer
new
Conductor
Remote
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
Sales
new
Conductor
New York
HR + Recruiting
new
Conductor
New York
Marketing
new
Conductor
New York
Sales
new
Conductor
New York

NYC startup guides

LOCAL GUIDE
Best Companies to Work for in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Coolest Tech Offices in NYC
LOCAL GUIDE
Best Benefits at NYC Tech Companies
LOCAL GUIDE
Women in NYC Tech