How many new appointments does it take to hit your sales quota?
Sales Managers have access to more tools, reports, and data about sales performance than ever before. Yet with this proliferation of information, it's harder to analyze and extract meaningful insights.
As a frontline sales manager or leader, the first question you need to ask is, why are you tracking these things? What's the outcome are you looking for? What's the purpose of doing this?
Often, it’s done because you must report results up to the organization. You must provide status and roll up this information into sales reports which then go up to the VP/CSO level. These reports then become part of the organizational reports and the financial forecasts.
Tracking sales results is necessary and important. But the primary value of sales metrics is to improve the performance of your sales team.
There are many different things that you can and should be tracking to see how your sales team is doing. Unfortunately, we often focus on what has happened in the past, such as the number of deals closed, and percentage of quota attained. These are lagging indicators that aren’t actionable.
Waiting to the end of the month or quarter to find out you didn’t close enough deals is like waiting until the end of a game to see that your team lost. You need to look at actionable information, such as the sales behaviors that are necessary to produce the results you want. These behaviors are “leading indicators.”
There are several activity metrics and ratios that provide critical insights into whether your team is conducting the appropriate number of activities to hit their targets. For example:
|Activity to Appointment|
|Appointment to Opportunity|
|Opportunity to Proposal|
|Proposal to Close (win rate)|
|Meeting to Close|
It’s important to focus on those things that you can manage in real time—the behaviors that produce the results you want. Then you can provide input and coaching to your team as you go along to improve these behaviors.
For example, one of the most important things that you can track at the top of the funnel is the number of qualified appointments that each rep is conducting each week.
Are reps meeting with qualified buyers and having quality conversations? Whether it's in person or web meetings; are they having an opportunity to discuss the customers' needs? Do they have an initial discovery call to qualify, and identify an opportunity out of that?
How many calls/emails do you need to book an appointment?
To predict whether your team can get enough meetings, track the number of outbound attempts per rep and the activity to appointment ratio. If they're generating enough meetings, then this metric may be less critical. But if they’re missing their appointment target, you need to intervene and manage this more closely.
How many appointments to generate a new opportunity?
Track the number of quality appointments per rep each week. Out of those appointments, your team is going to generate opportunities. You need to understand your appointment to opportunity ratio.
How many qualified appointments does it take to generate a new opportunity? How many new opportunities did your team generate this week and this month?
How many opportunities to generate a new proposal?
The next metric is related to proposals. How many of those opportunities moved forward as a qualified deal, where you were able to put a proposal in front of the client? The number of new opportunities in the proposal stage is a great indicator of what will be closing in the next 90 days (depending on your sales cycle). This allows you to calculate the opportunity to proposal ratio.
How many Proposals do you need to submit to win a deal?
Review how many wins your team achieved. Then how much revenue the team booked. You need to track your proposal to close ratio, which is a critical benchmark. Overall, you want to know your win rate on new opportunities through closing.
Finally, how many appointments does it take to close a deal?
At the top of the funnel, you can now predict how many meetings each rep needs to conduct to generate one new deal. They may be surprised that it takes ten new meetings to generate enough opportunities and proposals to close a deal. Whatever this number is, you can calculate how many meetings they need each week/month/quarter to hit their target based on average deal size.
I've given you some ideas of things that are important to track on a weekly and a monthly basis. You should develop your scorecard and discuss these metrics at a high level with your team.
Spend one-on-one time with each rep to be able to give them direct feedback and coaching as you go along. The goal is to improve their selling behaviors and activity levels, which subsequently will improve the ratios and overall performance of your sales team.
About Ray Makela