This article is an excerpt from our new eBook, The 2016 Sales Performance Index. 

The best sales teams segment KPIs by role. Using the latest industry reports and analysis from our clients, we're revealing the top 3-5 performance metrics for 3 distinct roles: 

  1. Sales development reps 
  2. Account executives
  3. Brokers

Most sales organizations organize their core personnel into various roles, which is why role-based performance tracking is a keystone feature of Ambition. 

In the case of Business Development and Account Executives, the key sales KPIs assigned to each role are largely similar across different industries.

Broker KPIs are more varied based on industry, though you can still find some core commonalities.

The 3 Types of Sales KPIs

In every organization, there are always three types of performance metrics: Activity metrics, Objective metrics and Moneyball metrics.

Activity metrics are daily “hustle” metrics (calls, emails, conversations) proven to drive longer-term Objective metrics (revenue, contracts signed). Moneyball metrics (or Advanced metrics) bridge the gap between Activity and Objective metrics, showing how efficiently your team is operating.

Here’s a look at the performance benchmarks today’s industry-leading experts are recommending you ado.

Role #1. Business Development

Business Development leaders are under the 8 ball nowadays to harness and guide the fastest-evolving role in the sales landscape.

The emergence of Sales Development as the new lead generation bellwether has been a blessing for analytics-savvy sales organizations, since BDRs are the first sales position primed for data-driven performance evaluations. Companies with a fully-developed market position,  segmented selling process and modern sales technology can easily track performance across every Sales KPI defined in Chapter 4.

SDR Metrics

With that said, it’s worth revisiting TOPO’s analysis of the BDR position in its 2015 Sales Development Report, where it set forth the following pre-conditions for success:

“A successful framework must be rooted in a firm understanding of your target market, average lead volume, and sales process. This begins with your SQL definition, which is the founda:on of the sales development organization.”

SDR metrics

SDR metrics

Once that is accomplished, the report finds, “the most successful SDRs exhibit commonalities in their outreach cadence and live call execution, across areas like inbound lead response time, number and types of touches used, lead pursuit duration, and live call length.”

From a Moneyball Metrics standpoint, leading organizations are already finding compelling advanced metrics that cut to the core of personnel performance.

sales KPIs


As an example, a study the Bridge Group performed with QuotaFactory discerned Reach Rate (percentage of accounts that engage in a meaningful, forward-progressing conversation), Pass Rate (percentage of accounts passed to a sales counterpart) and Pipeline Rate (percentage of accounts accepted into the sales pipeline) as the ultimate arbiters of SDR success.

For those who hate overthinking, there's always Trish Bertuzzi's sage advice: Focus on number of meaningful conversations.

sales benchmarks  

The top Business Development performance benchmarks for 2016 are below, along with some standardized benchmarks from OpenView Labs’ 2015 Sales Benchmarks Report.

Business Development Activity Metrics

  1. Outbound Calls
  2. Outbound Connections
  3. Talk Time
  4. Meaningful Conversations
  5. Leads Worked

Business Development Objective Metrics

  1. Meetings Set
  2. SQLs

Business Development Moneyball Metrics 

Note: Standardized benchmarks included where available.

  1. Conversation-to-Appointment Conversion Rate: 23%
  2. Call-to-Conversation Conversion Rate: 9%
  3. New Contacts Rate: Variable
  4. Reach Rate: Variable
  5. Pass Rate: Variable
  6. Pipeline Rate: 12%

Role #2. Account Executives

As sales process segmentation becomes more of the norm, Account Executives on balance are partaking in a much more collaborative sales process than they were, say, 10 years ago.

If you peruse the most recent reports from Harvard Business Review, MIT-Sloan, TOPO, the Sales Benchmark Index, the Bridge Club and other industry scholars, Account Executives are at the forefront of the advanced analytics movement, with increasing attention being paid to pipeline development, win rates and lead conversions.

Account executive metrics

Account executive KPIs

Bearing that in mind, here are the leading Account Executive performance benchmarks in 2016.

Spoiler alert: Closing still matters.

Account Executive Activity Metrics

  1. Appointments.
  2. Leads Worked.
  3. Opportunities Created.

Account Executive Objective Metrics

Note: Standardized benchmarks included where available.

  1. Number of New Customer Deals: 3.7
  2. Number of Open Opportunities: 29
  3. Pipeline Coverage: 306%
  4. Pipeline Slippage: 21%
  5. Revenue: Variable

Account Executive Moneyball Metrics

Note: Standardized benchmarks included where available.

  1. Opportunity Win Rate on New Customer Deals: 27%
  2. Appointment-to-Opportunity Conversion Rate: 38%
  3. Client Acquisition Rates: Variable

Role #3. Sales Brokers

In the broker business, sales executives tend to be a hybrid of all the various roles profiled in this eBook.

Depending on the size of the organization, brokers may perform functions that fall to business development, marketing,and  account executives and managers in non-broker sales organizations.

How varied and wide-ranging those functions are will be based on the nature of your industry and size of your organization - which makes prioritization of performance metrics of crucial importance in the broker world.

In the finance industry, for example, an FX brokerage’s organizational structure will closely resemble that of a typical, segmented sales organization. In the food brokerage business, on the other hand, the roles of Account Executive and Account Manager can be essentially seamless.

For that reason, sales brokers have a higher-than-average number of potentially relevant performance metrics. These are our lists, below.

Sales Broker Activity Metrics

  1. New Prospect Connections
  2. Client Connections
  3. Leads Worked
  4. Prospects Touched
  5. Emails Sent
  6. Email Conversion Rate
  7. Talk Time

Sales Broker Objective Metrics

  1. New Appointments
  2. Referrals
  3. New Deals
  4. Revenue
  5. Profit

Sales Broker Moneyball Metrics

  1. Calls-to-Appointments
  2. Calls-to-Deals
  3. Connect Conversion Rate
  4. Closing Ratio
  5. Average Size of Sale
  6. Lead Response Time
  7. Time to Close
  8. Closing Rate

Get the 2016 Sales Performance Index

The 2016 Sales Performance Index is the most comprehensive guide to finding, measuring and optimizing performance across your entire sales organization.

To get over 40 pages of free insight and analysis, visit the Ambition Academy and download your free copy of the eBook

Drive Sales KPIs with Ambition

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs every sales department, data source, and performance metric on one system.

Ambition delivers real-time visibility on sales KPIs for each role in your sales force. Ambition's drag-and-drop interface lets non-technical business leaders create custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for driving sales KPIs. Hear more from business leaders who use Ambition in their organization.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations .
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  • ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  • Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Wayfair: Daily outbound calls increased by 100%.
  2. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  3. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

Popular Content