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There Is No Offseason in Sales

· Jared Houghton · 6 Minute Read

Why Sales KPIs must be scored and publicized in the modern sales organization.

The first and most important thing to understand about Salesforce.com (or any CRM) is that is a data warehouse. That's it.

Yes, it has a phenomenal AppExchange. Yes, it dominates the Customer-Relationship Management market like no other. But at the end of the day, it's a warehouse where you store your customer data, your prospect data, and your sales performance data. That's it. 

salesforce kpis

Here at Ambition, we offer the pre-eminent solution Salesforce and other CRM clients turn to when they are frustrated by a lack of CRM adoption, data visibility, or both. For that reason, we are breaking down 4 reasons why it's high-time to make Sales KPI visibility the primary initiative in your sales performance management strategy going forward.

The Scoring Manifesto: C-Suite Benefits

According to Forbes Insights, 74% of the highest-performing salespeople focus on “consistency of execution” across their sales process. Doing so requires two things: sales performance measurement and visibility. 

Achieving sales performance data visibility is far more important than many business leaders realize. Its importance spans beyond sales, operations and analytics. It reaches the very top of the corporate ladder. As set forth in this Forbes article by Christine Crandell, visibility is the end-all-be-all of C-Suite assurance that sales and marketing know what they are doing. 

"What CEOs really want is visibility into, and confidence, in revenue cycle data. They want to understand the productivity of each stage, status of key activities, and the emerging issues they need to worry about. In managing the revenue cycle, and by default sales and marketing alignment, visibility is critical to helping them temper their instinctive response to the deluge of daily email, phone calls and meetings. The best way to gain that visibility is with tools the CEO and Board are already familiar with, namely KPIs. With the right set of metrics, CEOs can better understand marketing's effectiveness as well as the impact alignment has on the top- and bottom-line."

To unpack these important insights from Ms. Crandell, let's look at the 4 reasons Sales KPI visibility is critical to your sales team's success - complete with third-party validation from some of today's leading sales experts.

Executive Benefits: Easy Insight. Smarter Evaluation. 

Here on the Ambition Blog, we have told you on more than one occason: "You cannot manage what you can't measure." Sales is a contact sport. Ambition clients use our sales management platform to keep score of everything - rep activity, quota attainment, and efficiency. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how well your football or sales team think they competed. What matters is what's on the scoreboard. 

salesforce KPIs

When no one is keeping score, there is an inherent informality to the proceedings. A built-in excuse to go less than 100%. In sales, you can't afford to have to have a low-stakes mentality afflict your team. Bringing visibility to Salesforce KPIs is a great way to up the ante and keep a healthy level of intensity inside the sales bullpen.

Key Quote: "Sales managers cannot directly manage revenue nor can they manage sales objectives. What they can control are sales activities. Measure sales activity metrics. Set clear sales goals. Show reps the cause-and-effect correlation. You now have clarity of task and powerful motivation in your sales force." Jason Jordan in Harvard Business Review.

Operations Benefts: Accurate Sales KPI Data

If your sales team is manually logging stage and field updates in Salesforce or another CRM, then lack of data visibility all but guarantees inaccurate and incomplete sales activity metrics and performance data.

sales prospecting metrics

The simplest way to increase Salesforce updates? Publicity. Sales reps want credit for their effort and effectiveness. By keeping public tallies of calls, meetings set, and closed won opportunities, you're ensuring that they remember that last little part of the workflow - updating their CRM, which is how a company like Peek can increase monthly Salesforce activities logged by 142%.

Key Quote: "You need to turn discipline into habit. Prospecting must be so ingrained that you feel weird if you don't do it."  Marylou Tyler via SalesTuners.

Frontline Benefits: Meaningful Sales KPIs

The worst kind of data sets offer zero context, insight, or meaning into their source info. In a vaccuum, your Salesforce performance data means nothing. With proper context, it holds all kinds of value.

sales rep goals

Example: B2B sales teams - did you know that a 6% opportunity win rate is the industry standard? If you did not know that, and you thought your team was chugging along nicely with a 3% opportunity win rate, well, the meaning of those numbers just changed for you, didn't it? That same mentality applies at the rep level. An Account Executive looking to beat 50 other reps in total quarterly earnings for his or her territory is going to stay in high gear - especially when the 2nd place rep is quickly closing the gap.

Key Quote: "Sales reps who have well-identified professional goals are almost 4 times happier, which translates into productivity." Trish Bertuzzi in HubSpot.

Company Benefits: Transparent, Accountable Culture

When an SDR sees that he or she is dead last in call volume - trailing behind every single other member of the team - that's when the survival instincts kick in. No one wants to be off the leaderboard. The more KPI visibility you have in terms of leaderboards, goal tracking, and other public data sets, the more accountable your reps will feel towards their numbers.

sales motivation

At the end of the day, sales KPIs aren't rocket science. They are basic human psychology. Everyone wants to win. Nobody wants to lose. Sales teams compete harder when someone is keeping score. Salesforce KPI visibility is the first, most powerful step a manager can make in motivating his or her sales force.

Key Quote: "The operation was the epitome of transparency — via Salesforce CRM integration, leaderboards displayed the top reps’ progress. People were rewarded for sustained performance and paid additional bonuses. During that quarter, the Fortune 1000 organization experienced stunning productivity improvements for sustained periods of time." Ethan Bernstein in Harvard Business Review.

See 360° Salesforce KPIs in Real-Time with Ambition

To return to Crandell's Forbes article, "done right, metrics-based management can move a company toward alignment as well as help institutionalize cross-organizational transparency."  If sales team performance has you feeling moody right now, then increasing Salesforce KPI transparency is a simple, surefire way to stave off Salesforce-induced depression.

The key to achieving pristine visibility? You guessed it: Sales KPIs. See: a visual example from Ambition client, ChowNow.

salesforce KPI dashboard

Modern sales leaders use Ambition to enhance sales performance insights and run supercharged sales reports, scorecards, contests, and TVs via drag-and-drop interface. Ambition has helped improve Salesforce KPI visibility for companies like WayfairFiveStars and Filemaker

Want bright lights on your Salesforce KPIs? Contact us.

About Ambition
Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.
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