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Analytics aren’t just simply numbers to collect and throw on a PowerPoint deck anymore. They’re your competitive advantage. Tech Republic believes acting quickly on operational data often results in “improved selling efficiency and enhanced profits.”

Hard sales data closes more deals, but just collecting data points is not enough. As a manager you need to understand not just what the data means, but how you can adjust your strategy to fit the metrics. Here are seven insights into your business that you should be extracting from your Salesforce data.

1. Sales Trending to Date

Monthly Sales What is it?

Revenue benchmarks are at the heart of every sales team’s strategy. Whether you know it or not, there is a magic number that you must exceed everyday to surpass your monthly sales quota.

Why it’s important.

How often are you tracking your progress for the month? Every week? Every day? In real-time? Knowing exactly where you are in the month in relation to where you are expected to be should shape the month’s playbook.

Your strategy should adjust based on how your quota tracks throughout the month. If you are ahead of schedule you may want your team nurturing larger deals. But if you are falling behind as the month comes to a close, your team should pick low hanging fruit.

2. Sales Activity Goals

What is it?

This is the total number of calls, emails, demos, and trials that each team member makes shown as a percentage of each team members monthly goals. Sales activity graphically displays the effort that your team is putting into building a funnel.

Why it’s important.

Activity Goals
Sales activity is a leading indicator of future sales performance. It gives a graphical view of how the sales pipeline is shaping out for both the team and an individual. Establishing activity goals sets a benchmark for your team to meet so you know exactly how your pipeline should fill out.

It is important to track your team’s goals beyond just the end of the month quota. Set any number of activity goals for your sales team to keep the pipeline filled. If a team member falls behind expectations, you can step in as a manager to help the individual get on track.

3. Activity Ratios

What is it?

These ratios provide you with tangible numbers of exactly how many leads you will need in one stage to convert a lead to the next stage in the pipeline. The call to deal ratio is arguably the most important ratio for a sales team.

Why it’s important.

Just because someone is on the phones all day does not necessarily mean he or she is working efficiently. Here’s a simple example. Which of the following is better?

  1. Closing 10 deals with 100 calls.
  2. Closing 10 deals with 20 calls.

Clearly B. Efficiency is the name of the game. The call to close ratio indicates when you need to coach the reps on your team. The numbers don’t lie; you know exactly how each team member stacks up.

4. Opportunity Stage

What is it?

The opportunity stage of your pipeline maps where each opportunity is in the sales funnel. At the very least most sales funnels include demo, trial, and negotiation stages. It’s a good idea to know exactly how many leads are in each opportunity stage of your pipeline.

Why it’s important.

Building out your sales pipeline should be the focus every day. Don’t scramble at the end of the month because your team did not fill out its pipeline. Instead, identify a weak section of your pipeline and act quickly. It’s what we like to call actionable intelligence.

5. Sales Cycle

What is it?

This metric measures the average time it takes your team to close a deal, with insight into how long individual segments of the sales process take. A sales cycle is the sum of all the opportunity stages in your pipeline.

Why it’s important.

Sales Cycle Length
You want to minimize the sales cycle by identifying which phase of your funnel is the bottleneck. Different phases inherently take longer so it’s important to identify which segments of the funnel need improvement when compared to historical benchmarks.

This data is also valuable when looking at an individual lead because you know historically how wins and losses have traveled through the sales cycle. Now you can cut an opportunity if the lead’s behavior mimics other loses.

6. Forecasting Revenue

What is it?

This is a forward-looking estimation of future revenues based on historical performance and expected new business.

Why it’s important.

Forecasting is one of the most important analytics exercises for your business. Your revenue estimates need to be accurate because all other business projections will be based on this expected revenue.

Strategically, it’s not about getting the correct estimate down to the penny. Instead you should focus on projecting close enough to the right number so your company doesn’t end up with an empty bank account.

7. Recurring Revenue

What is it?

Businesses have customers that provide them with predictable revenue  month after month. Recurring revenue is a reflection of satisfaction with the product, sales team, and customer service.

Why it’s important.

Recurring revenue provides you with a smooth income stream, even when times are bad. They are your most valuable customers because they need little nurturing to remain onboard.

Tracking recurring revenue also helps you to identify customers near the end of their subscription. You should incentivize your team to follow up with customers and ultimately reduce churn. Recurring revenue should sustain your company’s revenue, while new customers fuel growth.

Now What?

Those are the seven Salesforce insights you need to improve your sales team’s performance. They are the pulse of your team and the overall health of your business.

Want an easier way to pull these metrics?

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