Analyzing sales performance

Analyzing sales performance

A year ago, we did a lot of user research on Sales Operations and met a lot of exceptional people šŸ˜»

As Sales Ops, they taught us their organization is expecting them to:

  • Make the sales process more productive and efficient šŸš€
  • Understand what are the sales patterns that drive conversion šŸ’Ŗ
  • Build the perfect sales incentive programs šŸ¤‘
  • Make sure that their business is improving every day šŸ“ˆ

If you share some of those aspirations, this article is made for you!

Those are lofty goals, and to achieve them, it is better to rely on data rather than on intuition.

Hence, reporting is often the method on which SalesOps rely to make a lot of informed decisions šŸ‘Œ

When addressing the problem of reporting on Sales performance, we saw some patterns emerge and we wanted to share them with you:

#1 - Sales Activity-based reporting

The first way to look at the Sales performance is often to look at how much progress was made on the opened opportunities.

In fact, it means counting how many opportunities progresses there has been per week/month (ex. # of signup, # of demo booked, # of contract sent, # of closed-won, ...).

Those reports are measuring the throughput of your sales process. Any update of your process, coaching, and/or staffing should have a positive effect on those metrics šŸ‘

SalesOps are often breaking down those numbers by team/salesperson and comparing it with the previous period to make sure that things are going in the right direction, for everyone šŸ“ˆ

Having such information in one report is quite handy to help during their weekly 1-to-1 sales meetings, to make sure that everyone is getting more and more efficient.

#2 - Lead time-based reporting

A way to report on your Sales Process is to look at how long the Opportunity waited in each of your opportunity stages before going further in the process āŒ›

In the Supply chain, this is called the lead time šŸ¤“ .

Looking at the average time per deal stage is a first good analysis. You can then drill down on a particular deal stage or set of deals to get deeper into your understanding.

This helps you estimate the Velocity of your Sales process āš”

#3 - Cohort based reporting

A more advanced way to look at Sales performance is to build Cohorts of opportunities or product usage. Cohorts are a way to batch opportunities together, often by week of creation šŸ“†

Ex. all opportunities that were opened this week will be in cohort W1. All the opportunities opened next week will be in the cohort W2, and so on...

If you have problems conceptualizing it, you can tell yourselves that cohorts are "generations" (šŸ‘¶ ā†’ šŸ§“) of opportunities. The ones opened this week are the latest "generation" and their performance in time can be compared to the performance of past generations.

Once the cohorts are prepared, you can measure their conversion ratio and see how long it takes to be won.

Ex. One month or the week after an opportunity was created,

  • for opportunity belonging to the cohort W1, 40% had been won
  • for opportunity belonging to the cohort W2, 50% had been won

ā†’ We see that the newest cohort has a better winning ratio at the same age than the previous cohort, which means that new opportunities are better handled than how the old ones were šŸ’Ŗ

Another example could be, how many users are actually onboarded depending on the closed-won date. This shows that May and July batches have good activation rates. Might be good to understand why and orientate the sales on their closing efforts.

Do you have another way of tracking your Sales Process performance that you want to talk about or that you want to try? šŸ’–