How to Build a KPI Framework for Sales Enablement

January 28, 2016

For sales leaders, improvement is a black and white concept. Your results are quantifiable and your team is either hitting their numbers … or they’re not. The problem many sales leaders face is that it’s difficult to build a framework with meaningful KPIs for individuals that will correlate to progress on a team level.

Here’s a primer for getting started with measuring your team’s performance and growth on a “micro” level. Once you’ve established a healthy, well-oiled analytics machine that measures performance at the individual rep level, you can optimize behaviors and activities across your team that will then yield results on a macro-level.

Start with Metrics that Your Reps Can Have Significant Control Over

It’s important to remember that reps need to be measured on metrics that they can not only influence but have control over for delivering results. What they can’t control, they can’t improve. That being said, you should avoid “vanity” metrics – those that only appear to be important and don’t significantly impact your top level objectives. The metrics that will matter most in impacting your team-wide macro level performance are likely to be unique to your organization and may even be different for each of the products or services and audiences you serve. For instance, The Aberdeen Group reports that “prospects receive an average of 10 touches from the time they enter the pipeline until they’re a closed-won customer” but that may or may not hold true for your company’s sales cycle.

Here Are a Few Examples of Micro-Level Metrics to Consider Measuring:
  • Time elapsed between lead assignment and the initial touch point
  • Number of touchpoints a rep makes to close a deal (whether won or lost)
  • Percentage of opportunities generated from lead flow
  • Percentage of inbound leads that are then qualified by a rep
  • Percentage of rep-qualified prospects to opportunities created
  • Booked revenue

Determine How You Can Automatically Track These Metrics

Tracking should never be a manual process for you or your reps. It’s likely that your sales enablement, CRM and email tracking platforms can provide the tracking and analytics you need. Many (like Showpad) have built-in functionality that can be set up to accommodate your specific tracking needs.

Grade Reps in Terms of Wins and Losses, Not Beating Their Numbers

As a sales leader, you are being graded on a pass/fail system based on whether you’ve hit your top line numbers or not. But in terms of understanding how your reps are performing, you need to analyze the deals they’ve won and lost. This means looking at more than whether they’ve “made their number,” but how they’re improving or regressing in terms of those metrics. This also leads us to a point of caution.

With Great Data Comes Great Responsibility

Tracking metrics on a micro-level is tremendously useful as it allows leadership to ascribe individual trends to the team’s macro-level performance. But, it’s crucial not to oversimplify. For example: an individual rep may consistently have the longest average time from lead assignment to closing the deal. But upon closer inspection, you may realize that the individual also has one of the team’s highest average deal sizes. The bigger picture is that the rep may be spending more time taking a consultative approach, ultimately netting more revenue. It’s up to you as a leader to be thorough in drawing insights from your new data and that includes watching out for false correlations.

Use “Micro” Learning to Help Optimize Behaviors Across your Teams

Your top performers are doing something differently in their day-to-day activities that makes a difference in their cumulative results. Do they spend more time during an initial call or demo? Maybe they share a wider (or smaller!) set of content pieces during the follow up communication that helps the prospect better connect your product’s use case with their own needs. By using data to identify and isolate those specific behaviors, you’ll then be able to coach other team members to replicate them can make a huge difference in your team’s collective performance.

Looking for more insight like this? Try our guide “What is sales enablement?”