Measuring Sales Effectiveness

I am often asked how Business Intelligence can help one’s organization measure sales channel effectiveness, sales team effectiveness, lead to sales insight and insight into sales process. This blog is dedicated to all such customers and all others interested in knowing a) why they need Sales Performance Management, b) how one can achieve it and c) what can be measured.

Lets start with a quick poll


Sales like every other department in a company wants to measure how they are doing it, why are they doing it this way, and how can they do it better. Sales managers wants to see how their reps are working and CSOs wants to see how their RMs are working, who bought how much revenue, in how much time, with how much expense incurred etc. In today’s market with never-seen-before increase in competition, no company can afford to stay on top of game.

Organizations often suffer from missed sales quota, increasing staff turnover, slower revenue growth, decreasing customer satisfaction and loyalty, slower customer acquisition, smaller sales pipeline, fewer sales per salesperson, insufficient account penetration, lost revenue opportunities, missed revenue targets, poor pipeline management and slower close rate. Auditing and verification of prospects and expected revenue often stays out of trust, sales numbers are often pumped up, and often faked many times. Declining revenue and low sales productivity, new competition, high dependencies on too few customers, dissatisfied major customer, dropping market share and growth rates below industry levels are few out of many challenges that sales organizations often face

Companies often kicks in sales training programs, hiring of more sales force, reorganization of the team and many other measures which sometime may help to solve the problem but only to a little depth prove to be a weak exit strategy. It is more important for Sales manager or CSO to know exactly what their team is up to and have a complete transparency and insight into sales operations.

Data (information) led driven initiatives and decisions could help organization understand and zero down to exact problem and guide them on the best possible measure to rectify It. Business Intelligence in sales could help organizations improve reporting, sales forecasting, provide insight into sales operations, enhance sales management capabilities.

Let’s have a look at the A2Z of sales performance and see what can be measured to know all (at least most) about sales operations and enhance sales effectiveness:

A. Sales by region, channel, product

B. Profit  by region, channel, product

C. Profit margin %  by region, channel, product

D. Pipeline by age, stage(potential lead, short list, selected, closed), type, channel

E. Wins by size, revenue, industry

F. Sales cycle for wins(prospecting, qualification, need analysis, value proposition, identify decision makers, perception analysis, proposal/ price quote, negotiation/review, closed won)

G. Lead Responsiveness

H. Average deal closing time

I. Operating cost and expenses incurred

J. After sales support revenue

K. Customers acquired (by product, branch, region, customer segment)

L. New product activation

M. Target achievement (by region, branch, customer segment, product)

N. Revenue per month (by product, branch, region, customer segment)

O. Expenses Incurred (by client, region, month, customer segment, branch)

P. Pipeline analysis (new customer analysis, stage wise aging analysis, health check for new accounts)

Q. Client satisfaction

R. Number of repeated customer

S. New customer

T. Sales forecasting (risk mitigation, predictable revenue, sales forecasting)

U. Pre mapped plan Vs. achieved results

V. Targets Vs. achieved (by product, branch, region, customer segment)

W. Lead closure ratio

X. Client meeting effectiveness

Y. Sales team analytics (customer acquisition, product sales, book growth)

Z. Sales Funnel Analysis (new opportunity, initial communication, fact finding, develop solution, propose solution, solution evaluation, negotiation, purchase order, account maintenance)

Information led decision-making could enable accurate sales forecasting, early identification of cross-sell and up-sell opportunities, insight into sales operations, faster and smarter decisions, help companies close deals faster and help increasing sales volume in a shorter period of time.

‘You can’t fix you do not measure’

-Abhinav Abhinav

About Abi Gupta

Business Intelligence enthusiast with background in predictive analytics and six sigma and interests in best practices, visualizations and capturing trends in BI.
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