18 essential sales KPIs: What to measure and how to track everything

by Steli Efti
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If you want to scale your sales team, grow your revenue, and beat out the competition, there’s no question you need to understand data. All the best sales teams in the world run on data. Unfortunately, almost all of them make the same critical mistake.

Unlike revenue, more isn’t always better when it comes to sales data. Once you start tracking and measuring every move your team makes, you’re bound to hit analysis paralysis. And instead of empowering your team to sell more, all those numbers and charts and just slowing them down.

You don’t need more sales metrics and data to wade through. You need the right ones.

Announcement: We've just released a new set of sales reporting tools in Close! Our brand new Activity Overview and Activity Comparison reports give you actionable insights that are just one click away. And the customizable leaderboard helps sales reps stay focused on activities that generate results.

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Whether you’re a sales manager trying to get the most out of your team or a rep gunning for the top spot, you need to understand which sales KPIs and metrics to track, why they matter to your company, and how you’re going to use them.

In this guide, we’ll run you through everything you need to know about sales KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) and metrics and then highlight the 18 essential sales KPIs used by top sales teams around the world to court better prospects, close more leads, and boost their bottom line.

The case for KPIs and Sales Analytics

18 essential sales KPIs for high-performing sales teams

Choosing the most important KPIs for different sales roles

Choosing the most important KPIs for your industry

How to track and measure sales KPIs

Sales KPI templates and examples

The case for KPIs and Sales Analytics

As a sales team, you’re in one of the best positions to take advantage of data. Nearly every action you take–from the calls you make to the sales you book–can be measured, tracked, and optimized.

Unfortunately, simply having more sales data doesn’t guarantee more sales. As I've said before, complexity isn’t difficult to achieve, it’s difficult to resist.

In order to take advantage of all the data and sales metrics you’re collecting, you first need to understand why they’re important, what sales metrics you should be tracking, and how they can be used to your advantage.

What is Sales Analytics and why is it so important?

The best sales teams understand that while there’s an art to sales, there’s also a science to it. And in order to take a scientific approach to growing your pipeline, you need to use sales analytics.

Sales analytics is the process of identifying, collecting, and analyzing the right sales data so you can model and predict sales trends, forecasts, and future opportunities. In other words, it’s a crystal ball for your sales team.

Unfortunately, most sales analytics are captured and presented in a way the average sales rep can’t even use! Instead of using a tool that gives clear, actionable insights, most sales teams just export their sales metrics from their CRM into a spreadsheet. But this has a number of issues:

    1. The data isn’t usable right away: Someone has to go in and identify the right sales metrics and how to use them. This takes time and can mean you’re missing out on opportunities while you wait.
    2. Your insights are static and don’t respond to the dynamic nature of sales: The status of a sale might change by the minute and using a spreadsheet of static data won’t give you what you need to keep up with it.
    3. It’s too complicated: You might even have to hire a dedicated sales ops analyst just to make this sales data actionable.
    4. You don’t know if you’re tracking the wrong sales metrics. Without a way to tie metrics to your company goals, you’ll more than likely end up tracking disjointed and meaningless metrics.

The job of every sales team is to bring in revenue. But according to a Harvard Business Review study, only 14% of sales metrics are manageable (i.e. things your team can act on rather than just outcomes).

While having a powerful sales analytics tool is important, knowing how to use it is paramount.

Sales metrics vs sales KPIs

Any sales analytics tool is useless if you don’t know what you want it to tell you. This starts with understanding the difference between sales metrics and sales KPIs.

Sales metrics are data points that represent your sales performance either as an individual, team, or organization.

Sales KPIs—or Key Performance Indicators—are specific sales metrics connected to one or more of your company-wide goals, priorities, or objectives.

While these data points might sound the same (and many people use sales metrics and sales KPIs interchangeably), they have some key differences.

A sales metric lives on its own. It tells you a fact about what has happened. Whereas a sales KPI tells a story. It’s a metric attached to a goal and can be acted on much easier.

For example, you might want to track sales by region if you’ve launched into a new market and want to see how you’re performing. On its own, sales by region is a sales metric. But when used to track and optimize your performance in a new market, it becomes a sales KPI. It’s indicating your progress towards your company’s goal.

Sample sales KPIs and metrics

So far, we’ve mentioned a few examples of sales KPIs and metrics. But before we dive into the full list of essential sales KPIs, we need to reiterate the golden rule:

You don’t need to track every sales KPI. You just need to track the right ones.

Sales data needs to tell a story about your company. If you’re looking at a Sales KPI dashboard full of numbers and graphs and have no clue how they relate to each other, you’re in trouble.

So how do you set the right KPIs for your sales team?

At Close, we’ve always believed that no matter how complex your sales process, you should always start with your sales funnel KPIs. And the easiest way to do this is with what we call the AQC formula:

    • Activity. This covers what your team is doing on a daily basis to close more deals and bring in more revenue. Some sample activity sales KPIs would include the number of inbound and outbound calls, revenue per rep, number of onboarding or demos booked, individual rep performance metrics, and so on.
    • Quality. What we’re talking about here is the result of your activity metrics. Some sample quality sales KPIs would include email open rate (or call reach rate), sales opportunities created, trial starts, and so on.
    • Conversion. Finally, you need to look at the outcomes of these efforts. Some sample conversion sales KPIs would include your quote to close ratio, sales by contact method, average conversion time, and so on.

You can probably already see how this formula tells a story. Instead of drowning in disjointed metrics, you can look at these sales KPIs and tie them to your actual sales funnel.

Of course, these are only a few of the sales metrics you need to track to run a successful sales team.

Click here to read about all 18 essential sales KPIs for your sales team.

Sales analytics case study: How a century-old company transformed its business using sales metrics

Learning how to set KPIs for your sales team can benefit every company. Take the story of Monroe Systems for Business—a 104-year-old commercial calculator manufacturer that works with Fortune 500 companies and government agencies including NASA.

Before tracking the right sales metrics in Close, Jason and the sales team at Monroe Systems were missing one of the key parts in building their business: tracking the right sales KPIs to move their business forward.

As Jason Marsdale, Senior Sales and Marketing Manager at Monroe Systems told us:

“I’m able to track the duration of the phone calls and say alright, how many meaningful conversations did we really have today? It’s a seemingly small feature that provides huge insights.”

“The sales reps can now see exactly where they’re at all times, and they always know what to do next in order to drive additional sales.

After getting into the metrics behind their sales process, Jason’s team was able to streamline their sales process and set impactful sales KPIs. After just a few months, one of his sales reps experiencing a staggering increase of 50 percent in his personal sales while others saw an increase of 10–20 percent.

18 essential sales KPIs for high-performing sales teams

When it comes to sales KPIs, no one can tell you exactly which ones are “best” for your company.

By their definition, sales KPIs depend on your specific goals. Meaning what’s best for you won’t be what’s best for everyone else. That’s why we always say the best sales KPIs are the ones that empower your sales reps to do their best work.

The AQC model we explained above–Activity, Quality, Conversion–is a powerful framework for empowering your reps. However, it doesn’t cover every aspect of your business.

There are all sorts of sales metrics and KPIs you could consider depending on your goals. But only a few that are guaranteed to help you optimize your sales team. Here’s our list of the best sales KPIs and metrics you should be tracking.

1. Monthly sales growth

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If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying.

This sales KPI measures the increase (or decrease) of your sales revenue month-over-month. And while it’s one of the most important KPIs you can measure, you need to make sure you’re looking at it with the right context.

Why it’s so important to track your monthly sales growth: Using monthly sales growth as a sales KPI gives you actionable insights you can use to optimize your sales processes, strategies, and product priorities.

While annual sales revenue seems more important for tracking the health of your company (especially for SaaS companies), it’s often too far of a projection for most startups. Instead, when you monitor sales growth month-to-month, you get a sales metric that you can use now. Not 12 months from now.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers use this sales KPI to track the results of their efforts and see where they need to make changes to their sales funnel and process. While for sales reps, seeing monthly revenue growth can be inspiring and motivating.

2. Calls and emails per rep (daily, weekly, monthly)

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If you want to use our AQC framework to build out a powerful sales funnel you first need to know what your reps are doing to bring in new leads. And that starts with how many people they’re talking to.

This sales KPI tracks the volume of calls and emails your sales team is making over days, weeks, and months.

Why it’s so important to track calls and emails per rep: Not only does this sales KPI tell you how active your sales reps are, but it also can indicate when something’s wrong in your sales funnel.

For example, using sales benchmarks like the 30/50 rule for cold emailing and calling, you can start to pick apart your sales funnel from the top down and find out where you need to adjust and optimize your strategies.

Or you might decide that increasing your reach rate is an important priority for your team, and thus look for a CRM with a built-in predictive dialer.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers and directors use this sales KPI to track team activity. While sales reps can use this as a sales productivity metric.

3. Sales opportunities created

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It doesn’t matter how many calls or emails your reps are making if no one’s interested in what they’re selling.

This sales KPI tracks the opportunities your reps are creating so you can forecast future sales and potentially determine which opportunities are most worth pursuing. Think of it as the quality part of our AQC framework. At this point, you know your lead fits your ideal customer profile, they’ve responded to your outreach, and are ready for your pitch.

Why it’s so important to track sales opportunities created: Opportunities are the lifeblood of your sales team. By tracking this sales KPI, your sales team gains invaluable insights into their sales process, such as:

  • Are their outreach efforts working? Compare # of opportunities created to # of calls/emails per rep.
  • Are they reaching the right people? Compare estimated purchase value to # of opportunities.
  • Is their pitch effective? Compare # of opportunities created to # of sales made or trials started.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers use this sale KPI to see the health of the sales pipeline and make decisions about their overall sales process.

4. Monthly onboarding and demo calls booked

Not every customer will go directly from opportunity to customer. For SaaS companies especially, it’s most likely that your product will do some of the selling for you.

Put simply, this sales KPI tracks how many trial starts or demo calls your team and individual reps make.

Why it’s so important to track monthly trial starts and demo calls: This sales KPI is critical for closing deals. Leads who make it this far down your funnel are in a much better place to convert. Seeing how this metric changes month-on-month is a powerful way to track the health of your sales funnel.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Both sales reps and managers benefit from seeing their monthly onboarding and demo calls. Like most of these sales KPIs listed, this one gives individual reps insights into their processes, while sales managers use it to plug holes in their sales process and funnel.

5. Lead conversion rate

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This sales KPI answers one of the most important questions for sales reps: How many leads are converting into sales?

While there are lots of ways to segment this data further (which we’ll get into), a high-level overview of your lead conversion rate is an important performance indicator for your entire team.

Why it’s so important to track lead conversion rates: Tracking your lead conversion rate gives you a proven plan for gaining future customers. You can work backward to track where those customers came from or use the ones you lost to understand why your process didn’t get them to convert.

More specifically, you can use this sales KPI to answer other important questions about your sales process, such as:

  • What’s the ratio between qualified prospects contacted and customer conversions?
  • When did qualified prospects fall off in your funnel?
  • Are you contacting the right leads?

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales reps use the lead conversion rate to measure the effectiveness of their pitches and to adjust their process to target more qualified leads. The more you know about who converts, the more you can make sure you’re always targeting your ideal customer.

6. Sales by contact method

A closed deal is one of the best sources of sales data. And one of the best insights they can give you is: Where did this sale come from?

This sales KPI measures which contact methods are most successful for generating sales. Are you more likely to close a deal that came from a cold call/email or from an in-person meeting?

Why it’s so important to track sales by contact method: There’s nothing more powerful than a great first impression. By giving your sales reps the tools to understand which method of outreach is most likely to generate a sale, you’re putting them in the right place from the start.

However, as we’ve said before, context is king. When looking at this sales KPI, it’s important to also consider individual sales rep performance metrics. Some reps are simply more effective on certain contact methods and you shouldn’t instantly change your outreach approach for your entire team based on this KPI alone.

You also need to consider the contact cost associated with this sales KPI. If you’re generating more sales from in-person meetings, but the associated cost is eating into your average profit margin, it’s probably not the best method for you.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers can use this KPI to change their sales process and target only specific leads. For example, decreasing the percentage of sales coming from low yield, high-cost contact methods.

7. Average conversion time

How long does it take for a lead to convert?

This sales KPI gives you insight into the productivity of your sales funnel so you can make better decisions about how much effort you put into closing a prospect.

Why it’ so important to track average conversion time: Time is money. And if you’re selling a SaaS product at $9/month but it takes upwards of 6 weeks to close a deal, you’re on the losing side of that deal.

When looked at in conjunction with some of the other sales metrics we’ve mentioned (such as lead conversion rate and sales by contact method), this KPI gives you a clear picture of your sales pipeline and if you’re on track to hit your sales goals.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors and executives at your company can use this KPI to forecast revenue, get insights into the funnel, and decide how to approach follow-ups with qualified leads.

8. Customer acquisition cost (CAC)

How much does it cost you to acquire a new customer?

This sales KPI tracks all the costs associated with bringing in a new customer (both in sales and marketing). And while it might sound simple, it can quickly get complicated depending on your product and your sales funnel.

For example, let’s say you use Facebook ads to drive customers to a landing page where they sign up for your service. If your campaign costs $15 per lead and results in a sale of a $20+/month product, you’ve got a winner.

Now, let’s say you’re a SaaS company with an inside sales team and an average conversion time of 60 days. Not only will you need to make sure that you’re properly calculating CAC based on that lead time, but you also need to include all of the other associated costs, like salaries, overhead, and money spent on tools.

Why it’s so important to track customer acquisition costs: Not every company can run at a loss for years on end like the Ubers and Teslas of the world. Instead, sometimes one of the most effective ways to increase sales revenue is to reduce costs. By understanding this sales KPI you’re able to determine which sources are worth your time and increase your profits.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors use this sales KPI to create a sales process that’s profitable and scalable. Spending more than you earn is the only way to ensure your company fails.

9. Customer lifetime value (LTV)

On the other end of the CAC equation is knowing how much is each customer worth?

This sales KPI measures how much revenue you get on average from a customer from the moment they start paying you to the moment they stop.

However, just like customer acquisition cost, calculating your LTV isn’t as straightforward as it might first seem. There are different models used to understand LTV, which all require you having a large enough sample size to make accurate assumptions.

Why it’s so important to track customer lifetime value: LTV allows you to predict your company’s future revenue and profit. Without understanding the value of a customer, you can’t make decisions about how much to spend acquiring them (CAC), how long to spend trying to convert them, how many leads to go after in order to hit your sales goals or the real impact of churn (lost customers).

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors and executives use LTV to see the overall health of the company (or a specific product) in both revenue and customer retention. A growing LTV means you’re doing well. Whereas a declining LTV means things need to change quickly.

10. New and expansion MRR

Where did your new revenue come from this month?

For SaaS companies, there are few sales KPIs more important than monthly recurring revenue (MRR). This sales KPI refers to the number of paying customers multiplied by the average amount paid.

Once again, it’s important to consider the context of MRR. When you’re looking at sales metrics tied to your company’s growth, there are two sources to be aware of:

  • New MRR is the additional recurring revenue you added this month (through new customer acquisition or lowering CAC)
  • Expansion MRR is the additional recurring revenue you added from existing customers who have upgraded their plans.

Why it’s so important to track new and expansion MRR: Modern SaaS sales teams need to know which way their MRR is trending in order to make decisions about their sales process. For example, If you implemented a new sales strategy and your MRR is declining, you’ll want to figure out why.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors and executives use MRR to track growth and make decisions about the company’s direction.

11. Pipeline value

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What’s the current value of all deals in the sales pipeline?

This sales KPI tracks the expected revenue from all active sales opportunities in a given timeframe. It gives you a “best case scenario” look at deals being negotiated so you can see if you’re on track to hit your sales targets.

Why it’s so important to track your pipeline value: You won’t hit your sales targets if you don’t have any deals in progress. By being able to get a quick read on your pipeline, deal status, and confidence, you’re able to see if your reps have a chance of reaching their goals.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers and reps can both use pipeline value to measure their performance and progress towards other sales goals.

12. Sales targets

What is your sales team working towards?

This sales KPI compares closed deals over different periods of time and is a great way to motivate your sales reps and rally your team.

However, context is especially important when it comes to establishing sales targets. No one likes to feel like they’re constantly under-performing. And constantly pushing your sales team to hit unrealistic sales targets is a quick path to burnout.

Why it’s so important to track sales targets: Instead of throwing out sales targets that your team won’t hit, this sales KPI gives you historical data you can use to set attainable future goals that properly motivate your team.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? We’ve already mentioned how sales managers and directors use this sales KPI to set sales goals, but it is also used by sales reps to track their productivity and progress each month.

13. Sales by region

Digging into your sales metrics further can uncover incredible insights. A great one to start with is: Where in the world did your sales come from?

This sales KPI tracks sales by specific regions to tell you which markets are most receptive and valuable.

Why it’s so important to track sales by region: Every great sales process starts by understanding who your ideal customer is. And a major part of that can be where they live. Additionally, you might want to segment your sales data even further to track sales by demographics and other factors that help you understand your ideal customer profile.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors who craft the overall sales plan can use this KPI to see how specific campaigns are doing and help sales managers optimize their targeting.

14. Average purchase value

There are lots of levers you can pull to try and increase revenue. But one of the most effective is to sell more to each customer.

This sales KPI tracks how much, on average, each customer purchases. By incorporating this into your other sales strategies you can start to look for ways to incentivize customers to spend more.

Why it’s so important to track average purchase value: Smart sales teams focus on getting more revenue with less effort. By increasing the value of each purchase, you’re effectively multiplying the results of your sales efforts. Even better, a higher average purchase value can offset a high CAC as you’re able to spend more to acquire a higher value customer.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors and managers use this sales KPI to develop and optimize their sales process.

15. Average profit margin

While revenue is often what sales reps look at, profits are what matter most for growing your company.

This sales KPI looks at the average profit made across all products, services, bundles, and sales channels.

Why it’s so important to track average profit margin: Making a million-dollar sale on a product that cost you more than that to create, sell, and support isn’t a viable business model. By understanding and tracking your average profit margin, you can identify which products or offerings are truly the best for your bottom line.

Your average profit margin becomes especially important to track when you have a number of different products, dynamic pricing models, or if your sales reps have flexibility in giving discounts (which we don’t recommend).

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors use this sales KPI to set sales benchmarks and track the true value of each product or service. It can also be used to see profits generated by individual sales reps or by specific customer locations and demographics.

16. Retention and churn rates

For modern SaaS sales teams, sales aren’t just about bringing in new customers but keeping them around.

This sales KPI measures and tracks lost customers and revenue over time. In real-world terms, it tracks customers who tried your product and then decided it wasn’t worth paying for (or not worth paying as much for).

There are many ways to measure churn (net churn, gross churn, month-to-month subscriptions, etc…) And this is another one of those SaaS sales KPIs that’s difficult to pin down. However, the easiest ways to think about churn is as:

  • Revenue Churn: The percentage of monthly recurring revenue (MRR) you lose from canceled services.
  • Customer Churn: The percentage of customers who leave your company in a given timeframe (such as one month).
  • Passive Churn: The percentage of customers who leave because of failed payments or expired payment methods.

Why it’s so important to track retention and churn rates: Every healthy business depends on maintaining a good customer base. Depending on which study you believe, acquiring a new customer can cost anywhere from 5–25X as much as retaining a current one. While it’s a lot sexier to focus on growth numbers, it’s just as important to track the status of customers you’ve already acquired.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales directors, executives, and the C-suite at SaaS companies use this sales KPI to track the overall company health. From a sales perspective, looking at your churn rates can help you identify better prospects (who are more likely to stick around) and identify the key moments when you need to “check in” before they decide to leave for someone else.

17. Product performance

Once you move beyond selling a single product or service, you’re bound to have ones that perform better (or worse) than the rest.

This sales KPI ranks your products by revenue performance so your sales team can see which ones are selling well (or missing the mark).

But remember, judging the worth of a product solely by revenue performance doesn’t make sense for every business model. For example, a low price yet high volume product or service might make up a good chunk of your sales but not be in the top 3 in terms of revenue.

Why it’s so important to track product performance: When you track product performance over time, you get insight into your sales strategies, market changes, and health (and desirability) of your offering. To make the most of this sales KPI, make sure to think about its context. A change in product performance might indicate a larger trend such as:

  • Did a competitor just release a similar product and steal some of your customers?
  • Have you been experimenting with different sales strategies or customer profiles?
  • Are there industry-wide changes that are impacting your sales?

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers use this sales KPI to adjust their sales process and focus more or less on specific products. It’s also useful for executives and your product team to see if a once-popular product is dropping off in sales performance.

18. Sales rep productivity and leaderboard

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At Close, we’ve always believed that the success of your sales team comes down to the success of your sales reps. The more tools you can provide to empower them to do their best work, the more revenue you’re going to bring in.

This sales KPI measures the effectiveness of each individual sales rep based on their activity and conversions as well as how it relates to the rest of your team. It’s a way to quickly see how your team is doing as well as create friendly rivalry and motivate your reps.

Why it’s so important to track sales rep productivity: No sales reps come into work wanting to do a bad job. But without insight into how they’re doing, it’s often hard to know when they need to put in the extra effort. What’s more, many sales reps are by nature competitive, and a little friendly competition among your sales team members can inspire people to perform better. By tracking sales rep productivity, you create a level of transparency across your team that builds everyone up and pushes them towards their goals.

Who benefits the most from understanding this sales KPI? Sales managers use this sales KPI to track the performance of their team and see who needs additional support. While sales reps use it to gauge their own productivity and see how it relates to the rest of the team.

Choosing the most important KPIs for different sales roles

Sales KPIs are never a one-size-fits-all solution for your company. But they can also be wildly different depending on your role, niche, and industry. The “most important” sales KPIs for a sales rep will be completely different than those for a sales director.

Think of them the same way as choosing a diet. You’ll get the best results if you tailor what you’re eating to your specific goals, health needs, and exercise routine.

Instead of just guessing which sales KPIs are best for you, here are a few lists of the most important KPIs broken down by sales roles from sales directors and executives down to individual reps.

Best KPIs for sales directors and executives

A sales director is the general of your sales army. They handle not only planning the long-term sales strategy but also honing and refining the tactical sales processes you use every single day. Yet, because of the varied nature of their role, sales directors need to be especially diligent in tracking the right sales KPIs (i.e. ones they can actually act on.)

In broad terms, the types of sales KPIs a sales director is most interested in will involve revenue growth, execution (and results) of sales strategies, sales and opportunity trends, maximizing profits, and customer satisfaction.

The most important sales KPIs for sales directors are:

  • Sales targets
  • Sales by region
  • Revenue forecasts
  • MRR and ARR (annual recurring revenue)
  • Retention and churn rates
  • Average purchase value
  • Average profit margin
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Average conversion time
  • Product performance
  • Net Promoter Score (NPS)

Best KPIs for sales managers

One step down from the sales director is the sales manager. Think of them as the Captain—still providing a high-level look at your overall sales strategy but with more focus on optimizing day-to-day sales tactics.

The best sales KPIs for a sales manager give them insights into the individual efforts of their sales reps as well as into the overall health of their entire team. In broad terms, sales managers are interested in sales KPIs that cover every part of the sales funnel as well as sales rep productivity and customer churn.

The most important sales KPIs for sales managers are:

  • Monthly sales growth
  • Calls and emails per rep
  • Sales opportunities created
  • Pipeline value
  • Monthly onboarding and demo calls booked
  • Sales by contact method
  • Average conversion time
  • Sales targets
  • Sales by region
  • Average purchase value
  • Product performance
  • Sales rep productivity and leaderboard

Best KPIs for sales reps

Finally, you have the individual sales reps on your team. Your reps are your on-the-ground soldiers fighting for sales every single day. While a high-level view of company goals is important, sales reps are more concerned with sales KPIs around tactical activities and sales strategies.

The most important sales KPIs for sales reps are:

  • Calls and emails made
  • Sales opportunities created
  • Reach and response rates
  • Average time to conversion
  • Pipeline value
  • Sales rep productivity and leaderboard
  • Sales targets
  • Sales by contact method
  • Lead conversion rates
  • Average follow up attempts

Choosing the most important KPIs for your industry

Specific job roles aren’t the only factor when it comes to how to set KPIs for your sales team.

What you’re selling will determine how you approach your entire sales process and picking the KPIs that will keep you on track.

Whether you sell online or offline, B2B or B2C, B2G or S2S, SaaS or e-commerce, sales data can help you optimize your process and keep growing. As always, context is king. But to help get you started, here are some of the most important KPIs for specific industries.

B2B sales KPIs

Businesses are all trying to make money. And in order to make other businesses your customers, you need to prove that you’re giving them enough value.

That’s why in broad terms, B2B sales KPIs are mostly interested in any sales metrics that can tell them more about their customers' behaviors, trends, and buying practices.

The most important B2B sales KPIs are:

  • Average time to conversion
  • Sales rep calls and emails made
  • Sales rep productivity and leaderboard
  • Opportunities created
  • Quote-to-close ratio
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Sales by contact method
  • Sales by region
  • Qualified leads
  • Sales pipeline velocity
  • Sales targets
  • Sales team response time
  • Average purchase value
  • Average profit margin

SaaS and other software sales KPIs

There are few industries that have embraced the power of data-driven sales like SaaS and software companies. For SaaS companies especially, the ongoing nature of their relationships with customers means they need to be keenly aware of not just new acquisitions, but churn and customer satisfaction as well.

Successful SaaS and other software companies track and measure all aspects of their sales process, from generating new leads, to closing deals and maintaining customer satisfaction over the long-term.

The most important SaaS sales KPIs are:

  • Monthly recurring revenue (MRR)
  • Annual recurring revenue (ARR)
  • Customer acquisition cost (CAC)
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Customer retention and churn rates
  • Revenue retention and churn rates
  • Daily and monthly active users (DAU and MAU)
  • Product performance
  • Sales by location
  • All sales rep productivity metrics (including the number of calls/emails made, opportunities created, demos and onboarding calls booked, and conversion rates)
  • Average time to conversion
  • Pipeline value and velocity
  • Channel sales metrics (such as revenue from partner deals and margin by partner)
  • Net promoter score

Small business sales KPIs

Sales KPIs become incredibly important when you’re not doing the volume of business in order to make up for a few bad months. As a small business, you need as much information as possible for keeping up-to-date with your business health and status in the marketplace.

The most important small business sales KPIs are:

  • Cash flow forecast
  • Average profit margin
  • Revenue growth rate
  • Customer acquisition cost
  • Relative market share
  • Sell-through rate (sales vs. total inventory)
  • Average purchase value
  • Product performance
  • Customer satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS)

E-commerce sales KPIs

When selling physical products online, you need to be keenly aware of not only your output but your input. Maintaining an accurate inventory, tracking product performance, and pursuing upsells are some of the best things e-commerce brands can do to grow.

The most important e-commerce sales KPIs are:

  • Conversion rate
  • Cart abandonment rate
  • Cannibalization rate (new products taking away from older ones)
  • Sell-through rate (sales vs. total inventory)
  • Customer lifetime value (LTV)
  • Revenue on advertising spend
  • Average order value

How to track and measure sales KPIs

While knowledge is power, putting that knowledge to work is where you start to see real results.

Once you know which sales KPIs are best for you and your team, you need a way to track, measure, and analyze them.

Here’s a simple process for getting set up with the right sales analytics tool, set realistic goals and quotas around your KPIs and turn your sales metrics into revenue.

Choosing the best sales analytics tools and software

Choosing the right sales analytics tool will instantly put you at an advantage. And while there are many options out there to choose from, the best sales analytics tools all have a few key features:

  1. Present data in a way that’s actionable, easy-to-understand, and up-to-date
  2. Give you a high-level overview of your pipeline for the entire team
  3. Measure the performance of your salespeople
  4. Allow you to use your sales data metrics however you want

With those criteria in mind, here are your top 3 options for the best sales analytics and sales metric tool:

1. Close - Actionable insights into the sales metrics that matter most

Close is the CRM of choice for startups and SMBs, and our new sales KPI reporting features are no different. We moved away from never-ending dense graphs, segments, and data-overload and instead chose to present only the most important sales KPIs that drive real results.

activity-comparison-close

Besides giving you actionable insights right away, there are a number of reasons why Close’s reporting feature is the best sales analytics tool for your team:

    1. Understand and make sense of your pipeline: Sales KPIs are designed to move the needle. Close quickly shows you the status of deals in your pipeline and opportunities created alongside their source, history, and other customer data.
    2. Measure your sales reps performance: Close’s reporting features give you insight into the health of your entire sales team. Get the big picture on your team’s performance, set benchmarks, and then dig into the details with emails sent, open and response rates, calls and time spent talking to prospects all in one place.
    3. Control your sales data for deeper insights: Your sales KPIs have to align with your company goals. If those goals aren’t fully represented in Close, you can use our powerful API to use your data in either a custom dashboard, spreadsheet, or other BI tool.

2. Klipfolio - A dashboard for data-heavy companies

If you’re a company that deals with a lot of data and needs to keep it organized, another sales analytics option is Klipfolio. While not made specifically for sales teams, Klipfolio allows you to create custom dashboards for all your business metrics, from revenue metrics like MRR and LTV to customer satisfaction, efficiency, NPS, and even ad spend.

Klipfolio-sales-dashboard-example

With Klipfolio's report engine, you can build custom reports and data visualizations using their report designer and report generator. Their reporting solution takes BI reporting with a metrics/KPI first experience where businesses can manage and track measures.

Download these data visualizations as images or PDFs for one-time sharing across social media and other messaging platforms, set up scheduled email snapshots or reports based on individual data visualizations or entire dashboards, or embed customized data visualizations into your website.

3. Looker - Explore real-time business analytics

Developed with usability in mind, Looker is a cloud-based business intelligence (BI) platform designed to help you explore, analyze, and share real-time business analytics. 

Drill into data across interactive charts and tables, and utilize the self-service features of filtering, pivoting, and the creation of visualizations and dashboards. With the creation of visualizations, there's a data scheme where you can drag-and-drop elements, assign roles, and more.

looker-sales-insights-example

Looker also enables and streamlines collaboration among users—data and reports can be shared via email, URLs, or be easily integrated into different applications such as Excel, Google docs, and custom third-party applications. 

4. Periscope Data - An end-to-end BI and analytics tool

Periscope Data helps data professionals and business users ingest, store, analyze, visualize, and report on data. Their data engine delivers query performance at scale for any type of workload, regardless of concurrency, size, or complexity.

periscope-data-sales-pipeline-management-example

Communicate insights effectively with Periscope Data's range of visualization options—including standard charts, statistical plots, maps, and more—or by building your own. You can explore and drill down to understand and uncover improvements. 

Plus, share real-time insights with direct links through email, or even Slack. Embedded analytics allow teams to publish charts, dashboards, and more into web pages and applications.

5. Microsoft Power BI - Dive deep into your data

Microsoft Power BI lets you create dashboards and interactive reports to visualize important metrics—quotas, market size and opportunities, and the ability to drill down for more details. Simple drag-and-drop gestures allow you to find improvements, correlations, and outliers.

Start monitoring your teams' opportunities, results, and overall efficiency—keep track of key metrics like win rates, number of wins, revenue, discounts, and more. Dashboards are refreshed with up-to-date data automatically, giving you instant insights. Blend your sales data with data from marketing, operations, customer service, and other functions to discover more insights.

microsoft-power-bi-opportunity-tracking-example

Setting up and building your sales KPI dashboard

Once you’ve picked a sales analytics tool that works for your sales KPIs it’s time to set it up.

While many analytics tools will give you a customizable sales KPI dashboard, we believe the best one gives you actionable insights you can use right away.

activity-overview-close

In Close, your sales KPI dashboard shows you everything you need to know about the health of your sales team and sales efforts.

In line with our AQC philosophy, this means sales metrics for Activity (number of calls and emails), Quality (opportunities created), and Conversion (leaderboard and revenue).

explorer-opportunities-status-close

From here, you want to be able to compare sales metrics over time to see your progress towards your sales KPIs. In Close, you can segment all your data for time-based comparisons or compare numbers for multiple team members.

Tracking and measuring sales KPIs best practices & tips

As you track and measure your sales KPIs, you want to take special care to keep your data clean and actionable. This means picking the right KPIs and not getting overwhelmed with data. But just as important is to be able to understand your KPIs within the context of your company.

Here are just a few sales KPIs best practices to remember as you work with your dashboard.

    1. Set sales benchmarks: Sales metrics and KPIs don’t matter if you don’t know how you’re doing relative to other campaigns, competitors, or industries. If you don’t have historical data to pull from, we recommend using the 30/30/50 rule for cold calling and emails. In short, a successful sales campaign should have a minimum 30% open rate, 30% response rate, and a 50% conversion rate.
    2. Know the people behind the numbers: It’s easy to get blinded by numbers. Too many startups focus on stats and figures and not the people behind them. But each data point in your sales dashboard represents a real customer. When using Close as your CRM, you have access to all your customer data alongside your reporting.
    3. Use clear sales metrics for each part of your funnel: One of the huge benefits of using sales KPIs is being able to pick apart and optimize your sales funnel. But the only way you can do that is by clearly defining sales metrics and KPIs for each section of your sales funnel. Make sure you truly understand how customers convert before trying to optimize with data.

Turning your KPIs into revenue

Lastly, you want to know if you’re being successful with your sales KPIs. But it takes more than just having a robust sales dashboard full of numbers in front of you to be successful.

nick-persico

As Nick Persico, our Director of Revenue explains:

“The key to winning in sales is consistency. Your team needs to show up every day and put up results across the board to keep the motor running. If you don't make the calls or send the emails today, you won't have deals to close tomorrow.

With Close's built-in Activity Reporting, I can easily see if the team's outreach is increasing over time and determine if our efforts are translating to more wins in a single screen. Did our team make more calls and send more emails this month in comparison to last? If so, did we win more opportunities at a higher value?”

Consistency is key. And while sales KPIs will tell you if you’ve been keeping up, the only way you can close more is to do more.

Sales KPI templates and examples

By far the easiest way to keep track of your sales KPIs is by using a CRM or other sales analytics tool (which we covered above). However, if you’re just getting started or aren’t ready yet to invest in something like this, a KPI template gives you a simple way to track your metrics in one place.

Here are a few examples of sales KPI templates you could use with links to resources for each:

  1. Sales KPI template for reps
  2. Excel sales KPI template for teams
  3. Sales performance metrics template
  4. Templates for sales managers

We're creating our templates now, but you can sign up with your email address below to be notified as soon as they're ready:

Conclusion

It’s a business cliche by now, but it’s true that you can’t manage what you don’t measure.

The Wild West days of sales are over. It’s impossible to be competitive today without an understanding of data. Sales metrics and KPIs give you hard data on what your team’s actually doing so you can make smart decisions, optimize your process, and close more deals. But they only work if you use them correctly.

As you go down the path towards setting the best sales KPIs for your team, remember to:

  • Choose sales KPIs that are actionable and reflect your company’s goals, objectives, and priorities
  • Pick the right sales KPIs for your business type, team size, role, and industry
  • Track sales KPIs and metrics using a simple, actionable tool

Tracking and measuring sales KPIs isn’t a guaranteed path to success. But without doing it, you’re going out blind.

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