One of the most important aspects of marketing is to know how many sales actually make it through the pipeline, and what the average speed is for those sales. There are a lot of different angles to consider, and knowing which metrics are the best indicators can help you improve the velocity of your sales pipeline. This means that you are more likely to not only make the sales, but that you will be able work on more sales simultaneously.
From monitoring to acting, these five metrics can help you reduce how much time it takes to turn a lead into a client.
Lead generation is tough, and it can be difficult to tell how successful a pitch has been until a potential client contacts you. These are qualified leads and they are really the beginning of the sales pipeline. Clients who contact you are showing interest in actually making a purchase, so tracking when a potential customer actually enters the pipeline is the first step to calculating how long it takes to make a deal. This is your baseline for how many sales actually start in the pipeline and how many reach a successful conclusion.
This is a metric you should monitor monthly. It helps you determine what lead generation tactics are working and what the best audiences are for those tactics.
Also called the win rate, monitoring this metric requires looking at every stage of the sales process to determine what approaches are resulting in a customer moving to the next stage. The most telling aspect of this metric is seeing at what point in the process customers are most likely to lose interest in your services or product. This will help you resolve potential issues and decrease the loss of sales at these points.
Comparing Sales Costs to Revenue
This is another metric that helps you determine which sales strategies are working and which aren’t. It takes a look at the amount of time the sales teams and reps are spending trying to make the sale compared to how much revenue is generated from each encounter. You can review the metric daily for the best results and to stay current on what is working, although once a week should be adequate. You will also need to look at each campaign at the end to see how much revenue it generated compared to the cost to execute the campaign. If a campaign cost twice as much as your average campaign but only brought in one and a half times the revenue, you probably won’t want to use it again.
The success of a sale is not the only thing that you need to watch. If you have a low pipeline velocity, but consistently turn out large sales, you will want to be careful with how much you change the different aspects of your marketing strategies. However, if you have a reliable, steady stream of smaller sales, you will want to increase their velocity. Determining the average size of the successful deals will let you know if the velocity is adequate and give you an idea of how to better focus your strategies. It is best to monitor this metric monthly.
Duration of the Sales Cycle
Ultimately, this is the metric you really want to improve. It determines how long it takes from the initial contact by the potential customer through the conversion. The sales cycle looks at each sale individually, then determines the average time for a sale to reach the end. It does not account for sale size, however, only the amount of time it takes in the pipeline. The lower the velocity, the less likely leads are to convert to clients.
Knowing the right metrics to monitor and how to react to the findings is the best way to improve your company’s sales. Metrics always involve a bit of white noise and distractions, so focusing your attention on the ones that are the most telling will help you improve the time it takes to make a sale and how many deals are made. If you would like to know more about improving your metrics and how we can help, contact us for more information.