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How to Determine the Sales KPI's THAT MATTER

By Dave Shannon on March 29, 2022
Est. Reading: 3 minutes

Without a clear set of sales KPIs and an effective process in place to track and monitor them, your sales team are basically operating in the dark with no point of reference.

The right KPIs should be all about giving clarity; allowing your sales team to know what’s expected of them, and helping maintain consistency of effort.

Tracking sales activities through KPIs are also vital to the success of any organisation. After all, “What can’t be measured, can’t be managed”.

To succeed, you’ll need to come up with a set of relevant KPIs for the various sales roles in your organisation, then actively track your sales team’s progress. Following this, you’ll then need to hold your salespeople accountable to these activities on a pre-determined, regular timescale.

Key Measures Depending on The Role

KPIs depend on the role – whether it’s business development, account management or farming current accounts for additional business or opportunities – and are a measure of the key areas of focus for that specific role, with activities like number of new meetings, current accounts site visits, new business calls, meetings arranged etc.

Top performers consistently carry out the key activity levels required to be successful in their role. They always ‘do more’ – such as more calls – and they know all of their key metrics i.e., calls to meetings, meetings to proposals, proposals to closed business, number of meetings required to close, etc.

Although some companies may measure KPIs across the wider sales team, they’re almost always bad at holding people accountable when they fail to consistently achieve what’s required.

Salespeople like clarity; knowing what’s expected of them.

By tracking the right sales activities, we can let sales people know exactly what’s expected of them. Then we can hold them accountable to it, and discuss what the roadblocks are that are preventing the salesperson from achieving these activities.

Choosing the right KPIs and metrics

While it’s tempting to track everything, it can also lead to confusion – the more KPIs you have, the more difficult it becomes for your staff to know what to prioritise. The trick here is to avoid adding too many. Although there’s no ‘one-fits-all’ solution, or ‘fixed set’ of KPIs that works for absolutely everyone, there are however a few things to keep in mind:

  • Avoid focusing ONLY on lagging indicators.
    These can be things like deals won, month to date revenue, and profit. Although they can be useful, lagging indicators are essentially results that you can’t change – you can only learn from them for next time.
  • Incorporate leading indicators.
    Generally, these consist of factors like the number of phone calls, the number of referrals, the number of meetings, the number of proposals presented, etc. – the things we can influence right now to change the final outcome.
  • Make it easy to understand what success looks like.
    The most effective KPIs should come from directly reverse engineering the sales process e.g., the steps or activities required to be successful in that role, as well as all the key milestones and checklists along the way. This way, salespeople know exactly what to focus on to change their sales outcomes.


Data analysis is no longer just for the big enterprise businesses – today, anyone can track their progress and create KPI dashboards.

With a clear and transparent process in place, it not only helps you track KPIs and deals, it also allows sales people and managers to track their progress – helping point out inconsistencies in sales team performance too. This can be a great way of indicating to Sales Managers the areas where their team may need specific coaching.

So, if you want to see your sales grow, defining effective KPIs and identifying sales team inconsistencies is an essential first step – the first step to your team’s sales transformation.

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