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A New (And Powerfully Simple) Sales Metric

You are probably already calculating a host of different sales metrics. (And ideally, you are using some technology that does a lot of those calculations for you.)

But you might not be calculating one of the most powerful metrics in the sales ops arsenal — close rates by opportunity type.

In case you aren’t familiar with this metric, it’s all about figuring out which reps are best at closing which types of deals. You can start by using your existing customer segmentation categories to determine which salespeople have the best close rates against your existing segments, but you might also want to broaden it out farther.

You might see that a particular rep who used to work in the healthcare industry is really good at closing deals with hospitals and drug companies. Another rep might have really good rapport with the CEOs of start-ups. Maybe another rep is particularly good at promoting a product line. It’s going to depend on your particular business and your particular mix of talent.

Once you’ve figured out what everyone is best at, it’s easy to put together a report that shows how much higher your close rates would be if everyone handled the kind of opportunities they excel at.

A quick caveat that this type of thinking might be a little controversial in your organization. If you have traditionally assigned opportunities by geographic territory or by taking turns or some other method that emphasizes “fairness,” your sales team is probably going to get a little upset if you start reassigning business.

But doing the report will make it very apparent that the business will benefit from this approach. And in nine cases out of ten, the individual reps benefit as well. If they are only working on the kind of opportunities they are good at, they will close more deals. They’ll also spend less time on each deal, which opens up more time to work other opportunities, which opens up the possibility of closing even more deals.

If you start reassigning just a few deals on a small scale, it won’t take long for your team to see how beneficial it is. And then you can start reassigning more opportunities, possibly even rethinking how you make assignments in the first place.

If you go a step deeper and use whitespace analytics to identify cross-sell and up-sell opportunities that you might be missing currently, you can capture even more business.

The close rate by opportunity type metric is just one of the tips we cover in Quick Wins for Sales Operations. If your team needs to make a significant impact fast, I encourage you to check out the entire webinar.

And if you’re intrigued by the idea of assigning opportunities a different way, watch the Rethinking Sales Coverage webinar. It goes into greater depth, examining how modern technology is changing best practices for assigning business to sales teams.


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