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Stop Tracking Pointless Sales Metrics

Remember the Rolling Stones song that goes, “You can’t always get what you want/ But it you try sometime you find/ You get what you need”?

If you’re in sales ops and you usually give sales management whatever reports they ask for, it might be time to bring some karaoke into the office and sing a bit of that song.

Some time ago, we published our Sales Ops Metrics Manifesto. The first key point in that manifesto says this:

We believe that Sales Ops should be measuring what sales management needs to see, regardless of what sales management may want to see.

All too often, sales management is focused entirely on the here and now. They want to know whether they are on track to hit this month’s quota. They want to know which sales team members are hitting their revenue numbers. And they want to know how many deals are in the pipeline right now.

Those sorts of metrics are all well and good, but if sales ops is spending all of its time generating these short-term reports that are obsolete nearly as soon as they are printed, who is looking at the bigger picture?

One of the first steps towards becoming a more effective sales ops team is to begin thinking about which metrics really matter for the business as a whole. You need to be tracking the metrics that show how effective your sales process is overall. And you need to track those metrics over time so that managers can see the trends.

Those may not be the reports they are asking for—but those are the reports they need.

The most effective sales ops teams are those that spur the rest of the business think more strategically. They don’t just report numbers, they play a crucial role in helping the company become more successful. And creating the right reports is a key part of that role.

Now is as good a time as any to reconsider the metrics you’re tracking. If you are like most sales ops teams, you generate a few reports every week or every month that are pretty much pointless. Sure, sales may be used to seeing those reports, but that doesn’t mean that those reports are actually helping sales improve.

Part of your job is making sure that you’re using your sales operations resources as efficiently as possible. You have a finite number of people with a limited amount of time. Make sure they are spending time on things that are really going to matter in the long term.

It’s okay if sales management doesn’t get exactly what they want—as long as you are helping them get what they need.

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