At SellingBrew, we get a number of questions from Sales Operations teams who are wondering if they’re really using the right metrics and measures. And while the conventional wisdom may say that Sales Ops should simply measure and report whatever sales management wants to see, we have a very different perspective:
We believe that Sales Ops should be measuring what sales management needs to see, regardless of what sales management may want to see.
Under constant pressure to hit the near-term numbers, it’s easy for sales management to lose sight of the bigger picture. In fact, it’s not unusual for sales management to view the function of sales as a collection of salespeople, rather than a repeatable and scalable business process. Therefore, it behooves Sales Ops to codify a broader and more systemic perspective into the metrics and measures.
We believe that Sales Ops should measure the aspects of performance that best-reflect the effectiveness of the sales operation overall and at-scale.
While pipeline values and revenue attainment figures may provide a necessary view into current status and progress toward the goals, they say very little about the effectiveness of the “sales machine” overall. Therefore, Sales Ops should be measuring magnitude and throughput ratios at critical points in the process to provide a better view.
We believe that Sales Ops should measure those things in such a way that improvement is expected, and can be tracked and monitored over time.
Viewed in isolation, it’s difficult to tell whether a number is good or bad, or whether it’s improving or degrading over time. Therefore, Sales Ops should monitor and report performance trends, rather than just the absolute numbers and ratios. Trend reports have an inherent directional expectation and enable qualitative judgments.
We believe that Sales Ops should take an active role in not only defining the metrics and measures, but influencing them in a positive direction.
If sales management knew everything they needed to know to improve overall sales performance, they’d already be doing it. Therefore, Sales Ops needs to move beyond merely reporting the numbers and help figure-out how to improve them. They need to become adept at diagnosing root-causes, devising scalable solutions, and driving execution.
Now, this little “metrics manifesto” may seem like a pretty tall order. It may seem very far from where you’re at today. But I can assure that it’s definitely doable. How do I know? Because our research team is regularly hearing from Sales Ops teams that have already made it happen. And if others have been able to make the transition, there’s no reason that even more teams can’t do the very same thing.
To learn more about what leading Sales Operations teams are up to, check out these on-demand training seminars:
- Driving Sales Effectiveness with Strategic CRM — How leading sales operations are transforming their CRM systems into strategic sales weapons.
- Exploring the Sales Ops Center of Excellence — The most important steps when creating a real center of excellence around sales operations.
- Taking Your Sales Operation to the Next Level — Learn about what leading sales operations are doing differently to drive effectiveness and efficiency.