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Which Close Rates Matter to Sales Ops?

Obviously, close rates are extremely important. Beyond the financial ramifications, your sales operation’s ability to close deals and win sales can also affect your strategic position, internal morale, employee retention, etc. And not surprisingly, improving close rates is a top priority for many Sales Ops teams.

But as we discuss in the on-demand webinar, “How to Improve Your Close Rates,” your overall conversion rate is simply not very useful for improvement purposes.

You see, your overall conversion ratio is an average across many different types of deals and many different salespeople. It’s a roll-up of lots of different sales activities, process steps, and pipeline stages. And as an aggregate metric, your overall rate tells you very little about where the problems are, or what you need to do differently to improve.

For improvement purposes, it’s much more effective to segment and study your intermediate conversion rates. By analyzing the conversion or throughput rates at various points in your sales funnel or process, you can:

  • Identify the specific stages or process steps that represent the most significant bottlenecks to overall performance. This information can help focus your limited time and resources, while also providing much more insight into the true nature of the problems themselves.
  • Identify the specific types of sales opportunities that are inherently better or worse from a conversion perspective. This information can help inform your sales team’s targeting criteria, so they are deliberately pursuing opportunities that are inherently more “winnable”.
  • Identify the specific salespeople who tend to be more or less effective at moving opportunities through the various stages. This information can help you uncover exemplary sales practices and approaches that can be operationalized and shared with the underperforming reps.

While your overall close rate may be a decent directional indicator, your intermediate conversion rates are much better diagnostic tools. By breaking your overall rate down into its component parts, you’re in a much better position to understand exactly where you need to focus your energies and what you need to do to improve.

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