Many times Sales Operations teams leave the final reporting to the finance guys who are running reports off the ERP system. In fact one time I heard from a client, “I am just here to administer the compensation plan.” Sorry Steve, Sales Ops has a much bigger role that you think! Sales Ops is responsible for Sales Performance Management as well as providing the insight it brings to Executive Leadership.
As we close the quarter what key metrics should Steve be looking at and proactively sharing with the Sales Leader, CEO and CFO?
To get Steve in gear he should put himself in the shoes of his CEO and CFO. He needs to start asking himself questions like:
- What do market analysts want to hear?
- What kinds of questions are analysts going to ask my CEO and CFO?
- What has been the theme of our organization over the last 12 months?
- Are we moving in the right or wrong direction?
- Why would someone want to invest in our organization?
Depending on the answers to those questions you will identify certain metrics but some things will always be critical. So let’s walk through some of those critical numbers your Sales Performance Management Process should be delivering.
Have we added new logos? Senior leadership and Wall Street thrive off of new logo acquisition. They are constantly fawning over new logos because new clients represent future growth opportunities. Make sure you send senior leadership a list of new logos that have been acquired this quarter and let them know which ones can be mentioned on the earnings call.
What does the Pipeline look like? Pipeline is a leading indicator of what kind of revenue the organization will recognize in the future. You must perform a pipeline analysis to determine:
- Is the pipeline growing? (It better be)
- Has the pipeline lagged/exceeded/met growth from the same quarter in the previous year?
- Which products/services are contributing to the pipeline growth?
- When are Sales reps adding opportunities to the pipeline?
- What percent of the pipeline is coming from current customers versus new prospects?
- These questions will provide you with the critical information that your leadership team needs to chart the course for success and develop messaging to the marketplace
Who are we winning against / losing to? Obtain insightful competitive data with a simple win/loss analysis. This is done from both the quantitative and qualitative perspective. Review opportunities that have been won and lost. Identify the reason for the win/loss as captured in the CRM Solution. Examine whether the win reason lines up with your differentiating value in the marketplace or are customers finding different solutions to your messaging.
Next, look at the win rate versus competitors on both a deal and cash basis. (# deals won/ Total # of deals & $ value of deals won/ Total # of deals) Are you winning the big deals that are important? If so, the cash win rate should be higher than the deal win rate.
Finally, conduct some customer win/loss interviews. The best way to do this is to have marketing call the decision maker at the client and interview them for 30 minutes. Have your marketing team look for the following:
- How and when did the customer realize they had a problem?
- What research was conducted around potential solutions?
- What were the key criteria the client used?
- How was the decision was made?
Proactively arming your Executive Leadership with this critical data and insight will enable them to make clear business decisions and communication effectively with the marketplace.
Respond with your suggestions for additional key points for Sales Ops to contribute to Executive Leadership.