Looking at results in the rear-view mirror isn’t the way to do this.  Today’s post is about dramatically evolving how you predict future sales success.  Without Personas woven into the fabric of your work, you will become obsolete.C Users Patrick Seidell Pictures Sales Success


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Your Chief Sales Officer is retained or fired based on lagging sales results.  Total revenue, new business acquisition, average selling price, etc..  As the sales ops leader, focus your effort on predictive, leading measures.  Calls per week, new opportunities, current pipeline value, etc..Measurements that can predict and position the team for success.  Your value skyrockets when you set a course that leads to future sales success.


Revolutionize How You Measure

Your scorecards and forecasts are based on the notion that more activity is better.  Increased sales calls deliver proportionate increases in revenue.  More proposals bring a commensurate upswing in closes. This assumes one thing – that all other factors remain the same.  All other things never remain the same. The buyer isn’t standing still.  How they buy has forever changed and this evolution continues.  The quality and quantity of the activity matters. 


Measure the same things the same way and you’ll be left in the dust.  Failure to evolve with the buyer will be your demise.  Your forecasts will be wrong.  Sales reps will be evaluated incorrectly.  Your CSO will lose faith in you and likely lose his job.


Illustrating Your Need to Evolve

Let’s compare two hypothetical sales reps on part of a sales scorecard – Rick and Evelyn.  Assume both have similar tenure, experience, skills, opportunity and compensation.


sales ops kpi


Rick would get a much higher overall score on these leading indicators.  If all else were equal, we’d expect Rick to close $200k – 20% more than Evelyn.  Rick would be considered a top performer.  Evelyn would be below the waterline.  Let’s look deeper.


What if half of the companies Rick visits aren’t in your “sweet spot”?  What if several of his proposals went to those with no clout?  The concepts of Ideal Customer Profiles (ICP’s) and Personas must be accounted for.


Assume that 80% of Evelyn’s calls were within your ICP.  Evelyn’s activity is also much more targeted to your buying Personas.  Rick’s ability to close on his proposals drops like a rock.  Evelyn will outperform the 40% factor you apply to proposals for your forecasts.


Evelyn is evolving and going after your best prospects.  She’s more efficient and speaking the Persona’s language. Rick is a relic.  Rick is meeting his leading indicator targets but seeing the wrong prospects.  Wasting his time on those that can’t or won’t buy.  He’s quickly becoming obsolete.


Focus on your Ideal Customers and their Personas will win more deals.  And you need to measure this level of focus.  By treating all your leading indicators the same way, you’re killing your credibility.


Think about how this impacts you, your boss and the company.  You’re CRM-based forecast assumes conversion rates.  All opportunities in a specific stage get the same factor of X.  Clearly, all opportunities are not created equal.  Proposing to companies that aren’t your ICP won’t likely close.  Meeting with a marketing manager is not as valuable as meeting with the CMO.  You need to add a measure of quality to the activity and pipeline.


Get ICP’s and Personas into Your CRM

World-class marketing and sales organizations are embracing Personas.  They’re using them to drive demand and customize their content.  They’re selling in a way that’s directly in tune with the buyer.  They are keeping pace with the buyer’s evolution.


If your organization has ICP’s and Personas built, fantastic.  Next, take the following steps:


  • Start getting your CRM updated with this data.
  • Tag all of your company records with an ICP scoring for how close they are.
  • Tag all of the contacts in your CRM with a Persona designation.  For example, if you sell outsourced IT services, tag CIO’s and CTO’s one way.  Tag systems administrators in another
  • Use the Guild to Evolving Your KPI’s to improve your ability to predict.  Your forecasts will improve greatly.  Your scorecards will be a more accurate view of the team.  The Guide includes links to help along the way.


If you don’t have ICP’s and Personas built, your company needs to peddle faster.  In many ways, your future, your CSO’s and the company depends on this for survival.  If you’re a Sales Operations leader trying to keep pace, get started now. 


If you want to discuss how to get started, contact me.  You risk becoming obsolete if you put this effort off.


Download the Guide to Evolving Your Sales KPI’s now.