True measures of Sales Force Effectiveness are oftentimes difficult to gauge, as they rely on many different components and independent interactions occurring simultaneously. Sales leaders are challenged with watching the right metrics at the right time.  Knowing impact and change over time allows you to make the right time-sensitive numbers to hit your number.


In particular, the VP of Sales often has difficulty in accurately measuring a salesperson’s territorial achievement.   A new web-based tool makes great strides in addressing this issue.   


Gapminder, an application owned by Google and available in Google spreadsheets, greatly enhances your ability to determine the high and low performers across a variety of metrics.  Following the 2006 acquisition of Trendalyzer from the Gapminder Foundation, these advanced analytics tools are available to anyone willing to setup a Gmail account.  The tool is used by simply creating a Google Spreadsheet and inserting a Motion Chart.  Perhaps the best part of this analytics tool is the fact that it is free!


An example below illustrates the power of this technique over static and stagnant Excel spreadsheets.


Territory Performance Analysis from 2009 – 2010


Sales Analysis Powering Territory Performance


Gapminder allows the user to actually watch the movement of up to four variables simultaneously.  Important sales performance metrics like revenue, profitability, quota achievement, territory potential, and market penetration are easily monitored at the same time.   The following is a brief description of the screenshot as well as the levers in the tool:


  • Horizontal axis – Annual Revenue Attainment
  • Vertical axis – Quota Attainment
  • Size of bubble – Profitability
  • Color of bubble on the plot – Indicative of a Unique Territory


Interpreting Results:

When assessing performance, look at the length and the slope of each territory line (representing 2009 – 2010 performance).   The steeper the slope, the greater the quota improvement on a Year-over-Year basis.   The longer the line, the greater the revenue improvement.  Additionally, an increase in bubble size denotes an improvement in profitability. 


In this case, a cursory review leads you to the following observations: 


  • The Northwest Territory exhibits the strongest performance, growing in revenue by roughly $600k, increasing in quota performance from 125% to 155% attainment of target while growing margins.
  • The Strategic Accounts Territory is the weakest performer.  Although margins did slightly increase from 2009 to 2010, both revenue and quota attainment dramatically decreased.


The Gapminder Trendalyzer tool in Google Spreadsheets is a powerful sales analysis technique which allows you to observe your sales team performance for up to four metrics throughout the year.  If you haven’t tried using this tool yet, I highly suggest giving it a try and let us know if you need any help getting started.  If you have used it, please let us know in the comments below how you have used it and how your experiences have been with it.  


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