Are You Where You Need To Be: First Quarter Sales And Metrics? by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

One of the least effective ways to judge how you are doing in relation to quarter sales goals is to use your “gut” or your intuition about your sales numbers. It is very easy to get caught up in a recent sale and assume you are on track to meeting your numbers, giving a false sense of achievement and accomplishment.

On the other hand, it is also possible that an anticipated sale that did not go through may leave you feeling as if you cannot reach your goals, when in fact you may be well on the way to meeting your basic goal and perhaps even achieving a stretch goal.

Using analytics, metrics and tracking for sales goals is more than just keeping a tally of the total volume of sales. In fact, there are a number of sales activities that are equally important to track, and which are directly liked to increased sales performance over both the short and long term.

What to Track

Rather than tracking sales results or sales volume numbers exclusively, it is important for successful sales professionals to track a range of sales activities. Sales volume is often misleading, as one big client can make a particular sales rep look incredibly good, at least until that client fails to place an order. In the same light, a sales rep with a lower total first-quarter sales total but with 50 clients that order regularly is in a better position to lose one or two clients without negatively impacting the business.

To build this sustainability within a sales team, in addition to the sales quotas or sales volume, the following other factors should be tracked and reported.

  • Increase Networking – spending time building a LinkedIn presence is important, particularly for B2B sales. This means setting goals for posting, interacting or reaching out to a set number of new contacts per week, month or per quarter. Developing relevant content, interacting with the target audience and building rapport with decision-makers are all important factors for increasing sales potential.
  • Become an industry expert – through social media or through personal interactions, building your reputation as an industry authority and trusted source is important. This does not have to be difficult to track and can be easily monitored by the number of questions you receive or the number of new clients that come to you for insight, guidance or solutions to their problem.
  • Upselling and Cross-selling – by tracking what specific products and services pair with upselling and cross-selling strategies, it is possible to develop a logical approach to increasing sales with each customer. Tracking these patterns through CRM helps to build in sales

Ideally, choosing metrics and tracking options to stay on track for meeting and exceeding sales goals should be customized to the company and the sales professional. With real-time tracking, sales reps can stay motivated not only on current sales but on the strategies that continue to build the market for future sales.