Ryan Milligan
Senior Director, Revenue Operations @ QuotaPath
Table of contents:

Sales activities. 

Your reps dread them, but we RevOps leaders love them.

While reps may (incorrectly) view them as micromanaged, meaningless metrics, we see them as the necessary steps in the sales process to win the deal and achieve targets. 

And, if you’re not tracking or paying attention to them, you’re missing out on invaluable data. 

Why should you track sales activities? 

By tracking sales activities, such as emails, calls, and meetings, you’re getting a data-backed peek into your sales teams’ communication processes and cadences. You’re also building out the mathematical steps to achieve quarterly targets and shape compensation plans.

How many emails does it take to solidify a demo? How many follow-up exchanges take place before a signed contract comes through? What about the number of calls; does the average time change when communication takes place via phone?

When you track sales activity data, you can begin to identify patterns and trends, which can be used to improve sales processes, forecast future performance, and optimize resource allocation.

At QuotaPath, for example, we review all of the key metrics with a main focus on the number of activities per account, activities per opportunity at different stages of the funnel, and account book penetration (AKA how many accounts reps contact versus how many accounts they own). 

These activities give us a sense of how efficient our team is and if RevOps can fine-tune their account books to give them a better chance to win within the accounts they own. 

All of this is incredibly useful to how we prioritize RevOps projects and sales processes. 

But, what I find most valuable from this information is how it gives RevOps a true gauge of the health of their pipeline. 

4 ways sales activity data shows pipeline health 

  • Understand how sales reps spend their day 
  • Identify which opportunities are most likely to close
  • Map out the drivers of success
  • Inform sales hiring plans

#1: Understand how sales reps spend their day

It’s one thing to see who is racking up the most sales activities, but the data is much more enlightening when compared to win rates.

For example, a rep who leads in follow up emails sent but trails in closed-won dollars signals a coaching opportunity or a deeper dive into their tactical sales approach. The reverse may indicate a more efficient way to run deals that could be duplicated across the team. 

The activity data could also reflect something more obvious.

If win rates mirror high activity rates, that’s a great opportunity to show how activities equal dollars.

The same applies to analyzing if lower deal counts correlate to fewer deals. Use this activity data to impact effort and therefore future pipeline results. 

#2: Identify which opportunities are most likely to close

Another way to leverage sales activities to check the health of your pipeline is to identify which opportunities are more likely to close than another. 

If a rep has fired off 12 different follow-up emails over the course of 6 months without a single response or update from the contact, it’s time to mark that deal as closed/lost. There’s no sense in leaving that as an open opportunity, which can throw off forecasting and waste your rep’s time.

Activity tracking gives you the truth behind an opportunity if your reps are overly (and falsely) confident in a deal coming through. And, when they get called on it — even once — you’re likely to see a cleaner pipeline in the aftermath. 

#3: Map out the drivers of success

From a RevOps side, tracking sales activities can be used to build quarterly targets and compensation plans.

By looking at the number of meetings booked and closed/won rates, you can create SDR comp plan examples based on sales activities.

For the reps, when you map the math and data behind the comp plan and tie it to daily actions, you’re helping your reps understand the drivers of success and how their actions lead directly to success.  

#4: Inform sales hiring plans

Lastly, very few companies know when to hire their next rep. I’ve seen companies add sales headcount and expect demand generation to increase.

And then demand gen doesn’t.

Use activities to see how busy your reps are. Can they handle more demos per week? If so, a new teammate is likely to make them even less busy if demand gen isn’t rising.

If your reps are slammed with demos completed, and too much time is elapsing between rep follow-ups, then consider adding to your sales team. 

Automate sales activity tracking and understand your success signals

With SetSail, you no longer need to rely on reps manually logging their activities in Salesforce – you can automatically gather all data from across your go-to-market tech stack and write it back to your CRM. 

Plus, SetSail completes your data by adding contact details like department and title and automatically associates contacts with the correct account or opportunity. Then SetSail delivers leading indicators of success from your sales data, capturing trends and patterns so you can see what “good” looks like. 

Just how much sales activity data is missing from your CRM? Find out here with SetSail’s free CRM Health Grader.

About the Author

Ryan Milligan is the Senior Director of Revenue Operations at the sales compensation management and commission tracking platform QuotaPath. Ryan previously led marketing and RevOps teams at Homebase and solved customer acquisition, revenue attribution, and customer segmentation problems. 

To learn more about QuotaPath, visit www.quotapath.com.