Sales Operations

What Sales Performance Metrics Actually Matter? 9 Sales KPIs You Should Be Tracking

Michaela Mendes
Head of Content & Strategy
Table of contents:

Most pipeline review calls focus on surface-level, lagging sales performance metrics. 

Don’t get me wrong, these are important. 

Knowing the basics – such as overall win rates, general activity levels, and how reps are tracking towards quota – these set the stage for high-level conversations. 

But in a competitive sales environment, you need an edge. 

Just looking at two-dimensional sales metrics isn’t going to give you one. It’s time to go deeper. 

At SetSail, we’ve analyzed millions of data points from the CRMs of high-performance revenue teams. 

Here are the baseline sales metrics you should look at, but more importantly, nine less popular metrics you can use to get a true picture of how your team is performing. 

Baseline sales metrics 

Here are 4 straightforward sales performance metrics most revenue teams monitor to see how reps are pacing: 

Win rate 

Pretty simple: you want your reps winning a high percentage of their total opportunities. Tracking win rate over time is a great way to see if sales process improvements and individual coaching is paying off. 

It’s a helpful high-level takeaway, but it doesn’t leave a lot of room for nuance, and it’s always backwards-looking.

Quota attainment

This sales metric shows the percentage of the sales quota that a certain team or individual has achieved in a specific time period. 

It’s a good “moment in time” metric, but just because a certain percentage of quota has already been won doesn’t mean the rest will be achieved by the target date. Particularly in industries with heavy end-of-month or quarter wins.

Activity metrics

Sales productivity is often measured by looking at total activity. From calls made, to emails sent, to meetings scheduled, this is how managers see which sales reps are putting in the most effort. 

This is a good start, but does the sales activity lead to results? 

Sales cycle length

How long does it take to close a deal? Looking at this across your team and then looking at it by rep can show you who needs more support on expediting the sales process. 

Beyond rep coaching, sales cycle length helps with forecast modeling as well, but how do you figure out what’s affecting it (either positively or negatively)?

Leading indicators vs. lagging indicators 

Three out of four of the sales performance metrics mentioned above have one thing in common: they’re all lagging indicators. And activity metrics don’t always correlate to closed deals.

If you’re in an enterprise sales environment where sales cycles are 6 months, 9 months, or longer, these metrics won’t change substantially for multiple quarters. That means you won’t get any new insights for quite some time.

If you want to find out how to coach your sales reps to improve today, it’s critical to find your leading indicators. 

A leading indicator is a data point that predicts performance in advance – before it’s too late to change the outcome. 

When you know the leading indicators for your sales process, you can focus your reps on doing more of the behaviors that matter.

9 sales metrics that track rep performance

Here are 9 metrics to look at that give you leading indicators of success, and provide fuel to coach your reps more effectively, faster:

Engagement metrics

Meetings completed with the right buyer

Too many sales leaders look at activity numbers only – versus the quality of that activity. How do you know if reps’ activity is high-quality? 

Look at who they’re meeting with. Did they spend time meeting with just anyone or the right buyer personas? Depending on what you know about your sales process requirements, you could set targets for rep to meet with certain job titles or job levels, such as VP+. Tracking this is a higher-quality signal than just “meetings completed.” 

Ratio of emails sent to replies received 

Just looking at the number of emails sent doesn’t tell you much. You want to know how many replies they’re getting, and what the quality of those replies are. 

A rep that’s sending hundreds of emails with a miniscule response rate has a targeting or messaging issue that should be addressed. 

Time-based metrics

Same-day follow up

Keeping prospects engaged is essential. Track the time it takes your reps to respond. Yesware reports that reps who follow up within a day of their initial outreach receive a 25% response rate.

Pricing inquiry within 7 days

Gong says win rates go up by 10% when pricing is discussed on the first call. 

When you track this metric, you’re going to inspire your reps to design a great first meeting that is oriented towards inspiring a pricing request. 

You could also track this by your prospects’ job levels and give reps different milestones to hit. For example, you may find that a 7-day pricing inquiry from a Director is good, but a 7-day pricing inquiry from a VP+ is great. 

Days until “pricing” discussed

As a secondary pricing metric, you could simply track how long it takes each rep to discuss pricing with their contacts. How can you bring that average down over time? 

On an individual level, managers can work with reps who are on deals where pricing hasn’t been discussed in months, and brainstorm how to steer the engagement in that direction and move the deal forward. 

Milestone metrics 

NDA signed

There are few better indications if a customer is committed than her signing a legal document to keep speaking with you. Another pipeline review slam dunk to know how to guide and motivate reps towards the right steps.

Email received about “security” 

As a topic during a deal, “security” can cut both ways. A prospect might want to accelerate the deal by getting your solution to pass their security process. They also might be bringing up concerns that will slow down a deal. Either way, sales leaders will want to know.

1st active Director+ contact

Should you even continue talking about a deal in a pipeline review call? Unless you have an active contact within an account that’s at the Director level or above, probably not. But it depends on your unique sales process and buyer journey.

Set a target contact job-level and track rep progress towards account penetration.

Multi-threading milestones 

Whether it’s the 10th contact or the 2nd, depending on the complexity of deals you work, multi-threading is key. 

According to Forrester, 63% of purchases have more than four people involved – and that number is only rising. So if a rep is speaking with one buyer, tracking and motivating them to involve more is key.  

Discover your leading indicators and set the right rep targets

With SetSail, you can track, coach, and improve rep performance all in one place. 

Monitor sales rep execution based on the sales performance metrics that drive your business forward. 

See how it works: