Assessing the success of a sales team can be subject to dozens of different variables. When sales leaders aren’t careful, the process itself can take nearly all of their time, detracting from their ability to develop a strategic plan and coach reps for success.

Today’s B2B sales leaders have so much on their plates they need a streamlined set of indicators to determine if certain sales reps are likely to outperform their quotas. These are not intended to replace a full analysis of the team’s performance data, but rather to be used as leading barometers that can allow you to make quick decisions about the needs of the unit.

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They input quality data and take advantage of it.

The relationship between your sales rep and your customer relationship management (CRM) platform’s data reveals a lot about their ability to meet and exceed growth goals and quotas. When they use it, as well as how they use it, can help you determine whether your team members are employing every possible advantage in the effort to maximize sales opportunities. In other words, it’s important to know if they are frequently taking the time to enter accurate customer data into the system, and if they are drawing from that data in a variety of ways to enable them to add value to the customer’s experience.

Once you have implemented a CRM platform that is integrated with your sales software, you can easily track the CRM activities of your sales reps. Pay attention to factors such as the percentage of completed and updated customer profiles in the system, and the average time spent in CRM per customer. Then, you can examine the time spent on various CRM tasks for your top sales performers and use these statistics to develop a baseline of expectations for the sales team as a whole.

The Top Indicators that Your Sales Reps Will Perform Well

  • They pay attention to data quality.
    • Data quality rests on multiple factors:
      • Keeping detailed, accurate notes and information in your CRM platform.
      • Reducing multiple master records.
      • Paying attention to how your CRM interprets data.
      • Reducing overlap whenever possible.
      • Performing regular cleans to get rid of redundancies, errors, and inefficiencies.
  • Their leads don’t wait long for a response.
    • Lead Response Time is the average time it takes for a sales rep to follow up with a lead.
    • Calculate the average time it takes to follow up on a lead segmented by lead source.
      • The warmer a lead is, the more important it is to follow up quickly.
  • Customers sing their praises.
    • Customer satisfaction can be measured with:
      • Surveys
      • Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT)
      • Net Promoter Score (NPS)
      • Customer Effort Score (CES)
      • Social media monitoring
      • Things Gone Wrong (TGW)

They respond to their leads quickly and consistently.

When your salespeople follow up on inquiries and communications from leads as fast as possible, they close more deals — there are no two ways about it. Unless you operate in a very specific niche market with a unique competition structure, your customers expect answers and information quickly, and they’re far more likely to build a relationship with, and buy from, someone who provides that for them. In fact, a study of over 1 million sales leads found sales reps whose response time was under one hour were seven times more likely to qualify the lead compared to those who waited longer.

While examining your average lead response time is helpful, you also want to monitor your individual lead response data points to ensure consistency. Several response times within minutes, mixed with others that are after a few hours, may still yield an acceptable average. However, when you know your sales team is consistently reaching leads quickly, you can rest assured they are on the path to success.

Their customers are exceptionally satisfied.

Find a salesperson whose customers rapturously comment on the level of service they receive throughout their experience and it’s a pretty safe bet the corresponding sales rep will be on pace to outperform their quotas. Today’s B2B buying climate has established that all salespeople must make customer service a cornerstone of their process.

The results of a landmark study by Accenture showed 86 per cent of B2B executives indicated executing on the customer experience in sales interactions was a top priority for their organization. The companies that were determined to be customer experience leaders invested more in developing their customer experience strategy, and enjoyed a higher return on their investments. It’s clear from these and other results that providing an outstanding level of service for your clients from your first interaction with them is a proven strategy for growth. This is why sales reps who routinely receive high satisfaction marks from their customers are generally poised to achieve great things for your organization.

What should you do when it looks like your reps may fall short?

While these are far from the only indicators that will help you predict sales success, they will allow you to develop a quick guide for identifying sales reps who have the potential to exceed their goals. They will also give you an idea of who may need additional support, so use your results as an opportunity to increase the number of targeted coaching sessions for your performers who may be at risk of not reaching their quotas.

Let your reps know exactly which metrics they seem to be struggling with, and also take care to explain why these indicators are important to the success of the organization. Encourage your salespeople to internalize the idea that customer satisfaction, data quality, lead response time, and sales success don’t occur independently of one another. These factors are related and influence each other, and it’s possible for any sales rep to become a top performer by paying attention to these indicators and respecting their importance in the sales process.

Learn more ways to help your sales team succeed with our ebook, “4 Steps to Transforming Your Sales Process.”

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