Sales leaders know that sales processes are critical for their sales organizations. They add a much-needed layer of quantitative data to a process that can seem non-linear and chaotic at times. Sales processes help map the buyer's journey as the buying paradigm continues to shift more and more into the buyer's control. With the breadth of information produced by a well-constructed sales process, it can often be difficult to focus on the parts of the sales process that tell you about your reps and not about your pipeline. By looking at these 3 parts of your sales process, you can get a better idea of how your reps perform.
We have found that it is important to analyze win rates from two unique perspectives called 'comprehensive win-rate' and 'scheduled win-rate'. 'Comprehensive' looks at the ratio of all won deals compared to the total deals in the pipeline. 'Scheduled' compares deals that a sales rep has committed to winning in a sales period to the deals that either pushed or were lost in that same period. You should expect that as reps get more experience, the 'scheduled win-rate' will become significantly higher than the 'comprehensive' win rate because they will have a better ability to assess the quality of the deals in their pipeline.
Sales Cycle Times
An understanding of sale cycle times might be broken down by the size of company or industry to tell you which companies take longer to close than others, but we find genuine value in using cycle times to identify sales rep's selling behaviors. Sales teams that have very low cycle times may be a sign that reps don't enter deals into the CRM until they are about to close, also known as 'Sandbagging'. 'Happy Ears' behaviors are demonstrated by sales teams that allow prospects to string them along without ever committing to a close date or a next step. 'Happy Ears' sales teams tend to have incredibly long sales cycle times.
This is one of the more well known and tracked metrics for sales managers. Increasing forecast accuracy, for many, is the central focus of building or making adjustments to the sales process. Identifying the stages where deals get stuck is the difference between making and missing a quota, or even keeping your job or getting fired. Breaking down each rep's forecast accuracy number can be useful to see if you have a localized or organization-wide process issue. If just some reps have problems hitting their quota, then you can begin to coach them appropriately. However, if the majority of your reps have issues with achieving their quota then you may need to do a bigger examination of your sales process as a whole and the prospects you put in your pipeline.
Again, setting up an established sales process give you a solid foundation for a lot of future insights. While all metrics can tell you a ton about your deals, some can also be very useful assets to understanding your sales team without constantly grilling them with meetings. If you feel like you might need to take another look at your sales process, here's a complete guide on developing a rigorous sales process.