Sales KPIs for business

Living a life in sales can be interesting. For one thing, everyone’s got an opinion. When your sales are slumping, everyone’s got a perspective about why—whether or not they are familiar with your product line or even with sales in general. When your sales are underperforming, then people are eager to give you their in-depth analysis of the reasons why not.

The funny thing is that it sometimes it is hard to disagree with them. There’s often not much in the way of “proof” either way. And when you look to the performance of KPIs to explain the successes or failures, they often come up short, too. They don’t always manage to paint the whole picture or fill in the details. With all that data being gathered to come up with KPIs, you’d think they would be more helpful. But in fact, they often don’t deliver on their promise to point you in the direction of causes and effects.

So, as a sales manager, CEO, or frontline salesperson, if sales are down, how can you confidently talk to your team about what it takes to be productive? How can you lift sales out of its rut? How do you determine which KPIs are the most significant and accurate indicators of your sales performance? Which are the ones that will point you in the direction of actions your team can take to improve the numbers and the increase the likelihood of success?

To help us answer those questions, we talked with numerous ClicData customers, from C-suite execs, to managers, to people in the field, who use our ClicData data warehousing and dashboard solution to measure their sales KPIs. We asked them what they considered to be the most valuable metrics for sales teams to monitor in order to give them feedback about whether they are steaming towards success—or not.

Top 24 Best KPIs to Monitor Sales

  1. Period over Period Sales Growth
  2. Average Profit Margin Per Transaction
  3. Bookings (Sales that were invoiced)
  4. Number of Leads
  5. The Sales Attainment
  6. Sales Budget (Quota)
  7. Quotes Delivered
  8. Average Selling Price
  9. Conversations Per Rep
  10. Unique Contacts Touched
  11. Transactions Per Rep
  12. Revenue Per Product
  13. Revenue Per New Customer
  14. Average New Deal Size
  15. Closing Percentage Per New Sales Lead
  16. Cost of Acquisition
  17. Customer Churn Rate
  18. Lifetime Value of Customer
  19. Sales Cycle Life
  20. New Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) (new business)
  21. Expansion Monthly Recurring Revenue (or, add-on sales)
  22. Number of Demos/Meetings
  23. Customer Face Time
  24. Revenue by Territory

Anyone who has spent more than a cup of coffee in sales and scans through this list knows that every one of these KPIs is important – kind of. In order to evaluate them, let’s first sort them into categories. We found that sales KPIs can be grouped into four categories. While a case could be made that some of these KPIs could fall into multiple categories, for our purposes, we only list them once.

The Four Categories of Sales KPIs

Daily Show-Up KPIs

Your Daily Show-ups are the metrics that capture your basic daily activity. Sales people—especially good ones—know that you have to do stuff that no one wants to do. These are the activities that salespeople choose to do when they take the job, and it’s what they ultimately do to consistently hit their numbers. This category is often confused with “productivity,” but it’s more than that. KPIs within the Daily Show-Up category capture the process of sales:

  • Conversations Per Rep
  • Number of Demos/Meetings
  • Customer Face Time
  • Quotes Delivered
  • Unique Contacts Touched


Sales Proficiency KPIs

This category reflects the actual productivity that earns commission, makes the leadership happy and, as salespeople like to say, “keeps the lights on and the toilets flushing.” It’s the deliverables that salespeople are paid for and that measure actual sales. KPIs within the Sales Proficiency category are:

  • Sales Budget (Quota)
  • Average Selling Price
  • Average Profit Margin Per Transaction
  • Bookings (Sales that were invoiced)
  • New MRR (New business)
  • Revenue Per New Customer
  • Average New Deal Size
  • Closing Percentage Per New Lead
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Sales Cycle Life
  • Sales Per Product


Operations KPIs

People in Operations usually hate or love sales—or both at the same time. They often see salespeople as highly-paid individuals who bring in the company’s revenue; while Operations Team members tend to feel as if they are overlooked. The Operations KPIs help to point to the value that Operations brings to the sales department. They can include the results of efforts by anyone who supports sales, including those in accounting, customer support, marketing, and of course, operations. Operations KPIs include:

  • Cost of Acquisition
  • Revenue Per Product
  • Period over Period Sales Growth
  • Transactions Per Rep
  • Number of Leads delivered
  • Expansion MRR (or add-on sale)
  • Revenue by Territory
  • Number of Leads delivered
  • Lifetime Value of Customer


Feel-Good KPIs

Every salesperson and executive who has ever spoken to a customer who loves the company, or raves about its product or service will inevitably point to this category. It’s the category that demonstrates, “They LOVE us!” The drawback of emphasizing this category too much is that the existing customer base—where this feedback comes from—won’t fulfill the company quota alone. The “Feel-Good” indicators can help to justify things when the previous two categories of KPIs were overlooked. If these metrics start to slump, they can help to identify problems before they become significant. They include:

  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Lifetime Value of Customer


Now, where do you find the data behind the KPIs?

KPIs, by definition, are measurements of data and the changes that the data undergoes. To know how to get the most relevant information about sales performance, it’s important to understand where the data comes from.

Listed below are the systems that most sales organization draw from for their everyday sales KPI reporting. You’ll notice that some systems have more to report than others. More importantly, the data required to calculate many of these top sales KPIs comes from multiple systems. In other words, to build honest, productive dashboards that paint a complete picture and that provide reliably actionable insights requires data from multiple data sources.

Your CRM (SalesForce, SugarCRM, HubSpot, Infusionsoft, etc.)

  • Conversations Per Rep
  • Number of Demos
  • Customer Facing Time
  • Quotes Delivered
  • Number of Leads Delivered
  • Sales Cycle Life
  • Expansion MRR (or add-on sale)
  • Revenue by Territory
  • Number of Leads Delivered

Your Telephony System (RingCentral, Nextiva, 8×8, etc.)

  • Conversations Per Rep (dials)
  • Unique Contacts Touched
  • Customer Facing Time (talk time)

Your Webchat Solution (Slack, Com100, LiveChat, Zendesk)

  • Unique Contacts Touched
  • Customer Facing Time

Your Sales or POS System (the Transaction System)

  • Transactions Per Rep
  • Revenue Per Product
  • Revenue Per New Customer
  • Average New Deal Size
  • Closing Percentage Per New Sales lead
  • Cost of Acquisition
  • Customer Churn Rate
  • Lifetime Value of Customer
  • Sales Cycle Life
  • New MRR (new business)
  • Expansion MRR (or add-on sale)

Accounting (Xero, QuickBooks, Etc.)

  • Period over Period Sales Growth
  • The average Profit Margin Per Transaction
  • Bookings (sales that were invoiced)
  • Average New Deal Size
  • Lifetime Value of Customer
  • New MRR (new business)
  • Expansion MRR (or add-on sale)
  • Revenue by Territory

Resource or Human Activity Tracking (TSheets, Etc.)

  • Sales Cycle Life
  • Number of Demos or meetings
  • Customer Facing Time
  • Revenue by Territory
  • Cost of Acquisition

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Get a 3-D View of your Sales KPIs

If you only have access to a superficial perspective of your sales KPIs, you’re simply not going to get the full story of your sales performance to give you the insights you need to make clear and productive decisions. You need to access the combined data from several sources to paint a clear picture of the dynamics of each component of your team’s performance.

Take Cost of Acquisition, for example. Cost of Acquisition is a popular KPI for senior-level executives. To accurately and honestly measure this KPI, you’d need to capture the following metrics:

  • The average time spent by the sales rep in nurturing and closing the sale
  • The cost of the lead itself—which can be a KPI unto itself
  • The cost of the rep’s time to the company
  • The cost of the time spent by the Presales staff
  • The cost of the product or service—another KPI unto itself
  • The time spent by sales management, if involved
  • The rep’s “seat cost” —another KPI unto itself

Once you acquire these numbers, you will be able to determine the true cost of acquisition. If you are not looking at your data in this way, it’s a good bet that you’re underestimating your cost of sales. And if you are misinformed or under-informed, you will make a decision that will inevitably negatively impact your business.

You can combine customer data from numerous data sources—even of different types and diverse platforms—to get more telling sales KPIs by using a capable dashboard platform that connects all of your data systems together. When you access data from all over your organization—accounting, resource management, operations, and more—and track the four categories of data sources we discussed above, your sales KPIs will be more reliable, more informed, more dynamic, and more decisive. You’ll get a reliable picture of how your sales are performing and not performing. That in hand, you’ll have powerful tools to manage your business and steer it towards greater success.

With a cloud-based data warehouse and dashboarding platform like ClicData, you will be able to fully automate your KPI delivery, view your in-depth sales KPIs, collaborate more effectively, monitor real-time metrics, and otherwise leverage the power of being a data-driven organization. That’s real business intelligence.

Find out how far the ClicData platform can take your business. Talk with one of our professional business intelligence experts to discuss your needs and help you grow your business.