Top KPI’s to focus on for sales productivity
RevOps Leaders Share How They’re Increasing Sales Productivity
Overwhelmed by your Q4 quota? Seeing your conversion rates drop? You’re not alone.
With the current economic downturn, customers are reducing their budgets or backing out of sales cycles entirely. This can feel incredibly challenging when your team is already working overtime to close deals and earn revenue for your organization. How can you boost your sales productivity and output for immediate results?
In our recent revenue operations leadership roundtable, Conga’s Regional Sales VP Jordan Hizel and Senior VP of Revenue Operations Jeff Ford spoke with Rosalyn Santa Elena, Founder and Chief Revenue Operations Officer at The RevOps Collection to discuss top KPIs to focus on for sales productivity. Their ultimate goal is to help organizations maximize revenue impact with less.
Recession-proofing your organization
Jeff highlights the three key metrics every organization should be laser-focused on to boost sales productivity:
- Pipeline creation
- Conversion rate
- Deal size
Given the current economic downturn, organizations across the globe have turned toward layoffs or overall reductions to reduce overhead. The result? Business leaders are eager to increase productivity and do more with their existing resources. Additionally, increasing deal velocity allows representatives to deliver more signed contracts in a shortened period. The challenge is that this final mile to closing a deal tends to be the least optimized or results in pricing inefficiencies.
Signs your team is dealing with pricing inefficiencies:
- Sales send quotes with incorrect prices to customers
- Deals are over-discounted, and you're left without a margin
- Customers contest the billing and invoicing costs/renewal pricing
- Lack of visibility during price negotiation
Focusing on pipeline conversion rates is key when trying to increase productivity. In an economic recession, you often see many metrics drop. Finding areas to automate within the sales process can give time back to your sales team to focus on their goals. Implementing robust tools to help automate quoting can be a productivity hack.
But how do you know if you’re generating enough pipeline? Pipeline creation and conversion rates equate to sales or bookings, so your strategy needs to be focused on close-rate improvement. However, in this economy your conversion rates or closing rates may be dropping. To offset this rate drop, you need to find ways to generate more pipeline. The quickest way to accomplish this in the short term is to give more time back to your sellers.
Giving more time back to your sellers
To generate more pipeline while managing conversion rate drops, your sellers need time to close more deals. As Jeff joked, no seller is saying, “Well, I’m not super busy and I wish there would be more inbound leads”.
To do so, a business must go back to the basics and focus on three things:
- Securing a robust toolset
- Creating a process focusing from top of funnel to bottom of funnel
- Generating good data to reduce bad leads and magnify true opportunities
Often the biggest waste of time is when sales have several accounts but no clear direction on where to point the arrow. Not only do they need the right tools, but they also need the right process, such as automated quoting or reduced manual work in the sales cycle.
In the roundtable, Jeff and Jordan share some of their organizational tools and processes that help their teams be more spearheaded and efficient. They also share how Conga Composer helps their customers create unlimited document formats for unlimited use cases, merge data from multiple input systems, automate documentation to simplify workflows, and improve system security. A tool like Conga Composer can help businesses counter pricing inefficiency issues and ultimately drive conversion rates.
Keys to driving sales cycle momentum
As companies forge ahead, it’s important to take frequent inventory of your team and to be adaptable. Whether your organization has implemented cuts or layoffs, or you’re trying to support your sellers in hitting goals while conversion numbers take a hit, leadership has a unique opportunity to set the tone for the next phase of the company.
Despite having a leaner team, businesses still need to generate the same level of output, if not better. To ensure everyone is aligned, setting strategic sales goals for individuals is instrumental. These goals should focus on what the team member can reasonably do and not numbers required by the department. As one of the highest performing sales leaders at Conga, Jordan shared key tactics that help her team continue to exceed sales goals despite economic tailwinds. She suggests making it about the rep rather than making it about a number.
Key sales momentum focus areas:
- Maximize existing base and deploy sprint methodology
- Build a strong closing plan
- Create a deal execution plan
In the short term, consider looking at open opportunities to see where executive sponsorship or additional support may tilt the scale. Specifically, ask yourself how your team can improve win rates on deals that are at the finish line, while remaining strategic about prioritizing executive resources. Additionally, focus on deals with shorter sales cycles and your existing customer base for the most favorable cross-sell and upsell opportunities. But remember, it’s important not to cannibalize—do not sacrifice the relationship and customer experience.
As a professional seller, remember that the person on the other side is typically not a professional buyer. Build a strategy with your team that qualifies true leads and say no early if it’s not a good fit.
When building a closing plan, consider working backwards to ensure your deal is real. Encourage sellers to ask the tough questions early on, such as who would actually sign the purchase order? Or who else needs to be involved in the decision process? Additionally, be sure to include your prospect’s implementation and timeline as early as possible to eliminate bottlenecks down the road. Software is only helpful when implemented correctly to deploy adoption.
Lastly, Jordan and Jeff discussed the key elements of a strong deal execution plan. Such as building rapport, being multi-threaded, and championing your business sponsor. Ask the big picture questions like do you know what your billing process is like or do you know your security requirements, rather than selling transactionally.
Being multi-threaded is incredibly important. This means enabling your seller to connect with multiple decision-makers at one time. Build relationships beyond the champion with contacts in departments like IT, implementation, security, and legal. Be sure to consistently check in with and champion your business sponsor and make them shine. Know their KPIs and understand their pain points to help elevate them in making their business case.
During the roundtable, we discussed how to create a dynamic price book, to design discount guardrails to eliminate rogue discounting, to manage promotions, and much more. We also highlighted key features of Conga Composer, the single most popular document generation solution available on the Salesforce AppExchange. Customers who use Conga Composer have seen increased organizational productivity and immediate revenue impact. To see how Conga Composer can help you, start your free trial today.
Not ready for a free trial? No problem. Download our Ultimate Guide to Revenue Operations to see how Conga Composer can help you build out your revenue operations plan.