Business planning

Krishen Iyer on Why Sales Metrics Can Make-or-Break Your Strategizing

The nature of sales organization metrics can complicate how an organization forecasts its goals. Because sales metrics usually restrict a company’s reporting to a current quarter’s revenue, not all CEOs understand the big picture of the data they wish to analyze. As a result, a significant number of executive-level leaders might find themselves out of touch with the reality of their organization’s revenue pipeline.

A successful strategy must trickle down so that the organization understands the purpose of its efforts. However, revenue forecasts are typically only predicted up to the year ahead. Forecasts also usually only have a series of modified guesses that analysts adjust at each ascending step, questioning whether that data has any true significance once it reaches the executive level.

How can we improve our sales metrics processes to accurately report organizational progress over perfection? For starters, organizations need to consider metrics other than revenue when evaluating aggregate strengths and weaknesses. As the founder of a new consulting firm in southern California, my team and I look at the organization’s knowledge gaps. When we see what an organization is missing from its contracting and marketing policies, we brainstorm how to fill those gaps and achieve measurable business goals. Of course, refining processes like this does not happen overnight. But if you understand the value of accurate sales metric reporting, and you should, here are some tips to begin your quality control.

Identify the metrics that matter most to your organization’s measurable business goals.

Even if most of your organization’s revenue comes from the sale of goods and services, your organization’s success cannot be measured in the same way as your competitor. One investment firm might have a different close rate depending on when clients visit sites, which might set them apart competitively. Noticing trends in metrics can also help your organization focus on its strengths. Alternatively, such monitoring can also help to identify some causes of its weaknesses.

If there is something that your organization does significantly better than its counterparts, be sure not to lose track of that metric. The more your organization accurately reports its metrics, the more likely they are to find out the legitimate source behind its success. As a result, identifying the metrics that matter most to your organization’s measurable business goals is an excellent way for CEOs to demonstrate their company’s value in the long term.

Not all advances and values are created equally.

Does your organization use client-relationship management (CRM) software as a way to track interactions with customers? If so, your CRM software can likely designate specific action items across teams. It is worth investing in well-designed CRM software if your organization has yet to add as much detail and information regarding the different steps of the sales process as possible. That way, you and your team have more context to strategize consumer engagement while also drawing on previous client interactions as a blueprint at a crossroads.

A significant majority of sales processes entail a total of five to seven stages. Be sure to include in your metrics the velocity of movement from each stage. Taking note of what is accomplished from stage to stage can help indicate overall revenue stream health in subsequent stages. To that end, tracking values between stages through CRM software matters, too. For example, an opportunity worth $5 million in its initial stages does not have as much worth as an opportunity worth $3 million. The difference in values across stages happens because the closer a client is to closing, the more likely an opportunity will succeed.

I often find in my consultancies that C-suite executives pay an unequal amount of attention to the later and earlier stages of the client pipeline. The less present CEOs make themselves in the early stages of client interaction, the less influence they will have on the entire interaction. But in reminding executive-level employees how and why all stages of the client process matter, a trickle-down approach towards reminding the client of what your organization can do for them can flourish.

About Krishen Iyer

Krishen Iyer is a California-based entrepreneur with expertise in insurance sales, contracting, marketing, and consulting. After graduating from the San Diego State University with a bachelor’s degree in public administration and urban development, Iyer began working with insurance distribution centers to advise them on their digital marketing strategies. Today, Krishen is the founder and leader of MAIS Consulting Services, an Encinitas-based consulting firm with health and dental insurance clients in California and beyond.

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