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Sales KPIs: What Hours Per Prospect Can Tell Sales Management

Time is valuable, especially for sales teams. Every hour not spent chasing a prospect means lost revenue.

By getting a handle on your sales KPIs, you can better assess whether your sales associates are getting the proper return on investment (ROI) for each prospect. If they aren’t, then it’s time to look at streamlining your sales processes.

Sales KPIs: Is Prospecting Taking Up Too Much Sales Time?

KPIs, or Key Performance Indicators, are data-driven business measurements that can tell managers whether a company is staying on track or missing goals that could lead to missing revenue and profit goals.

Sales KPIs look at the success of your sales initiatives. These numbers should give you an idea of how much it costs to convert a lead. You can also track how many leads are being generated per salesperson. Other potential sales KPIs to track might include:

  • monthly sales growth
  • average profit margin
  • sales volume by location
  • new leads and opportunities
  • average sale per customer
  • sales per representative
  • and more

While hard numbers for KPIs are easy to track when it comes to automated sales like online e-commerce transactions, metrics should also be tracked for person-to-person sales.

If the profit margin on the product is $1,000, but the sales representative is spending $1,500 to close the sale, then the company can not grow. Identifying the types of prospects that are profitable and those that are not can help your business find ways to scale.

For this reason, it is critical to determine whether sales prospecting time is time well spent.

Tracking Prospecting Time That Is Difficult to Track

Sometimes, it is hard to quantify exactly how much time it takes to turn a prospect into a paying client. In an ideal world, we would have hard numbers about every aspect of the sales process. In some cases, however, a “guesstimate” may be the best a team can do.

The challenge is in effectively tracking what can be lost or ephemeral time, time spent that can easily slip through the cracks. Fortunately, there are a number of tools offering time tracking tools, especially around time spent in meetings. The Meeting Insights tool can measure internal and external tool to identify time spent in internal efforts and those spent with actual clients.  By measuring this time managers can calculate the time it takes to win work.

For example, if you spend three hours on emails each day, and during those three hours, only make contact with three people, that is one hour per day per lead.

By getting a better handle on these metrics, you will better understand:

  • Who is performing well in the sales department.
  • Which processes may be slowing down the sales process.
  • What gaps you might have in your sales pipeline.
  • Where communication breakdowns may be occurring.
  • Which customers end up eating up the most time.
  • What technologies might need to be implemented to help improve things.

In short, tracking the time spent on cultivating sales prospects is well worth the effort.

Ways to Improve the Time Spent on Prospects Per Hour

Once you have a better idea of how much time is being spent on prospecting and lead generation, you can improve processes to reduce this time.

When People Are the Problem

You may have two big, human-sized bottlenecks for your prospecting pipeline: one may be your sales representative, and the other may be a customer.

It is a well-known business truism that a small percentage of customers will want to take up way too much time – and these are the ones who tend to want to spend less while expecting more.

Every once in a while, a business needs to “fire” a client or customer to remain profitable. However, especially when offering services such as consulting, if a customer (or possibly a prospective customer) is monopolizing the time of your staff, it might be time to cut them loose.

Additionally, if a prospect seems to never be ready to sign, even after multiple meetings, it might be time to move on.

For sales representatives who seem to be taking too much time per lead – this could be a time management issue, a difficult customer issue a problem with poor sales skills, or a process problem. Set aside some time to check in with the underperforming sales rep and find out what is really going on.

You might find that improving processes could make a big difference. Organizations look to Sales and Operations Planning (S&OP) to balance organizational goals with current infrastructure and sales resources. Additional training and mentoring might also help.

Using Automation to Reduce Costs And Save Time

Every sale is unique however some tools can help sales team scale their job and allow then to focus on what they do best- building relationships and closing deals.  It is estimated that sales representative spend less than 36% of their time in sales. Finding the right tools can help the team execute more.

The right CRM can keep all sales prospects in one place. Using tags or ids, you can label individuals by industry or by how interested they are in the product.  The sales team can build funnels or levels of interested customers. They can then focus on getting prospected clients from higher levels of the funnel into the lower levels where they are more likely to close.

Email Automation to Streamline Communications

Most likely, one of the biggest “time sucks” for your sales reps is email. Email can become a huge black hole if not properly managed.

Fortunately, email automation tools are available which are specifically designed to help salespeople. The easiest and number one thing to implement for sales reps is a system of email templates. These templates should have pre-written email content that speaks to the most common questions asked by sales prospects.

Email systems can also be integrated with a CRM like Salesforce to make it much easier to track and respond to leads and clients. Companies can also automate their scheduling needs for meetings via tools like MixMax, which removes a lot of the annoying back and forth that can come up sometimes.

Improve Sales KPIs Through Delegation and Automation

Your sales KPIs are important metrics which tell you whether your sales initiatives are working. By making sure that people aren’t the problem, and using delegation, you can make better use of your salespeople’s time. And, with the use of email automation, sales KPIs can be dramatically improved.

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