Forecasting sales can be tricky. However, it is essential to have an idea so that you can align the other activities accordingly. Because an effective sales pipeline only works across departments. You will have to pay attention to whether your marketing efforts are generating enough leads. Or if your sales efforts are converting into enough calls or not. Although you can rely on staffing agency to provide you with the best sales personnel, you should know what to track.
Here are the most prominent KPIs that need tracking for the sales pipeline. But before that, you need to know what it is.
What is a Sales Pipeline?
The stages that a customer will have to pass through before he becomes your customer is what sales pipeline refers to. However, the sages might be different for different companies. But the four major stages remain the same for all regardless of the product or service that you are selling. These include:
Lead generation is the process of directing people towards your website. And taking this opportunity to build the visitors’ interest in your products or services.
After generating leads, you need to analyze whether they have any intention of purchasing your service or product. Thus, telling you if the leads are similar to your buyer persona or not.
Once you are sure that a lead qualifies, you can put forward a quote or show them your products’ prices.
Your qualified leads invest in your service or product and purchase it.
Having said this, you should also know the KPIs that are worth tracking for forecasting your sales accurately.
KPIs for Forecasting and Tracking Sales
The probability that your leads get stuck at one point in a pipeline is high. Therefore, you should be aware of whether it is happening and where exactly does trouble lie. And this will only happen when you monitor your sales pipeline. Some of the most crucial metrics for you to monitor include:
Visiting your website is one of the very first ways in which a lead conveys his interest to you. However, companies only have a look at two or three metrics to track page engagement. These include sessions and page views. But the experts suggest looking into some other more important metrics. These include:
- Form submissions
- Online Bookings
Email Response Rate
Email marketing continues to grow and analyzing the response rate on them is essential as well. According to stats, an average person will delete almost 48% of the emails that he receives. Note a very important point here. You have to look for the email response rate. Don’t just go for how many people opened it. As that will not tell you how much a person is interested in your product or service.
Having a look at the response rate also enables you to see how engaging your emails are. Apart from that, the level of interest that people take in your emails also gets revealed.
Number of Sales Opportunities
SQL translates into a sales opportunity as it signifies that the lead has an intent to make a purchase. However, the real work for you starts after this as you will have to see whether the lead converts or not. And if he does, under what conditions or circumstances. Doing so will make it clear to you how many of your sales opportunities were successful.
Length of Sales Cycle
You would need to analyze the length of your sales cycle as well. If you are wondering why this metric is important, then it will make it easy for you to manage your team as well as time. Once you start getting an idea of how long a sales cycle lasts, you will get a fair idea when you should expect each of the sale to close.
As important is the length of a sales cycle, equally essential is the number of touchpoints that you have. If you do not know what touchpoint refers to, then it is the sum of emails and phone calls that you send to a lead. According to the thumb rule, on average, it will take about seven touches for a company to connect with someone. And then convert that interaction into a sale.
Projected Sales Value
NEVER ignore the sum of all the forecast deals that are there in your pipeline. As it allows you to check the health of your pipeline.
Apart from this, you can track several other metrics including average revenue per account and quote to close ratio. After applying some talent acquisition strategies to my business, I observed that some of the values changed by a great deal. Therefore, it is essential to keep having a look at the metrics after you make changes. So, you can study the effect of the change.