Data is the most valuable sales resource.
To achieve their goals, sales managers understand that they have to track and assess what activities their sales representatives spend time on and how deals are being worked on to provide guidance and identify improvement opportunities in real-time.
But considering all the different things a sales rep works on (from administrative tasks and prospecting to booking and holding meetings and actually selling), tracking sales activity is far from a simple task for a sales manager.
So, how can we effectively track sales team activity, measure it and take action towards improving sales reps' productivity?
This article will cover everything you need to know.
Why Is It Important to Track Your Sales Team Activity?
It is useful to track your sales team's productivity and performance to learn what activities they spend time on each day and how these activities are contributing to your company-wide goals.
Additionally, by staying on top of your sales team activity data, you will be able to:
- Identify what activities generate the most results
- Make more accurate sales forecasts
- Identify your best-performing sales representatives, learn what they excel at, and how their actions and behavior can be replicated across the team.
- Figure out what your sales team needs to do to close more deals and what level of support is required to achieve that.
- Measure productivity and performance against set goals
How to Measure Sales Team Activity? Start with These 8 Sales Metrics
Did you know the average sales rep spends 34% of their day selling?
In truth, it’s so easy for sales reps to get caught up in activities or on prospects that do not amount to much. As a sales manager, the only way to curb this is by tracking the right sales team activity metrics.
So what metrics should you pay attention to? We’ve compiled a list below for you:
1. Number of Emails Sent
This metric measures the total number of emails your sales reps send to prospective clients daily. Considering that most prospects prefer email as their primary communication channel, it is useful to track this metric if you’re looking to close deals faster.
2. Number of Proposals Sent
Writing and sending a sales proposal is a vital step in securing a new client. Typically, a proposal request by a prospect is a good indication of commitment.
Digging deep into this metric and comparing it with the close rate will let you know if your proposal and pitching strategy is working or needs to be reviewed.
3. Number of Follow-Ups Done
How well do your sales reps encourage prospects to take action?
It’s rare to have prospects close after just one meeting. But yet still, 40% of salespeople do not follow up with a prospect.
Seeing how valuable it is to follow up with prospects your sales reps engage with, tracking this metric is non-negotiable. Whether follow-up is done via email, direct mail, social media, or phone, it is your responsibility to ensure this is done and tracked consistently and correctly.
4. Number of Calls Logged
This metric tells you how many calls have been made, received, missed, or answered by your sales representatives. With this data, you’ll be able to maximize the efficiency level of your sales reps, assess the quality of your pipeline, and pin-point what is required in terms of calls on average to qualify a lead.
5. Number of Meetings Booked
Find out what your sales reps' day looks like based on the number of pending meetings they have booked on their calendar. Too few meetings is often an indicator that something is wrong with either your targeting, pitched value proposition, or prospecting process.
6. Deals by Stage
It is useful to track your deals as they progress from one stage of your pipeline to the next for a variety of reasons, including being able to accurately forecast/predict sales, identify bottlenecks and resolve issues for stalling deals/lost deals in real-time, etc.
When deals do not move through the sales pipeline as they ought to, this impacts your closing rate and harms your ability to meet your sales targets for the quarter. To avoid that, managers must keep an eye on this metric.
Also known as close rate, this sales team activity metric measures the efficiency and performance of a sales representative. It tells you the number of actual sales made by a sales rep in comparison to the number of quotes/proposals sent to qualified prospects.
8. Lead Response Time
This measures the length of time it takes for your sales representatives to follow up with leads after they’ve been contacted via inbound and/or outbound channels. If your sales representatives do not follow up with leads as quickly as possible, your business is likely to lose as much as 50% of its inbound leads.
8 Effective Ways to Increase Your Sales Team Activity
Now that you know what sales team activity is, and how to track and assess the activities of your sales reps, how can you increase your sales team productivity and performance? What tools and tactics can you employ to increase sales activity for your business, and ultimately close deals?
Here is what we recommend:
1. Set Sales Activity Goals and Targets
One way to motivate your sales representatives to increase their sales activity is by setting a general team goal. You can create multiple key performance indicators for your sales team, which will align with this shared team goal.
When your sales team understands how their efforts will help achieve this goal, they will be motivated to do more.
Additionally, sales representatives will feel more empowered to up their productivity and performance, when they are clear on what activity volume they need to attain to achieve their income targets.
You can determine how many calls, emails, meetings, and deals each representative needs to do based on their funnel conversion rates, commission rate, and average deal sizes.
2. Measure Sales Activities Against Set Goals
According to this report by Databox, most sales teams measure their sales team activity data using CRM, with Hubspot and Salesforce leading the pack.
The benefits of measuring your sales activity data using a CRM are endless, including being able to manage the accuracy of your sales data, track the performance and productivity of individual sales reps, measure progress against activity targets set, manage your sales pipeline, course-correct issues as they happen, and so much more.
That said, sales reps must be encouraged to log in their activity data correctly and consistently, to help their managers leverage the insights that a CRM provides.
3. Leverage Data to Identify Sales Activity Optimization Opportunities
It is highly recommended to use data to determine what sales activities to measure, prioritize and optimize for.
The leading cause of sales or the activity that converts the most varies from company to company, as such, you’ll be shooting yourself in the foot if you go by what other companies do, and you tell your sales reps to focus on booking more calls, for example, when that isn’t what moves the needle for your company or contributes to a healthy sales pipeline.
4. Share Best Practices
One key way to boost sales activity volume is by investing time in educating your sales representatives. Share what’s working and what isn’t across the board and inspire them to emulate these actions and behaviors. Create process documentation or standard operating procedures to ensure your team executes the most efficient way, every time.
5. Create an Accountability Partner System
This is a must-try if you are looking for a creative way to increase sales activities.
It entails pairing up your sales representatives with each other to help them stay motivated and committed to their targets. If some of your sales reps are always behind in hitting their activity targets, try pairing them with the top performers in your team.
7. Create Appointments for Your Sales Reps
One way to keep your sales reps booked and busy is by having your prospective clients book a slot on their calendar to speak with them.
If you have a steady and huge volume of inbound traffic, encourage your website visitors to schedule a meeting with your reps using tools like Drift or Hubspot.
8. Educate Your Sales Reps About Their Leads
Imagine how much more your sales reps will be able to connect and close if they had information such as specific actions leads have taken already with your company and on your website (pages viewed, blogs they read).
Using this information, sales reps can decipher the pain points and needs of your prospective clients, which leads to prioritize first, including how to position questions and follow-ups.
8. Help Reps Overcome Objections
Rather than primarily being focused on how to get sales representatives to close more deals, it is helpful to dig into their individual strengths and weaknesses and provide them with guidance and coaching on how to develop their strengths further and improve weak spots.
Given that sales activities of your reps have a direct impact on your sales bottom line, as a manager, it’s imperative to always stay on top of your sales activity metrics, and leverage that data to identify potential areas for improvement.