Sales Checkup: Out with the old, in with the new!


Are you behind your sales goals or do you think you will finish the year sharing bottles of champagne with your CEO?

The first six months of 2016 have flown by so fast and it seems it was just yesterday we were building our 2016 KPIs, objectives and strategizing our action plan to achieve them.

Sales leaders are not paid for setting the goals! Achievement is the key, that’s why your company is paying you for and it will determine your level of commission.


Sales top performers use extensively mid-year check-ups regarding their accomplishments, objectives and unforecasted challenges they had to face during the last six months in order to perform better for the next half year. The check-up is not and should never be a punishment, blame, or excuse; but has to be seen as a renewal, correction, or replacement.


A methodology, so call 4-R Goal Review, has recently emerged in order to transform your mid-year check-up into a very productive and efficient strategy sales road map.


  1. Review

Take a deep look into the executed actions, the used metrics, and behaviors. Review and identify strictly and impartially if they are on track, or not! For each goal: Renew, Revise, and/or Replace.


  1. Renew

If your objective is still relevant and your action plan is still applicable then ask for renewed commitment, time-frame, and activities toward the objective. Renew the compensation that will be received when the goal will be achieved.


  1. Revise

If the objective is no longer achievable or the plan needs adjustments, revise. Ensure the target objective set up today is realistic according to the actual environment and by taking into consideration the issues faced during the first half year.


  1. Replace

If the objective does not make sense anymore for the company, remove and replace it by a new one. The new objective has to be meaningful, timely, and specific for the targeted business.

What’s next?

  • Schedule immediately a joint monthly 4-R Goal Review for the remainder of the year.
  • Celebrate objectives achieved and progress toward the rest.
  • Commit to the support or resources needed to achieve new objectives such as training, tools, marketing support, and so on.
  • Make your objectives as transparent as possible and determine how to keep them visible.

Schedule now the time for this sales mid-year checkup with your team and you’ll be celebrating December 31st with the highest bonus.


5 Sales Bloggers Every Sales Reps Should Follow – Part 2


After Episode 1

Who is Disrupting the Sales Industry?

In this second episode we will focus again on sales bloggers who are revolutionizing the sales process and methodology and pushing the research in this specific field. – Outbound Sales Acceleration is always looking for new processes and features, develop by sales researchers, to help its valuable customers to hit their quota!


Episode 2: 5 Sales Bloggers Every Sales Reps Should Follow

Matt Heinz


Very prolific author and sales blogger Matt Heinz has more than 15 years of marketing, business development and sales experience from various organizations in different industries with diverse sizes.

He always delivered remarkable results in terms of greater sales, revenue growth and customer loyalty.

The sales process Matt Heinz defend and promote is very simple and efficient. First you have to determine what is your objectives & what is your success. Second build a crystal clear customer profile. Third map your sales and buying process using the following scheme Pain – Solution – Objective. Fourth score your leads, execute and build relationship.

Matt’s company, Heinz Marketing, is specialized in strategic customer acquisition and retention strategy and execution.

Visit www.heinzmarketing.comTwitter: @HeinzMarketing LinkedIn: mattheinz


Geoffrey James


Famous sales contributor at, Geoffrey always offer a very sharp and original point of view on business in his articles. Quite provocative, his vision of sales best practices has emphasized the decreasing importance of cold calling in today’s society in his famous “Cold Calling is a Waste of Time” article in Indeed he highlights that prospects and decision makers have changed their behaviour while receiving a call from someone they don’t know which has turned cold calling into an inefficient sales process in comparison of emails. If you’re looking for a sales management blog that propose original content and gets straight to the point, Sales Source is for you!  

Visit Sales Source Twitter: @Sales_Source  LinkedIn: Geoffrey James


Jill Konrath


Jill Konrath is a multi awarded sales speakers and bloggers by top rewards websites such as TopSalesWorld, OpenView Labs,  InsideView, etc. Sales management is her field, “sales effectiveness” and “agile selling” are her keywords. In Jill’s blog, she highlights the “How-to” process of selling. If you need advice about how to prospect, start sales relationship, handle objections, or lead a demo, her blog is the place to be. Moreover she emphasize the “smart” way of selling using different methodologies and tricks (monotasking, prioritizing, connecting,etc.).

Visit Jill Konrath Twitter: @jillkonrath  LinkedIn: Jill Konrath

Lori Richardson


Lori is the CEO of Score More Sales and is recognized on forbes as one of the “Top 30 Social Sales Influencers” worldwide. Lori Richardson  has always emphasized the multifaceted (email, phone call, referrals, social media,etc.) approach of B2B sales prospecting. Moreover sales prospecting planification is the key to perform in your sales job! So when you arrive the morning you should know exactly by what you start, what’s next and what you do later on. No improvisation, only planification. Lori has accumulated a large knowledge about sales and provide very high quality tips on her blog. Very recommended blog.  Visit: Twitter: @scoremoresales LinkedIn: scoremoresales


Dave Stein


Dave stein has a really untypical profile. First he got graduated in music and then switch to computer science. He founded & run the ES Research Group, the Gartner of sales training, for 8 years. Dave is now leading sales acceleration-related projects with IT companies he has invested in. His major book is certainly Beyond the Sales Process (2016) in which he highlights the best practices of 3 steps sales process (before, during and after sales). His main idea is a successful sales campaign has to start by a good understanding of the prospects and very good pre-qualification of leads. During the sales stage, sales reps has to build a trusted relationship with their prospect. The after sales stage is dedicated to nurture relationship, get feedback and find new potential needs, in current customers, that could be solved by the actual product linkedin for sales prospecting.

Visit: Twitter: @davestei LinkedIn: davestei

Episode 3 is on track, but you will have to wait to see who will be highlighted!


Ultimate Guide To Set the Right KPIs for your Sales Team


Identifying & creating sales Key Performance Indicators (KPI) for your team is like looking for the right diet: Everyone claims to have the greatest one! Setting up KPIs for your sales team is highly subjective, same than following the right diet, and has to rely on various metrics.

Instead of  highlighting the “Top 5 best KPIs”, I will emphasize the different metrics your sales team can play with. Then you are free to determine the right KPI according to your strategic goals. In order to help you with some examples, common sales KPIs will be listed in Part 5.

The real question is what’s right for you? What sales metrics will help you achieve your company goals?


Start with the big picture

What are your company-strategic goals? Revenue? Growth? Customer acquisition? Customer Retention? On average, businesses have a main objective with one or two second goals that provide context and support to the first one. In skyrocket growth startups, everyone in the company know by heart those goals which help them to work altogether in the same direction. Here an example of 1st and 2nd goals for a SaaS company:

  • Main goal: Increase growth by X%
  • Supporting goal: Increase Customer Acquisition 10% month over month


Go Deeper

To reach your objectives you have to break down them into more sales specific goals according to specific metrics. You need to find out which sales metrics will help you to measure & track step by step your main and second goals. What sales objectives will help your company reach their overall goals?

Sales Specific Goals

  • Main sales goal: $ Monthly Sales
  • Supporting sales goal(s): % growth month over month

Common Contextual Metrics to Determine Sales Goals

a. Average Sales Cycle Length

Represent the amount of time from your first contact with a prospect to closing the deal, averaged across all won deals.


Sum (#) of days from 1st contact to customer conversion for all deals = Total (#) of days for all sales

STEP 2  

Total (#) of days for all sales combined / (#) of deals = (#) of days for Average Sales Cycle

b. Activity Per Rep

Activity Per Rep is the total number of tasks a sales rep completes in a certain time period.

Add (#) of activities completed for each rep for certain time period (daily) = Total (#) of Activities Per Rep (daily)

c. Average Follow up Attempts

Average Follow-up Attempts is a metric that refers to the average number of tasks your sales reps do to close a lead (Win or not).

Total (#) of Follow-up Attempts / Total (#) of Leads = Average (#) Follow-up Attempts Per Lead

d. Average Purchase Value

Average Purchase Value is the average amount spent (in a single transaction) for your product or service. APV can be calculated based on the value of the contract, annually, monthly, weekly or daily value depending on your business model and the length of contracts in average.

Total ($) Value of Orders / (#) Orders over a Defined Period = ($) Average Purchase Value

e. Lead Response Time

Lead Response Time is the average time a sales rep need to follow-up with a lead after it got identified as a lead (submitting a form, downloading an ebook, etc.). This metric get more meaningful if it is calculated by lead source since the warmer a lead is the more important it is to follow-up quickly.


Time/date of new contact – time/date of follow up = (#) of min/hrs/days to respond

STEP 2  

Sum of (#) min/hrs/day to respond for all contacts / (#) contacts = Avg (#) of min/hrs/days to respond

More Contextual metrics

  • Average deal size ($)
  • Average sales cycle X days/weeks/months
  • Cost of sales ($)
  • Opportunity win rate (%)

KPI focus on Action

Use the goals and contextual metrics you have outlined in step 3 and spread targeted one to your team according to what they need to reach their goals. The best practice to determine which goals and metrics can be leveraged is to go backward.

First determine how many leads you need to reach your target. Based on that, how many opportunities should be in your funnel? How many calls/emails/meetings are required? How many leads the marketing department needs to generate according to that number? Keep drilling down until you have a deep understanding of the key tasks driving your revenue.

Funnel flow:

  • (#) of wins
  • (#) of deals/opportunities
  • (#) of sales qualified leads
  • (#) of marketing qualified leads
  • Funnel Volume vs Goals

Funnel Volume vs Goal compares the number of leads in your sales pipeline to targeted goal (number of leads required to realize the quota). It’s a complex KPI consist of a mix of sales metrics – one for each stage of your sales funnel.

STEP 1  

Determine each level in your sales funnel.
Here the 3 most common stages:

Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL)

Marketing Qualified Leads (MQL), are individuals who have shown a higher interest than other leads, but are not enough ready to fully commit.

Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)

Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs), are individuals that your sales team has recognized as ready for a direct sales follow up.

Closed Deals

Closed deal represent the final stage in the sale funnel and is hitted when the sales rep close the deal with a customer.


Calculate the conversion rate between each level.

    • MQL-SQL Conversion Rate:

(#) of SQLs / (#) of MQLs = (#) MQL-SQL Conversion Rate

    • SQL-Close Conversion Rate:

(#) of Deals Closed / (#) of SQL = (#) Close Conversion Rate

STEP 3   

Measure your goal for (#) closed deals.

($) Monthly Revenue Goal (MRG) / ($) Average Purchase Value = (#) Closed Deals Goal

STEP 4  

Go backwards to measure the Pipeline Volume Goal for each stage.

(#) Closed Deal Goal / (#) Close Conv Rate =(#) Sales Qualified (SQL) Lead Vol Goal

(#) SQL Vol Goal / (#) MQL-SQL Conv Rate =(#) Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) Vol Goal

Actions required:

  • Send X cold emails
  • Send X follow-up
  • Make X calls
  • Conduct X Demo
  • Send X proposals

Prioritize your metrics 

Not all metrics are necessary, so do a first test using most of KPIs highlighted in step 3 & 4 and then start focusing on 5-8 sales KPIs (both contextual metrics and action metrics).

  • Contextual example: Weekly Sales $ to date vs target weekly sales $
  • Activity example: X cold emails vs (#) sales qualified leads

Here an example of dashboard used to analyze and inform in real time your sales team about their sales performance. 



Usual Sales KPIs For Sales Executives:

  • Monthly Sales Target ($)
  • Marketing Qualified Lead (MQL) to Sales Qualified Lead(SQL) Conversion Rate
  • Sales Qualified Lead (SQL) to Close Conversion Rate
  • Sales growth vs goal
  • (#) Deals closed vs goal
  • Activity per rep vs Close per rep
  • Average sales cycle
  • Average follow-up attempts

Usual Sales KPIs For AE, BDR & SDR:

  • Opportunity funnel
  • Individual Monthly Sales Target ($)
  • Lead response time
  • (#) Qualified opportunities
  • Individual Sales activity (# calls/emails/meetings) vs efficiency
  • Value of closed deals this month ($) vs targetmadewithlove-01