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Any effective sales contest requires strategic planning, real and perceived transparency, and clear metrics for the competing sales reps. Sales contest metrics must be achievable, tangible, and felt. Any performance management system, employee incentive program, or change management process requires a Key Performance Indicators (Sales KPI), such as those described in this article

7 effective key performance indicators for your sales competitions:Key performance indicators

  1. Sales Growth is one of KPI that measures the pace of sales revenue growth. For any business organization, sales growth is essential and strategic. It needs monitoring over several periods to clarify the pace of growth (or decline) if the sales contest for sales reps is to contribute to decision making. In addition to the data it provides the executive suite, sales growth data measures performance in individual sales teams and for respective sales reps. The proper approach to measuring sales growth is to set team and individual goals over set periods rather than broad percentage goals for the whole.
  2. Sales Target measures compare a current sale dollar or count to either a forecast target or experience. Well designed, sales performance indicators will appear achievable because it appears appropriate in context. A measure of the past can make a future goal tangible for the competing sales reps. There is a perceived negotiation in setting a goal between past and future.
  3. New Opportunities fill the sales pipeline. This sales KPI may count calls made, face-to-face meetings, cold calls, and/or new sales leads. It ultimately measures – over relatively short periods – wins like the number of new customers, the income booked through these activities, or counts that exceed the previous period.
  4. To-date Revenue measures total gross sales revenue by sales reps and by sales team over an assigned sales contest month, quarter, or year. Short measures indicate performance in up and down months, and annual measures provide a context for the following year.
  5. Product Performance analyzes sales based on performance per product. Revenue performance per product indicates product promise and customer demand and/or satisfaction. Perceived fairness requires consideration of the competition context. For example, spikes or dips in product performance may reflect pricing, advertising, and market conditions.
  6. Conversion to Close is a metric that divides the total of leads, appointments, and calls by the number of new customers. The contest might also record the average number of days for the sales rep to close a deal. And, it may divide the number of new appointments by the number of sales closed. Such sales contest metrics set benchmarks for future sales cycles. However, sales contest cannot confuse metrics if metrics multiply.
  7. Sales by Contact studies the ways successful sales are generated: email, social media, phone, and others. It links well with the sales rep performance metric and product performance KPI. It may reveal which sales reps are more comfortable with what lead channel and/or which sales channels serve which products best. Outcomes also interest corporate leadership with data on costs associate with sales logistics and tactics.

Performance is and always will be a measured pattern. It is a behavior with discipline and motivation. Wins and losses shape it, and awards and incentives recognize its success. There are more than the 7 key performance indicators listed here. Every product line and industry segment takes different approaches. But, a sales contest lacking clear and effective sales metrics throws good money and morale away.


Key performance indicators resources:

Image courtesy of dan & bplanet/ FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Tomek Jordan

advisory board member at Repignite
Interested in Sales Performance Management, Sales Incentive Management.