With the right tools and approaches, sales teams can thrive in any economic environment.As the economic climate evolves, sales leaders must reevaluate their management strategies and prioritize metrics that establish reliable and consistent sales pipelines. A reporting structure that fuels enthusiasm and drive among your team is crucial now more than ever.
Teamwork, a project management software company, is at the forefront of this adaptation. Teamwork tackled deal bottlenecks head-on after experiencing a 20% increase in deal cycle lengths in Q3. Their revamped reporting approach now prioritizes crucial metrics like deal cycle length, push rate, and pipeline hygiene, as discussed in our recent webinar with top executives. Here are a few areas sales leaders can focus on to adapt to build a more sustainable and predictable sales pipeline.
1. Deal Cycle Length
Tracking the time spent in each deal stage can provide valuable insights into your sales pipeline. By setting a baseline for your workflow and event triggers using this information, you can optimize your sales process and shorten deal length.
In HubSpot Sales Hub: Menu > Reports > Analytics tools > Sales Analytics > Sales & Outcomes > Deal velocity
With sales cycles growing longer, prioritize monitoring the deal cycle length from initial outreach to close. By monitoring how much and where the deal cycle has lengthened, you and your managers can coach reps with more focus and intention.
To improve deal cycle length, team leaders can:
Discuss next steps at the end of every touchpoint to move the deals forward.
Implement automation to speed up the information-gathering phase of the sales process.
Ensure that your leads are properly qualified, scored, and distributed to the right contact owner to accelerate the early stages of the customer journey.
Compare the average deal cycle length for each sales rep, identify high-performers who are keeping the length tight, and learn from their strategies.
2. Push Rate
The deal push rate report shows how many deals each of your reps have pushed from one period to the next.
Push rates are the percentage of deals that are pushed out of the current month and into a future one. A high push rate can indicate issues with revenue forecasting, deal qualification, or team performance. To reduce your push rate, your sales teams can:
Re-evaluate their sales forecasting methods to ensure they are accurate and based on reliable data.
Determine a consistent cadence for updating and reviewing forecasting.
Use historical data to inform forecasting.
Be tougher on % confidence to close.
Review the qualification criteria to ensure that leads are properly vetted before entering the pipeline.
3. Pipeline Hygiene
Maintaining pipeline hygiene is crucial for the accuracy and health of your sales pipeline, as a cluttered pipeline can lead to wasted resources and lost revenue. To improve pipeline hygiene, your sales teams can:
Conduct regular pipeline reviews to ensure that all leads and deals are properly qualified and have a realistic chance of closing.
Implement lead scoring and prioritization to ensure that sales reps are focused on the most promising opportunities:
Define the criteria for lead scoring.
Assign point values to each criterion.
Calculate lead scores according to your unique values.
Early Identification of Performance Issues
By having these metrics readily available and reviewing them regularly, team leaders can gain insights into performance and identify pipeline — and personnel — issues early on. Performance management can be difficult during economic headwinds: individual reps may be running all the right plays and have their sales tactics dialed in, only to have their numbers harmed by forces outside their control.
When this happens to your high-performing sellers, “focus on inputs — not just outcomes,” says SaaSworks Chief Customer Officer, Suneet Bhatt. “If you really nail customer and employee success, company success will happen.”
How to Support Your Reps with Health and Trigger Reports
If your goal is higher performance and retention, take proactive steps to support and coach your reps by looking at health and trigger reports in HubSpot CRM. To use health and trigger reports effectively, your sales leaders should set up the necessary fields in Sales Hub to track KPIs such as deals closed, revenue generated, and activity levels. Then, create a report that shows sales performance metrics for each sales rep on a monthly basis, including both green and red indicators to easily identify those who may be struggling.
When a rep's performance has been consistently below average, set up event triggers signaling the need for proactive coaching. Team leaders may set up email or Slack notifications to address the issues as soon as possible. Make sure to save the report and share it with your leadership team for review and coaching planning on a monthly basis.
Once you understand the timeline of performance issues, you can take the appropriate steps at the right time. Here's a timeline to keep in mind:
Month 1: Missing a month of sales can happen due to various reasons, such as a slow period or a prospect who delayed the decision-making process. It's not a cause for alarm yet.
Month 2: When a sales rep misses two months in a row, they may start doubting their abilities and question if they're in the right role or career. Be sure to address their concerns and offer support.
Month 3: Missing three months in a row can lead to doubts about the product and company, in addition to growing self-doubts about the rep's abilities. Schedule a meeting with the team member and their manager to discuss progress and the need for more extensive coaching or performance improvement plans.
Month 4: If a rep misses four months in a row, it's a sign of a significant performance issue. At this point, they may start looking for other job opportunities. Have a serious conversation with the team member and explore potential solutions, such as moving them to a different role or offering additional training and coaching.
With the right tools, metrics, and approaches, sales teams can thrive in any economic environment. To further enhance your strategies, download our ultimate sales guide and discover more tips and techniques to drive success in your sales pipeline.
The ultimate sales guide is a comprehensive resource that provides sales leaders with actionable insights and strategies to drive success in their sales pipeline. With a focus on metrics and reporting, the guide offers tips and techniques to optimize your sales process and build a reliable and consistent sales pipeline for success in any economic environment.
Sr Creative Strategist specializing in B2B brand creation, sales enablement, and SaaS demand generation. With 8 years of experience, she excels in driving ROI and revenue-driven KPIs through collaborative innovation.