We’ve long been aware of the positive impact coaching has on individual performance and business outcomes.
Still, many organizations struggle to quantify the value generated from their sales coaching programs, much less determine whether or not their efforts are working.
Unlike traditional sales metrics, which measure performance against tangible outcomes like sales revenue, sales coaching performance hinges on intangibles like empathy and personal growth.
That said, the biggest problem for a lot of companies is that they’re tracking metrics that don’t align with their sales coaching goals at all. The good news? On March 25th, we’re hosting a live webinar How to turn ad-hoc coaching into quota attainment with sales management experts Dr. Howard Dover and Jason Jordan. They’ll be discussing how coaching can be used to drive your quota to the moon and will shed light on the proper metrics required to measure sales coaching effectiveness.
Join us on the webinar and get insights on how your reps can get more ROI with the right coaching in place:
What are sales coaching metrics?
Sales coaching metrics measure the strength of your coaching program against specific, measurable goals (remember SMART? The concept applies to coaching, too).
Metrics should always answer a specific question about whether a process, technique, or role-play exercise had any measurable impact on revenue, retention rates, or pipeline velocity (or whatever you’re trying to improve).
Why sales coaching metrics matter
Sales coaching metrics serve as the foundation of your entire coaching strategy.
They allow you to quantify the impact of behavioral change, customer interactions, and specific content on the bottom line.
- Coaching metrics ensure everyone is held to the same standards. Once you’ve identified your goals and established a baseline for each KPI, you’ll have a fixed system for measuring rep performance without bias.
- Coaching becomes a proactive strategy. Tracking sales coaching metrics allows you to identify roadblocks in advance and take action before there’s a problem. When predictive analytics enter the fold, sales leaders can see who is at risk of missing their targets in advance and help them course-correct and achieve a better outcome. Done right, metrics can help spend less time cleaning up messes and focus on helping reps generate more value for the business.
- Empower your team. You want your reps to feel a sense of accomplishment as they learn new skills and successfully apply them during client interactions. Tracking performance data enables you to share personalized feedback during 1:1s to help reps reach their goals.
Why popular sales metrics fail
Traditional sales metrics support different goals than those defined in most sales coaching strategies–forecasting, setting sales targets, etc.
The RAIN Group graphic below gets straight to the point.
Without the right metrics, sales leaders issue vague mandates ”we need to hit X target by the end of the quarter” or “you need to increase your average deal size.”
Essentially, they’re looking at traditional sales metrics and identifying a need to “do better,” but they don’t have the data that provides context or identifies specific areas where improvements are needed.
As a result, coaching programs often focus on teaching everyone the same general skills—e.g. prospecting, negotiating, cold calling—and fail to continuously reinforce and build on those skills or measure gains against specific benchmarks. Moreover, as our research shows 26% of sales leaders regardless of the size of their organization report not knowing how to measure the success of coaching, which imposes additional risk on the effectiveness of their programs. Let’s explore several metrics that will help you measure your coaching efforts.
What metrics should I use to measure sales coaching effectiveness?
Sales coaching metrics cover the entire sales process from multiple angles, though the metrics you track depend on what you’re trying to measure.
While this isn’t an exhaustive list, here’s a look at some of the key metrics to keep an eye on.
Sales performance is typically measured against lagging indicators that analyze outcomes well after the deal is done (or dead).
Those metrics are important for things like forecasting and strategic planning but they don’t guide reps toward positive outcomes or prescribe actions that get them back on track.
Sales coaching should focus on tracking leading indicators which track sales performance while deals are in progress including:
- Pipeline value
- Quota attainment
- Win rate
- Funnel leakage
- Average deal size
Engagement metrics measure the efficacy of customer interactions, sales collateral, and digital touchpoints. Examples include:
- Demo requests
- Booked appointments
- Email opens and responses
- Pages viewed
- Customer feedback
- Support tickets
- Social media engagement
Tracking buyer engagement against sales performance allows you to identify what messaging, channels, and strategies resonate most with customers, as well as those that could use some work.
Activity metrics help sales leaders and reps understand where they’re spending the most time and include:
- New leads
- Prospects in the pipeline
On their own, activity metrics really only measure output, not whether your reps are any good at sales calls.
However, when analyzed against sales performance or customer engagement, you can start to identify which activities are most effective at specific touchpoints.
Finally, you’ll also want to track the impact of sales coaching on the reps themselves.
Strong coaching programs should help reps become more confident and give them a sense of accomplishment as they hit each milestone.
The following metrics can help you identify whether sellers feel supported or completely overwhelmed.
- Rep retention rates
- Direct feedback
- Employee satisfaction scores
- Percentage of reps who are promoted
- Sick days
- Stress levels
By focusing on the right metrics, you can create a coaching program that actively improves rep performance, retention rates, and the customer experience—all of which have a direct, measurable impact on the bottom line. To gain more insights on how to coach your reps in the right direction and close deals faster download the white paper.