Does it seem like you are spending a ton of time talking to prospects, and your company isn’t growing at the speed you expected? Are your professional service sales inconsistent and spikey, or your revenue projections often wrong? Do you know what sales tactics, conversations and content are your best performers? Maybe your sales reporting and metrics need some fine-tuning.
A strategically-designed sales reporting plan is critical for your company’s success, because you can’t improve what you don’t measure. This is especially true for professional service sales, because so much time can be spent educating the market and scoping projects that don’t close. A first step we take, when we work as a professional service sales outsourcing partner, is to help establish Key Performance Indicators that improve our client’s sales productivity.
Identifying key performance indicators (KPIs)
- KPIs need to reflect more than just revenue figures
- They need to include data about your sales process
- They need to include data about what messages are working
- They need to include data about what markets are the best performers
- They need to address how fast or slow specific decision makers move through the pipe
- They need to include how much time is spent educating prospects and scoping business in each market
- They need to be split between time invested with the technical buyer and the business buyer
Sales reporting and solid KPIs have many benefits. They give your company and team a consistent view of progress daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and annually. KPIs can be used to create a scoreboard to keep your team engaged and motivated towards a common goal. The KPI scorecard keeps sales, professional service leads and lead generation reps moving towards that common goal, and also ensures everyone knows what specific tasks they are responsible for in achieving this end. This is especially critical when the sales process get passed between a professional service lead to develop and then back to a sales lead to close. Using KPIs to establish benchmarks and analyze results allows you to identify sales trends, including what high-value activities to optimize (usually with digital content) and what new tactics to leverage. Overall, you learn why you win and when you lose.
In this economy, with the new rules of engagement, professional service sales need to use sales reporting to make informed and timely decisions. We use sales details and patterns because they help us to discover insights to generate revenue and grow your business. As a professional services sales outsourcing partner, we recommend that you:
- Evaluate how many touches it should take to qualify a prospect
- Identify the most important business pains your solution fixes
- Identify what content is shared internally by your champion to move the deal forward
- Understand what Return on Investment argument makes the most sense to specific markets
- Evaluate how much time is spent educating a prospect
- Evaluate how much time is spent scoping a project
- Manage more efficiently by focusing on what’s working best and eliminating unproductive activities
- Target markets that are ready to buy and nurture markets (and decision makers) that are still educating themselves
Effective sales reporting can help you get the most out of your existing professional services team and allow you to introduce sales reps into your complex sales process. Sales reporting will help you to clearly identify what messages and presentations can be digitized to spare your senior resources from attending meetings with prospects that don’t transact. It will also help you to more accurately predict when you need to hire more client servicing team members, decrease costs and strengthen customer upsells.
Professional Sales outsourcing can link you with the expertise necessary to establish a constructive sales reporting process, and provide you with the appropriate tools and metrics for your company. With over 12 years of experience as an outsourced sales operations company working with professional services firms, we can work with your team to monitor your data, leverage our historical data to benchmark you against the competition and identify areas for increased efficiencies and insights. Overall, we have found great sales reporting can lead to great insights, which yield great sales results. Feel free to contact us for a free pipe velocity consultation to see what sales reporting and strategy can do for your business.