Sales Analytics on a Shoestring Budget

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Every sales professional and leader knows it’s important to work smarter, not harder. Every sales leader knows the pain of asking for a sales analytics tool to better track and understand their team’s activity and having it denied due to budget. Leaving most of us feeling like…

What’s a bootstrapped salesperson to do? What do I track? How do I track it? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SLA AND SAL AND WHY DO I EVEN CARE?

Enter Sales Analytics on a shoestring budget! This post is your helpful guide to key sales metrics and how to track them without any fancy-pants software. 

#SalesProfessionals and #SalesLeaders know they need to work smarter, not harder. ✅ Check out this guide on key sales metrics and how to track them without any fancy-pants software. #B2Bsales Click To Tweet

First, let’s start with some basics. Every sales organization has different rules for forecasting, stage and status definitions, and where they get their business intelligence. However, there are common steps and ratios every salesperson, or sales manager, needs to ensure their activity is at least on the right path to success.

Second, let’s talk about how to calculate these metrics. All you need is a spreadsheet (Google, Excel – pick your poison). Not sure how to set it up? Check out this general structure from John Barrows and simply add the missing structures below wherever it makes sense for you.

Sales Analytics on a Shoestring for Sales Reps

Golden Ratios – Track these weekly to ensure output stays consistent and predictable.

  • Call: Conversation – You want to track the number of times you pick up the phone (Calls) compared to the number of times you’re able to speak with a decision-maker, or whoever fits your criteria to create opportunities (Conversation). WHY? This metric helps you quickly track how good the quality of your information is! The better the information – the lower the ratio. This information is something you can use to drive conversations with your manager, marketing, wherever your leads come from.
  • Conversation: Convert – Track the number of conversations (hint: it’s the second number in the ratio above) and the number of converts (hint: number of times someone says “Yes” to next steps). WHY? This data will tell you how good you are on the phone; it’s the one metric entirely in your control.
  • Convert: Accepted Pipeline *or* Revenue – Track the number of converts (hint: yes, it’s the second number from the ratio directly above) to the number of accepted opportunities (for SDRs) or closed-won deals (for AEs). WHY? This metric will tell you what is essentially the “quality” of the people you get to say “yes.” Monitor this figure to ensure you’re investing time in prospects who are most likely to close.

Sales Analytics on a Shoestring for Sales Managers

% Time Spent on Revenue Generating Activities – This requires some explaining…and math. Trust me – this is worth it!!

  1. Start by creating a list of all the activities your team does in a day. The more specific. the better!
  2. Categorize each as “Revenue Generating” or “Non-Revenue Generating,” where “Revenue Generating” is used for all activity that has the potential to directly get a “yes” from a client. Want examples? All right… see the bullet points.
    1. Revenue Generating: All customer phone calls, customer emails, direct social messages.
    2. Non-Revenue Generating: Attending internal meetings, updating the CRM, research for prospecting, writing emails that will be added to a cadence/sequence.
  3. Then sit with your team a couple of times over a week with a stopwatch (hint: your “clock” app usually has one!) and take 10-20 readings for how long each individual task takes and calculate the average for each activity type.
  4. Now create a spreadsheet like the one below with activity type, average duration and your goal for how many of each activity type they should do in an average day (or week or month)
  5. Bonus points if you color-code your spreadsheet and use equations to total by color.

WHY do all this? Because any sales organization is most effective when it’s  “One to One” with a client or prospect. By tracking the amount of time your team is spending on revenue-generating activities you can begin to slowly improve this number and help justify any tools your team needs.

Google Sheets for Scorecards – When in doubt, create your own scorecard in Google Sheets! In today’s busy world of tools, it’s not uncommon for managers to have dashboards in two-to-four different tools to get a good sense of the state of their team. CONSIDER – While examining all of these systems is important, it’s arguably more important that your team knows what numbers YOU care about and that you have historic data backing up your goals for them. Some tips for building your scorecards in Google Sheets:

  • Leverage IMPORTRANGE function. This allows you to import data from a completely different Google Sheet into another one. (Instructions here) By leveraging this function each SDR can have their own individual scorecard that they put their numbers into, but you have a single spreadsheet that has every individual’s details.
  • Utilize the “Comments” function to provide links and instructions on how to complete. This will save you a million questions two weeks after you deploy and everyone forgets where to pull a number from.
  • “Lock” all cells that don’t need to be edited. This prevents the fat-finger deleting that we’ve all done at some point and panicked emails from your team asking how to fill their scorecard out or delays completing.

Why use Google Sheets? It’s free, has 99% of the functionality you get in Excel, and you can link multiple sheets. Where CRM reporting or dashboards fail you Google Sheets can help you manually calculate key metrics. It takes some time to set up but in return, you can save hours each week that you would have otherwise spent pulling a million reports.

Every sales analytics article on the internet will tell you to track different metrics in the sales process. It’s easy to get overwhelmed or feel you need tools to tell you where to look. The dirty little secret is that it’s the act of thinking about the metrics that produces the change and iteration that marks growing teams. So don’t worry about getting it “right.” Just start tracking! The numbers will lead you where you need to go and the sheer act of trying to track will reap more rewards than you can imagine!

You tell us – what metrics do you track? How do you do sales analytics on a shoestring budget?

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