The definitive list of essential sales pipeline metrics - Lead Forensics

The definitive list of essential sales pipeline metrics

There are hundreds of B2B sales metrics feeding into your pipeline. Each one offers your business a new piece of insight, but there’s always a limit. Too many metrics become a hindrance, confusing your team’s analysis. Considering an influx of metric data can miscommunicate information, rendering it irrelevant to your primary business goals. To help you achieve the ultimate B2B sales success, we’ve pulled together the definitive list of B2B sales pipeline metrics. Here are the fundamental figures you need to know, to understand current team performance, and implement improvements to revolutionize results.

1) New opportunities gained

This metric is the defining measure of what fuels your sales pipeline. Understanding how many new leads and prospects enter your pipeline is key- whether they come from your outbound sales activity, or from another department such as marketing. You need this metric to understand your success throughout your entire pipeline and calculate many other vital sales pipeline metrics. This number also offers insight into your market dominance, your brand reach and the demand for your product. Ensure you have the ability to understand the precise number of pipeline opportunities gained from all channels.

2) Leads qualified

This figure outlines the success of your first pipeline stage- how many of the new opportunities gained turn into qualified leads? This metric offers insight into the quality of your outreach efforts. More opportunities confirmed as appropriate for your product proves a focused and lucrative lead generation/prospecting approach. This metric can also help you understand how effective and rigorous your qualification processes are. If you qualify a large number of leads but fail to achieve a high rate of wins- you need to ask whether your current processes are strict enough to align with essential product criteria or contract terms.

3) Win rate

This is a powerful metric, outlining the number or percentage of wins achieved based on the opportunities gained. For example, if you gain 50 new business opportunities, and achieve 20 sales from them, you have a 2 in 5 win rate (or 40%). This measurement helps you reflect on pipeline success, especially for individual team members. Those achieving a 1 in 5 win rate will have some advice for those only closing 1 in 10. This is a great metric to use as a motivational KPI for sales teams, helping them work to deliver a reliably strong sales performance. Additionally, the win rate helps you quickly understand the number of opportunities needed to meet the required business targets. If you’re tasked with securing 15 new customers each month, your win rate helps you work backwards to understand how many opportunities need to be generated.

4) Conversions

Understanding the conversions between each stage of your pipeline is key. Know how many stages your pipeline works through and measure the percentage of leads moving from one to the next. It’s common to achieve a lower conversion rate at the start of your pipeline. Opportunities gained to leads qualified commonly achieves around 50-60% conversion. However, in the latter stages, a much higher conversion rate of around 80-90% is expected, as leads have been qualified and nurtured to follow through with an investment. Consistently monitor your pipeline conversion rates on both a team and individual level to quickly pinpoint specific pipeline stages failing to deliver the desired result. From here, you can immediately implement changes to prevent future losses and increase success.

5) Revenue/deal size

Revenue is a known essential sales metric, feeding directly into business targets for growth. But it’s important to look beyond the large revenue number and consider the deal size. How much revenue is each deal bringing in? What are the differences between the pipeline processes of high-value deals and low-value deals? What kind of timescale, investment and efforts are required to secure bigger deals? Just looking at a single metric depicting overall revenue benefits your business insight but doesn’t help improve your sales pipeline. Use an understanding of deal size to critically assess your revenue gain and drive future strategies that boost pipeline efficiency and success.

6) Average order value

This metric acts like a hybrid between deal size and win rate, helping your team understand the average value each deal is worth. This metric is additionally insightful when setting revenue targets, depicting roughly how many deals need to be secured to ensure the required revenue is gained. AOV is also a great way to measure the improvement of lead quality and sales processes over time. Seeing how your AOV fluxes month on month or quarter to quarter offers insight into the success of your long-term strategy. This metric helps you identify where your team experienced slumps and question what strategic elements were lacking or under-delivering.

7) Sales cycle length

A defining feature in B2B sales is the length of purchase. Where the consumer can decide to buy something instantly and impulsively, a B2B sale very rarely takes this path. Some high-value B2B sales can last over 12 months! This metric is key because a healthy sales pipeline is a short sales pipeline. We’re not saying you should aim to secure a sale on the first call. However, dragging leads through a vast amount of unnecessary pipeline stages can hinder success, as potential buyers become bored or distracted. Measure your sales cycle length to understand pipeline efficiency, considering the stages used to ensure your processes are optimized for the ultimate sales results.

8) Sales velocity

Taking into account a variety of sales pipeline metrics mentioned above, sales velocity tells you how much revenue is generated by your team on a daily basis. As we’ve mentioned, B2B sales can sometimes take a long time to come to fruition, so sales velocity helps you and your team understand the worth of their daily efforts. A high sales velocity means you’re securing a large amount of revenue, in a short amount of time- which is a winning combination! Your pipeline isn’t dependant upon sales velocity, but we would recommend checking this figure periodically- once a month for example. This ensures your team is maximizing their time and pipeline to ensure a strong result. Use our sales velocity calculator to measure this fundamental metric!

9) Return on investment

Sales velocity additionally helps you determine ROI. B2B sales can become costly, especially as modern teams use an average of five different sales software solutions such as a CRM, automation software or a pipeline manager. Return on investment helps you understand how much revenue return is gained (or lost) from your budget expenditure. If you invest in a new pipeline management tool, you’ll want to ensure it brings your business benefit– otherwise, your team will have to work harder to simply regain the budget lost. ROI isn’t just important to securing the optimum pipeline- it’s important to every business department! Without securing ROI, your business will struggle to generate enough revenue to promote growth.

10) Retention

It’s easy to think that once your pipeline has done its work in transforming an opportunity into a client, it’s duty is over. Whilst this is true in a practical sense, it’s important to remember that the pipeline process taken to influence a sale continues to have influence over retention. A well-executed sales strategy produces highly loyal clients with increased lifetime value. These clients continue to spend money on your products and offer your business a reliable revenue stream. However, a weak sales pipeline produces disengaged clients, who will move on to purchase from your competitors in the future. Generate an understanding of your retention success to help drive a more successful sales pipeline that doesn’t just produce new customers but manages to keep them too.

With these sales pipeline metrics, you’ll gain an invaluable understanding to drive impactful improvements that enable sales success. If you’re keen to achieve improved sales results, why not discover Lead Forensics? Our revolutionary software solution identifies the businesses visiting your website to promote your most valuable source of high-quality, new business opportunities. With email addresses and telephone numbers for key decision-makers provided in real-time alongside a detailed breakdown of each visit, your team can take conversion control. Our clients made over $1 billion last year thanks to the opportunities identified by Lead Forensics. Find out more- book your free demo today!

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