9 Benchmarks to Help You Scale Your Sales Machine

Source: Bob Apollo, Inflexion-Point Strategy Partners

Sales benchmarks are a critical reference tool for startups and expansion-stage companies, particularly those lacking a structured, repeatable lead generation and customer acquisition process.

By allowing companies to better evaluate and understand their own metrics, sales benchmarks can give executives and managers a much better sense of what to expect when launching a customer acquisition initiative into a new market or when building a new sales team.

Ultimately, those insights can help companies manage a variety of challenges, including:

  • Analyzing sales funnel activity
  • Developing a scalable customer acquisition model
  • Addressing impediments in new markets
  • Building appropriately sized lead generation and sales teams
  • Evaluating the performance of existing lead generation and sales teams
  • Scaling those teams efficiently

The sales benchmarks covered in OpenView’s report, “Measuring Up: 9 Benchmarks that Can Help Expansion-Stage Companies Build a Scalable Sales Machine” span two categories:

1) Lead generation team performance sales benchmarks, which are critical to analyzing an existing lead generation team’s performance and to efficiently building new teams. They include the following conversion rates:

  • Call to conversation
  • Conversation to appointment
  • Appointment to opportunity
  • Lead to opportunity

2) Sales team capacity and productivity sales benchmarks, which can be used as a frame of reference to ensure that you are hiring the right number of lead generation reps, are leveraging those reps effectively, and that you are encouraging sales activities that ultimately fuel optimal financial performance. They include:

  • Number of open opportunities per sales rep
  • Pipeline coverage
  • Opportunity win rate on new customer deals
  • Pipeline slippage
  • Number of new customer deals won per rep

After reading this report, you will have a better understanding of the metrics your company needs to track in order to hire, manage, and scale its sales organization effectively, and whether or not you are on pace with industry averages.

While there are no silver bullets that you can model to ensure the success of your efforts, the sales benchmarks provided in this report should serve as guideposts for establishing initial expectations and measuring your performance against them.

Ultimately, the most important take away is that it’s essential for your sales organization track these benchmarks. The calculations for them are universal and measuring them is absolutely critical to successfully scaling an expansion-stage sales organization. Over time, the data that doing so yields will allow you to create your own sales benchmarks, which will provide ultimate context for your business going forward.

To see how you stack up against the nine sales benchmarks, download a free copy of the full report by clicking on the download button on the upper right-hand side of this page.

Here’s the link to download the full report – http://labs.openviewpartners.com/files/2013/05/Sales-Benchmarks-Report-FINAL.pdf

About Scale Finance

Scale Finance LLC (www.scalefinance.com) provides contract CFO services, Controller solutions, and support in raising capital, or executing M&A transactions, to entrepreneurial companies. The firm specializes in cost-effective financial reporting, budgeting & forecasting, implementing controls, complex modeling, business valuations, and other financial management, and provides strategic help for companies raising growth capital or considering M&A/recapitalization opportunities. Most of the firm’s clients are growing technology, healthcare, business services, consumer, and industrial companies at various stages of development from start-up to tens of millions in annual revenue. Scale Finance LLC has offices throughout the southeast including Charlotte, Raleigh/Durham, Greensboro, Wilmington, Washington D.C. and South Florida with a team of more than 40 professionals serving more than 100 companies throughout the region.