Hello to Canada’s SaaS Community,
Once you find a sense of product-market fit, your job is to grow revenue with a scalable sales motion. But you can’t do that if you’re operating on gut feelings, anecdotal evidence, and bad advice. Speaking with SAAS NORTH, B2B SaaS sales expert Kyle Vamvouris shared the seven metrics every sales leader needs to track.
- Track activities, engagements, and meetings booked on a daily basis to ensure accountability.
- Sales leaders need to base feedback, training, and coaching efforts on data-driven insights rather than gut feeling.
- Don’t fall for the trap of “quality over quantity” – you need quantity to achieve quality.
Co-Founder/Producer, SAAS NORTH Conference Editor, SAAS NORTH NOW
You found product-market fit! Or, at least, every metric from the Sean Ellis test to NPS scores is telling you that you did. So why aren’t sales skyrocketing?
For Kyle Vamvouris, a B2B SaaS sales expert and founder of Vouris, the answer is likely because you’re tracking the wrong data and believing the wrong advice. Speaking with SAAS NORTH, Kyle shared seven sales metrics every startup needs to track—and one piece of intuitive-sounding sales advice he thinks is total crap.
A lot of early-stage startup advice focuses on achieving and measuring product-market fit. And with good reason—you have almost no chance of growth if customers don’t need what you’re selling.
But the next step is equally important: building a functioning sales team.
Kyle said when he works with startups, they often have product-market fit but face one of two sales challenges. Either this is the first sales team in the company’s history, meaning they don’t know what success looks like yet, or a new team is in place but nothing seems to be working.
In either case, Kyle said tracking seven key metrics will help you identify what’s working and guide your efforts to fix weaker areas:
1. Activities taking place: Emails, calls, inbound lead reach out, outbound LinkedIn messages, etc.
- Example: You make 100 calls in a given time period.
2. Engagements: Who is replying or engaging with the activities in metric one?
- Example: 10 people engaged with you from your calls.
3. Meetings booked: Overall, per rep, and per channel.
- Example: Your engagements led to 3 meetings booked.
4. How many leads in deal stage 1: Discovery.
- Example: Of your 3 meetings, 2 deals continued through.
5. How many leads in deal stage 2: Demo.
- Example: The same 2 deals continued through this stage.
6. How many leads in deal stage 3: Proposal.
- Example: You sent a proposal to those 2 prospects.
7. How many leads in close won: Contract signed and closed-won.
- Example: 1 prospect agreed to the proposal and signed the contract.
An eighth metric that can sometimes add value is time in stage for each metric. Kyle said this metric is important, but difficult to develop a single benchmark for because every organization is different.
For folks in phase one–a brand new sales team–counting these basic metrics gives you a benchmark to understand what parts of the process your team does well. For teams in phase two, these metrics can help identify what stage is truly your weakest point. In either case, he has teams track their activities, engagements, and meetings booked on a daily basis.
These metrics can also help you uncover hidden talents.
“What you might find is that Sarah is incredible at getting folks from the deal stage three to close one,” said Kyle, sharing an example. “But she really struggles getting people from deal stage one to deal stage two… then maybe James, who is the best at getting people from stage one to stage two, but really struggles closing. So they can collaborate to help each other improve in each one of those KPIs.”
This kind of data-driven improvement can go even further, said Kyle: leadership can standardize what James is doing in stage one and what Sarah is doing in stage three, leveraging both processes to create a high-quality training program for all reps on the team.
When you take this kind of approach, you can “start training all reps on a system that we know works based on what the data tells us works,” said Kyle.
Lead generation is a quantity game
In a world of limited resources, quality matters. A startup simply doesn’t have time to chase every single lead in the entire global market. However, Kyle said the idea of “quality over quantity” is a bad mantra that holds people back when it comes to sales efforts.
“You need quantity to achieve quality,” said Kyle.
He shared the example of a founder who wanted his BDRs to personalize email outreach to ensure higher-quality leads—the emails were beautiful and no one bought the product. The “quality” approach turned up completely dry.
Even when the quality approach shakes out with a higher conversion rate, Kyle said the “math on time spent” to earn revenue just doesn’t add up.
“Once you have done as much activity as possible, you start identifying which channels are most effective for you,” said Kyle. “For the ones that aren’t that effective, you experiment with different things; for ones that are effective, you start to double down on them—this is where focusing on quality comes in.”
The degree of success will depend on individual rep skills and how effective leadership is at coaching and training, two factors Kyle said you can accelerate if you let data uncover what’s going right and wrong.
This is all part of Kyle’s core belief that “data is truly the secret to building a repeatable sales organization.”
Every organization is different, so bolting on best practices won’t necessarily work. Instead, you have to start with best practices, analyze your own data, and figure out the unique approach that works for your product with your ideal customers. This unique approach will also change over time, underscoring the importance of ongoing data collection rather than viewing it as a one-time thing.
“If you understand how to track and analyze and then act on the data that your sales team that you’re getting from your sales team, it is inevitable,” said Kyle.