Summary - While some basic sales KPIs remain in place, industry changes have meant that modern SaaS sales teams now embrace some newer, more dynamic sales KPIs than in year's past.
Sales has always, to some extent, been about influencing through relationships.
Those old stories of salespeople knocking on doors to sell vaccuum cleaners were about creating that in-person 1-1 human relationship—and leveraging a bit of the pressure this can bring.
Those aggressive and relentless Wolf of Wall Street-style pitchmen were about leveraging their "insider" knowledge and creating an "act now or else" relationship with potential customers.
And many of the customer success-focused salespeople driving today's modern SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) industry are often about providing "potential-customer support" and creating relationships based 100% on instilling in the potential customer a sense of "I'll be here when you're ready" type of hassle-free trust.
While some basic sales KPIs remain in place, these industry changes have meant that modern SaaS sales teams now embrace some newer, more dynamic sales KPIs than in year's past.
The SaaS sector, with its focus on month-to-month product and service offerings, often means that sales teams are no longer judged by landing huge one-off deals.
Instead, they are judged by how well they consistently turn interested sales qualified leads into happy monthly customers—happy monthly customers that stick around for as long as possible, and possibly upgrade to more premium features as their needs (or company) grow.
Here are 19 of the top sales KPIs used by modern sales teams. Some of these sales KPIs may have overlapping qualities. The effectiveness and selection of each KPI should always depend on the business and marketing/sales models in place. Learn how to define your organization's KPIs.
- Monthly Sales Growth
- Average Profit Margin
- Monthly Sales Bookings
- Sales Opportunities
- Sales Target
- Quote To Close Ratio
- Average Purchase Value
- Monthly Calls (or emails) Per Sales Rep
- Sales Per Employee
- Product Performance
- Sales by Contact Method
- Sales Cycle Length
- Lead-to-Win Rate
- Average Cost Per Lead
- Retention and Churn Rates
- Customer Lifetime Value
- Average Conversion Time
- New and Expansion MRR
- Number of Monthly Onboarding and Demo Calls
1. Monthly Sales Growth
Monthly sales growth measures the increase or decrease of your sales revenue on a monthly basis. In the SaaS sector, annual sales revenue is, though still important, often too far of a projection for most startups.
Monitoring sales growth from month-to-month helps modern sales leaders see and act on sales revenue trends as they're happening rather than relying only on reflective reporting to see what happened.
Setting attainable sales revenue goals both on an individual and team basis can inspire performance and keep sales efforts aligned.
2. Average Profit Margin
Average profit margin helps sales team assess the profit margins across their suite of products and services. This is especially important for companies with diverse product offerings or packages of offerings, and those that grant their sales reps flexibility in pricing so as to lock in customers.
3. Monthly Sales Bookings
The total monthly "wins" as determined by either a close deal or a signed/committed sale. Bookings is a sales KPI that modern SaaS sales teams are driven by, and it can be split out into a variety of categories—such as sales bookings per region and sales bookings per employee.
4. Sales Opportunities
Opportunities allows sales teams to see all pending opportunities as well as to determine which opportunities are perhaps most worth their resources in pursuing.
This KPI organizes prospects based on opportunity value and the probability of a closed deal. Each prospect has an estimated purchase value associated with them to help your team prioritize their efforts.
Sales prospects can be ranked according to likelihood of win, assuming the sales team has collected enough data from their current customer base to have an understanding of what makes for a probable close.
5. Sales Target
Sales target compares sales wins over periods of time, and can serve as a way to rally sales teams to improve their performance.
With this KPI, however, it's important to create a sustainable framework. Sales teams that are constantly pressured to attain the unattainable are often on the perfect path to burnout. Using this KPI to look at previous performance and establish attainable future goals is the best use case.
6. Sales Closing Ratio
Sales closing ratio finds the ratio between how many quotes your sales team sent out and how many deals they closed.
It's a great KPI for determining how much time a sales employee (or the overall team) spends on pursuing an opportunity.
A high Sales Closing Ratio signals that either the leads coming in are not quality leads and/or that the sales team is spending far too much time trying closing each deal.
7. Average Purchase Value
Average purchase value measures the average value of each sale, and therefore helps the sales team place a quantifiable value on each potential opportunity.
This sales KPI, in conjunction with other metrics associated with pricing models, is how a sales team can estimate the true dollar value of each lead.
8. Monthly Calls (or emails) Per Sales Rep
For outbound teams, call volume can provide a glimpse into how many calls (or emails, etc.) each sales rep made to potential customers.
This KPI can be further broken down into whether the call was answered (the email opened), the time spent on each call, the general interest level, and how many potential prospects were discovered per # of calls/emails.
9. Sales Per Employee
Sales per employee allows sales leaders to see, on an employee level, how many sales were made per rep. This KPI can be helpful in establishing a sales baseline (and setting personal goals) and in determining the strengths and weaknesses of each rep.
For example, some reps may take a longer time to close deals but those they do close tend to stay customers longer.
For the sake of sustainability, it's important not to use the sales per rep KPI to create a culture that is first and foremost about competitively comparing each of your sales reps against each other.
10. Product Performance
Product performance helps the sales team notice trends when certain products and/or packages of products are selling far better than others.
There are a variety of factors that are under the surface and important to take into account here, such as if a product is selling exceptionally well based on a major press mention or, similarly, if a product is not performing well because a competitor recently dropped their price point.
11. Sales by Contact Method
Which contact method works best for your sales team? Sales per contact method answers that question, and can allow sales teams to double down on what works and potentially think about phasing out or even automating what simply isn't working as well.
Additionally, this KPI can be bolstered by framing it around other metrics—including the costs and time associated with each contact method.
12. Sales Cycle Length
How much does the average sale generate, and over what length of time? Sales cycle length helps sales teams see on average how long it takes to close a deal.
This KPI will help you set sales targets and forecast revenue, while providing a timeframe and required efforts and resources required on average to win each customer.
13. Lead-to-Win Rate
What's the ratio between closed deals and the number of leads? Lead-to-win rate helps sales teams see if leads were quality, which methods may work best in closing future deals, and if particular offerings/messaging made an impact.
This is a KPI that should be shared and routinely discussed by the marketing team and the sales team, as 20 quality leads could be far better (from a win and time perspective) than hundreds of low quality leads.
14. Average Cost Per Lead
Cost per lead answers the question: How much does it cost for us to generate a single lead?
Let's say you're running a Facebook campaign that is generating leads at $20 each. If your product sells for $500/month and you're closing deals left and right, you've found yourself a winner.
The most accurate average cost per lead KPI tallies up all marketing expenses (including employee salaries).
15. Retention and Churn Rates
Churn rates is truly the mark of how today's sales teams are changing. Many sales teams, especially those inside a company focused on inbound marketing, are tasked with both closing the deal and helping to ensure the customer they closed remains happy (and doesn't churn out).
Learn more about churn rates.
16. Customer Lifetime Value
It's important for sales teams to understand not just how much deals close for, but how much that closed deal brings to the company over time. This ensures they know the "true" impact of a win.
The Customer Lifetime Value KPI is calculated as:
Lifetime Value = Gross Margin % X ( 1 / Monthly Churn ) X Avg. Monthly Subscription Revenue per Customer.
17. Average Conversion Time
The best modern sales teams have worked out an efficient system between first touch point with a lead and closed deal. If your product sells for $19/month but it takes 8 weeks to close a deal, your team is likely in big trouble.
This sales KPI offers an important glimpse into the productivity of your sales funnel.
18. New and Expansion MRR
MRR, monthly recurring revenue, is the # of paying customers multiplied by the average amount of all customers.
New MRR, then, is the additional MRR you gained this month.
Expansion MRR is, in the SaaS sense, additional MRR from existing customers that have upgraded their plan.
The work of a modern sales team doesn't end with a closed deal; it includes having a grasp of both new and expansion MRR.
19. Number of Monthly Onboarding and Demo Calls
Put simply, onboarding calls answers: How many onboarding and/or demo calls did the sales team complete this month? As such calls can be critical for closing deals, this sales KPI is an important one.
Like many of the other KPIs presented here, this can be segmented down into an employee-by-employee basis.
Final thoughts on sales KPIs
Most modern sales teams I've met (or worked with) are displaying their KPIs on a dashboard. This gives the department visibility and transparency into their numbers, increases sales productivity because the data being pulled in often updates in real-time, and can be a great way to motivate teams.
Here's how Rupert Bonham-Carter uses a Salesforce dashboard to keep his team aligned and driven.
Originally published July 3, 2017, updated Jul, 09 2021