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Achieving or rather breaking the quarterly sales target is the goal of a sales manager of a small business enterprise. However, to crush the quarterly sales a sales manager would need to understand the present level of competition, the rhythm of his sales cycle- the winning as well as losing cycles. By comparing the two rhythms, he can chalk out a strategy for achieving more winning cycles.

Four elements of Sales Velocity

A smart sales manager would measure the sales velocity, a measure of sales cycles, of every closure. The four important elements of sales velocity are as follows.

  • Average size of the deal. It includes the size of the deal that was won as well as the size of the deal that’s lost.
  • A sales reps win rates for the product.
  • The number of deals closed
  • The sales cycle days includes days to lose as well as days to win.

These elements help the sales representatives to evaluate their metrics and use the evaluation to design methods to improvise on their personal sales performance. While sales manager can use the sales velocity to evaluate the overall performance of the sales team and also the relative performance of each sales representative

Understanding the sales velocity of the team will enable a sales manager to

  • Get a picture of those sales rep who would need to be coached
  • Identify and highlight the important levers of sales velocity that needs to be looked into
  • Recognize and appreciate those who have done well
  • Identify the members who needs to be motivated to think out-of-the-box

A sales manager should use the sales velocity metrics that he has evaluated to show each and every member of the team on how they are performing and work towards setting expectations and targets as per the capability of each sales rep.

Sales Velocity Components in Depth

Maintaining a healthy sales pipeline is a must for the smooth functioning of the sales process. To achieve success, the sales manager should compare the actual metrics of the sales velocity with the characteristics/quality of the deals that are in the pipeline. This will give him an ideal picture whether he is in position to make the closures to achieve his targets.

Length of the sales cycle- Its important for the sales manager to educate his team about the length of an average sales cycle. Also he must make them aware of the fact that length is different for each and every deal. For instance, if the deal is a new one its likely to take a longer time to close, while an add-on business from an existing customer is faster.

Similarly, a sales organization may have several sources of revenue each with specific sales process. The length of the sales cycle for each sales process is different. Therefore, care should be taken to measure each one separately before making a decision. A lengthy sales cycle indicates an unhealthy sales process. Therefore, a wise manager would proactively identify the potential problematic areas in a sales process and communicate the same to the team.

Average size of each deal- The size of the opportunity that a sale representative handles will give an idea about the probability of the conversion. To analyze the size of the opportunity, the manager has to have the baseline metric in place. This will help to find out whether the size of the deals won is smaller or bigger than the average of all the closures in the existing pipeline/sales funnel.

Win Rates- The Win Rate reveals the probability of converting opportunities into revenue. Win rate indicates the sales performance, resource utilization and ROI on time.

Following are a few actions to consider to crush the quarterly sales

  • Evaluate the age of the open opportunities against sale cycle duration for the deals that had been bagged in the past to understand if the opportunity is slow-moving or aged than the typical win. For all the leads in the pipeline, authenticate the qualification criteria and the current position of the deal to determine whether to continue to invest time and resources to close or to drop it
  • Similarly, to decide whether there is any risk to be taken with deals that are bigger than the usual ones, evaluate the size of the open leads against the average deal size for the opportunities that was closed in the past. Usually, large deals are slower to close than the normal ones. At the same time don’t spend too much of time and resources on deals that are smaller than the normal ones
  • A sales manager should consider the Value Win Rate than the Number Win Rate for performance appraisals because, larger closures are risks associated and would require longer time to close the deal

A sales manager has to be proactive and approachable. He has to interact and communicate with the sales team constantly and work along their side to achieve the quarterly targets. He should identify the main drivers that will help achieve the quarterly targets, identify and plug the leaks in the sales funnel and keep track of the progress.

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