When you think about it, baseball, in the eyes of its leaders, is a numbers game. Baseball statisticians record everything every player does, then analyze the results. They know the average of every hitter, how they fare against right- and left-handed pitching, how many home runs they hit and how many times they walk or strikeout.

For centuries, baseball executives have been making decisions based on these numbers.

In recent years, some executives argue that we’ve been looking at the wrong statistics. Thus, Sabermetrics was born. For instance, Sabermetrics followers doubt the importance of batting average because it is not the best indicator of how many runs a team will score. Some will argue on-base percentage is a better way to predict runs. Many teams employ Sabermetrics and have had great success, such as the Boston Red Sox and, more recently, the Chicago Cubs.

What does this have to do with sales? Hear me out. The 10th “Must Know” for sales leaders is develop key metrics that matter. And use them.

Simply measuring financial results isn’t enough. Know how your team is actually doing by layering in measures that allow you to objectively assess performance and progress.

Here are three tips to help you determine if your metrics are working for you:

  • Identify lagging indications of performance against activity and financial objectives. Know what works and what doesn’t, and be prepared to shift gears if necessary.
  • Define key predictive indicators that are the basis for in-the-moment qualitative assessments of account relationships and opportunity quality. Learn the signs for when a sales person is successful, and when he or she may be struggling. This helps you become more agile and over time will provide your sales people with continuous feedback for improvement.
  • Define measures of success in each sales role. Discover what good numbers look like, and consistently inspect and assess against them.

To learn more, download our latest white paper on the “13 Must Knows” for sales leaders. Also, stay tuned for my next blog post where we will discuss the 11th “must know.”

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