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Business analytics, Business Intelligence, Sales forecasting, Sales strategy

22 Min Read

Ultimate Guide to Sales Success - Apply Benchmarking

One of the continuing challenges we hear from business management is the struggles to make smart business decisions about the future of sales revenue.  Will there be those expected dollars to fund that new product line or capital purchase? What is the sales pipeline indicating?  How are my sales teams comparing to benchmarks of similar organizations?

The customer journey - before it begins

For the past decade, digital channels and tools have been developing at rocket speed. Every industry has been affected and it would not be an exaggeration to say that the customer now rules and speed is the new currency of business. With an ever growing number of responsibilities and tactics to test, marketers must keep a tight focus on the metrics that affect both – revenue and customer satisfaction.

Actionable Insights:

  • Focus on social media engagement and mobile. New business is found on smartphones and tablets, which are increasingly responsible for a larger portion of all time spent online.
  • The increase in marketers who view social media marketing as a critical enabler for products or services (from 25% in 2014 to 64% in 2015) proves that it’s working. Invest more resources to leverage social channels.
  • Aberdeen research reports that companies that adopt marketing automation see 53% higher conversion rates (from initial touch to MQL) and 3.1% higher annual revenue rates than do non-adopters.

Benchmarking statistics


  • 13-22% of MQLs are consequently converted to sales qualified leads
  • 30% of marketers say that customer satisfaction is one of their top metrics
  • Customer retention rate is among the top 5 digital metrics for modern marketers
  • 70% of the buying process is now complete by the time a prospect is ready to engage with sales


An additional reason to invest in a marketing automation system is lead scoring. These tools score explicit criteria that includes demographic factors and other parameters which align with the company target market or ideal customer profile. When leads are objectively scored to indicate when they are sales ready, marketing passes better qualified leads to sales. By eliminating low quality leads, sales productivity increases. For instance, a recent study found that a 10% increase in lead quality generates a 40% increase in sales productivity.


Lead scoring for a lead in Creatio based on various factors

Predictive score of a lead in CreatioLead scoring for a specific lead in Creatio

Key Metrics to Consider in Building Your Pipeline

Today’s competitive sales environment imposes the need to pay particularly close attention to all sales metrics. However, not all organizations today track the number of calls and emails, response and reaction time or other actions the sales reps perform. With this data in place, companies could become more successful in expanding their sales pipeline and reaching their goals.

Here are the stats every sales professional needs to know in order to increase response and conversion rates.

Actionable Insights:

  • Quick response time can boost the performance of your sales team considerably.
  • Automation of key sales processes and employing data science will pay off by enabling your sales development reps to respond to leads quickly and efficiently.
  • Companies that automated lead management see 10% increases in revenue in 6-9 months

Benchmarking statistics:

Sales development reps attemps

  • A best-in-class tele-sales rep is benchmarked to have a 15 meaningful conversations for every 100 outbound activities.
  • The average sales development rep makes 52 calls daily.
  • Reaching out to a contact at least 6 times can increase contact rate by 138%.


Contact the prospect within an hour of the first inquiry. Companies that contact a lead within an hour of the initial inquiries are seven times more likely to qualify the lead than those companies that wait even an hour longer. Companies that wait a full 24 hours before contacting the lead are 60 times less likely to qualify the lead than those who respond within the first hour.



Metrics to Focus on During the Early Stages

pipelineDuring the early stages of the sales process, you need to measure the actions performed by your reps within a certain time frame if you want to succeed. Pay attention to not only the quantity of the actions taken to generate opportunities, but also whether those actions are efficiently leading to closing.

Benchmarking statistics


7-hour   12-percent     50-percent-1

  • 44% of salespeople give up after one follow-up.
  • 65% of a sales rep’s time is spent on activities that don’t directly generate new sales.
  • Only 2% of sales occurs in the first meeting.


Monitor and reward sales reps on early sales funnel activities to drive a healthy long-term pipeline of deals and predictable revenue. The criteria that Tip: matter most during the early stages are speed-to-contact, opportunity qualification, estimating the buying cycle and planning the right sales strategy.

Lead pipeline


Pushing  Deals Through the Sales Pipeline

Once you understand how effective and efficient your reps’ activities are in creating the pipeline during the early stages of the sales process, it’s time to convert that pipeline, which means identifying buyer behavior while understanding which opportunity should be first in line.

Actionable Insights

Once you understand how effective and efficient your reps’ activities are in creating the pipeline during the early stages of the sales process, it’s time to convert that pipeline, which means identifying buyer behavior while understanding which opportunity should be first in line.

Benchmarking statistics



  • The average sales cycle has increased 22% over the past 5 years due to more decision makers being involved in the buying process.
  • The probability of successful closing at “presentation” is not higher than 30%. Up to 10% of SQL reach this stage.


If you want to optimize your team’s performance and increase their win rates, you need to know where your reps are having the most difficulty converting opportunities to the next stage. Analyzing the sales pipeline by stage shows exactly where you are having pipeline leakage so you can identify exactly where your sales reps need to improve.

Full pipeline from initial lead to opportunity


Keeping Your Sales Pipeline Healthy

A deeper look at your pipeline tells you how it has changed over time, whether it is growing in line with rising revenue targets, and exactly how much revenue you can expect to produce from it.

A shrinking pipeline needs to be evaluated quickly, and this can only be achieved if you are carefully tracking the net flow of opportunities in your pipeline.

Actionable Insights:

  • Encourage your sales reps to keep the data about their pipeline clean and accurate. Enhanced data accuracy is required to build precise sales forecast and make better business decisions.
  • In addition, a more transparent view of the pipeline will help increase conversion rates and generate more revenue

Benchmarking statistics

Sales pipeline health benchmarks

  • Only 46% of reps think their pipeline accurately reflects future business.
  • 80% of reps think they are good at qualifying opportunities.
  • Average pipeline slippage is 21%.
  • 51% of forecasted deals don’t close.
  • Companies with effective pipeline management have 15% faster revenue growth than those with an in effective management.


Employ dynamic processes in your CRM in order to help your sales reps keep their pipeline clean. An automated process guides users through the next steps, alerts them about any overdue tasks and notifies them about any information required at a certain stage.

Creatio opportunity sales process and related stepsDCM opporuntity sales process


Learning From the Outcome - Sales Results Metrics

At this stage of the sales process you should have already measured your reps activities, built and analyzed their sales pipeline based on historic data and tracked how the pipeline changed over time. Based on this information and other analytics you can evaluate your strategy.

Actionable Insights:

  • Analyze the buying cycle of the clients you’ve won to have in-depth understanding of their journey, major touchpoints, and the main reasons why they decided to go with you.
  • Analyze your churn rate and identify the sales cycle that best correlates to high customer satisfaction.

Benchmarking statistics

 Sales results metrics Creatio

  • Lost sales productivity and wasted marketing budget costs companies at least $1 trillion a year.
  • Sales teams with at least 3 hours of pipeline meetings a month experienced revenue growth of over 11%.
  • Sales teams that implement best practices across their organizations have almost 90% quota attainment – nearly twice more than organizations that neglect best practices.


Share the insights acquired during the sales process with your marketing team. This will help your marketing team utilize these insights for further improvements of their campaigns, messages and assets. Better sales and marketing alignment will help you hit your revenue goals. Recent research shows that aligned organizations achieved an average of 32% annual revenue growth.

Pipeline conversion



Sales rep efficiency

Opportunities by sales rep-creatio-pie chart

Process Optimization Based on the Sales Math

Sales process consists of the steps your reps must take to sell your product, and it should be mapped as a complete customer journey. Doing so will help you identify the actions that your reps need to perform to successfully move an opportunity from one stage to the next.

Therefore, you must create and formalize your sales process while delivering to your reps a clear understanding of all the steps within the process so they can identify what actions they need to take to successfully close the deal.

Benchmarking statistics

Developing a formal sales process means having clearly defined stages and milestones that are understood by all of your sales reps. Your sales team shouldn’t have to guess where a particular deal stands or how they should be managing opportunities at every stage.

Process optimizatin based on sales math


It takes careful analysis and a clear understanding of important factors to make progressive changes to your sales process. Use sales metrics as a base for creating a dynamic and responsive sales process that will help you improve results and reach your sales goals.

 Creatio opportunity management summary dashboard

Creatio opportunity management summary dashbaord



With over one trillion dollars spent annually on sales teams, maximizing sales productivity is a critical goal for every enterprise. While all sales organizations are different, it is always important to measure the KPIs and outcomes at each stage of the sales process.

Sales is a numbers game. Having the benchmarks to measure performance makes companies better equipped for today’s new selling environment. In addition, a process-driven sales automation tool can help manage sales metrics to achieve the heightened win rates every company seeks.

There is no magic or quick fix to improve your sales metrics — it takes careful analysis and a clear understanding of important factors. Tracking the metrics outlined in this article will help you create a dynamic and responsive sales process so you can improve your results and reach your sales goals.


Give me a call to discuss (269) 445-3001   or Schedule a Call with Dick

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