Josh Allen is a sales leadership veteran. From inside sales rep to manager to EMEA sales director to current VP of Sales at LogMeIn, Josh has a track record of leading successful teams. We recently sat down to discuss how he thinks about and measures KPIs for his sales reps.
(Note: LogMeIn is a remote access software/SaaS company with a higher-volume, lower-ASP model.)
Josh and LogMeIn have departed from traditional (one-size-fits-all) sales KPIs in favor of customized metrics for each and every sales rep.
"We've tried cookie cutter KPIs – for example, everybody has to make 60 dials a day, create 5 new opportunities a week, etc. But when you apply KPIs broadly across different sales teams, and try to graph it, you're going to have people who are on the high end and the low end. And very few people who are actually meeting the target."
Rather than apply uniform metrics, they decided to build a formula that would be as customized as possible to the individual sales rep. Using historical sales performance, they isolate that specific individual’s metrics.
"We know their historical conversion rate and we know their quota. So we have two known entities and work backwards from there. We use those to determine how much pipeline each rep has to build to hit their number. Then, we can layer in how many conversations it takes to get to that pipeline goal. From there, we determine how much effort and activity they’ll need – on a daily basis – to generate those sales conversations."
Think about that for a moment.
Essentially, they’re mapping an individual rep’s “personalized sales formula."
With this approach, Josh is able to determine that for Rep A, 30 dials a day will get them to their personalized conversation, opportunity, and win goals. But for Rep B, it might take 60 to generate the same number of wins. I asked Josh how much historical data is required before building the customized metrics.
"At a minimum, we use a prior quarter's worth. Realistically, for brand new reps, it's going to take at least 3 ramped months to formulate accurate conversion values."
Now that they have these individualized formulas, it’s up to Managers to look at the metrics within the formula to figure out where a given rep might need coaching. An easy example might be a rep who isn’t generating enough activity to meet their conversation and pipeline goals. The Manager could review the rep’s personalized sales formula and point out how activity impacts wins.
"Say a rep is making the effort and still struggling to have conversations. Then the manager has to locate the specific place in the process where things are falling down. They need to find the coaching point. Is the rep asking good questions to qualify or disqualify early? Are they doing enough up-front research to know what type of business they’re calling into? Are they using relevant anecdotes that are going to stimulate or spark interest with the target contact? Are they talking to or targeting the wrong people? Are they not expanding the opportunity to include enough people?"
This approach allows Josh and team to pinpoint where reps are weakest and to spend time coaching there. I love that LogMeIn starts with baseline KPIs, but then goes totally custom. It really gives each and every rep the ability to use their strengths and, to some extent, their individual selling style.
What are you doing with your sales teams to leverage custom KPIs? I'd love to hear from you.