How to Conduct a B2B Sales Performance Review, Plus 5 Metrics to Measure for Every Salesperson

Sean Lund-Brown

In sales, metrics are critical benchmarks of success and capability. They’re also helpful in identifying people’s weak areas and places where some could use a little more support. If you are trying to understand how your team is delivering on expectations and meeting their goals, this is a good way to get all the information that you need. 

These can seem confrontational, too “form-factor”, or just plain overwhelming for a lot of managers, but the fact is that performances reviews are a must. You should consider adding them to the annual schedule for every employee that you have. Some companies also do reviews after 90 days or six months for new employees to ensure they’re learning and becoming successful. 

So, how do you go about conducting a review that doesn’t feel like a meeting to discuss someone’s flaws? And how do you incorporate the input of your sales team to ensure that you’re working together on this and all goals? In the article below, we’ll cover tips for conducting reviews, as well as five metrics that every sales manager should be keeping an eye on to ensure their sales team is up to snuff. 


How to conduct effective reviews 


There’s no single formula for effectiveness here—it’s essentially about creating a strategy that suits your needs and helps you get to the end goal that you have in mind. Start by having benchmarks that you’ve laid out ahead of time prepared, on paper, and with a standardized rating formula. Most companies use phrases like:

  • Does not meet expectations
  • Sometimes meets expectations
  • Needs improvement
  • Meets expectations
  • Exceeds expectations
  • Consistently exceeds expectations

You can use this type of rating system, or you can create your own. In either case, make sure that your employees understand what each rating means and how they can make improvements (if necessary). Create an outline of your review ahead of time and make sure that you are using the right reports to gather metrics. 

Focus on the key areas of performance, too. You shouldn’t spend a lot of time focusing on upsells if someone is struggling with converting a regular sale, for example. Create an open forum where your team feels they can discuss the results with you and address both your and their concerns. 

Another great way to make the most of performance reviews is to allow employees to do a self-assessment. Invite them to honestly review their own performance, identify areas of improvement and strengths, etc. Then, compare their review to yours and see how things line up. Not only does this create accountability, but it shows your people that you’re trying to help them succeed. 


The metrics you need to know


Although there are several different statistics that could give you valuable info about your sales team, some are more helpful than others. If you want to improve performance, make sure you’re monitoring these five metrics:

1. Conversion rates

Leads come to your business, but they will not convert themselves in most cases. This is where your sales team needs to step in, deliver the best pitch, and get the conversation going about why your company is the best fit. If your sales team isn’t successful at converting leads, they’re not going to get further down the pipeline. 


2. Lead-to-opportunity rates

Beyond outright conversions, you should be measuring how many leads turn into opportunities for each salesperson. This basically means how many leads actually continue the journey, although they haven’t converted to buying, because they have some interest in the product or service that you offer. 

3. Time spent in the pipeline

This is an important metric for every business—the longer a lead stays in the pipeline, the more time they have to change their mind. If your sales team is doing their job, you’ll be able to see short pipeline times and quicker conversions through each stage of the buying journey. A stagnant pipeline means lost sales as your leads go elsewhere to avoid the wait. If your sales team is struggling here, you have to find the bottleneck and fix it quickly. 


4. Lead response time

How long do leads take to respond from when they are contacted? The best sales agents will get quick responses from any communication, whether it’s digital, physical, or otherwise. If your team can’t engage leads from the start, it’s not likely that they’ll catch up later—you’ll just lose those leads to someone faster and better at handling their lead generation. 


5. Churn rate

It costs a lot more to acquire a customer than it does to retain one. If your sales team is on point, you will have a low churn rate. Essentially, this means that you will have fewer customers leaving you and it will happen less frequently. Part of that comes in knowing why they’re leaving in the first place so that you can course-correct and make the necessary adjustments. 


Skip the monitoring and let someone else do the work when you partner with Smith.ai


If you’re too busy to manage a sales team or keep up with things like performance reviews and metrics, you might want to consider your other options, such as outsourcing to a group like the team at Smith.ai. Our dedicated virtual agents can serve as receptionists, sales reps, and anything else that you need—while you’re taking care of business, we’ll take care of inbound and outbound sales and support, live website chat, lead intake and scheduling, and anything else that you need. 

Plus, we’ll ensure that you’ve got a dynamic strategy to handle all of it, no matter how big or small your needs may be. Or if you want, just let us handle the virtual receptionist needs while you work on cultivating your in-house sales team. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to discuss how our 24/7 virtual receptionists can deliver for your business and keep track of all the metrics along the way. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.


Sean Lund-Brown

Sean Lund-Brown is a current Marketing Assistant for Smith.ai. A graduate from Metropolitan State University of Denver, Sean graduated with a BA in Music and an individualized degree in Teaching Vocal Pedagogy.

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