[Video] The SaaS Sales Report Template
As a company grows, it is easy for data to become siloed. High performing teams and companies understand the importance of making data accessible and understandable (i.e. a business dashboard) to everyone who needs it in order to support the overall growth of the business.
In this video, we dug into a hypothetical Series A SaaS company to look at how sales teams in particular can make sure they are tracking the right growth metrics and sharing them with the right stakeholders in order to empower those people to make an impact on the business.
Your Most Valuable Metric(s)
Within an organization, every team (and every person) should have a singular metric that they are pushing to improve every day, week, month, and year.
The main reason to have a holistic metric for your team to focus on is to help cut out the noise that comes with trying to track (and take action on) everything. This way, you can hone in on the one thing that drives your success. Read any startup post-mortem and you’ll quickly realize the negative impact that lack of focus can have on a company. Even growth stage and public companies tend to get themselves behind a single metric that they view as the barometer of their success. In many cases, like with Airbnb or Warby Parker, the same MVM has been a driving force since the early days.
The most important thing with your most valuable, or true north, metric is that you can clearly draw a line between the direction of that metric and the overall success of the business, team, or process.
For our hypothetical company, ARR (Annual Recurring Revenue) sets the tone for how the sales team gauges its success.
If ARR is growing, the sales team knows its underlying processes – like qualifying leads, conducting demos, and building proposals – are working correctly.
As David Skok, of Matrix Venture Partners puts it:
That means that each of the metrics that a team relies on should work in lock step with the rest of the numbers being tracked. If your supporting metrics – the scaffolding – all work well together, it is easy to look back and understand not only which processes were a success or failure, but also the underlying reasons behind the changes (the why).
Lead Velocity Rate
Lead Velocity Rate is one of the most important metrics a SaaS sales team can track as it paint a picture of how top of the funnel activities (lead generation and qualification) are performing and also helps a company look forward to where revenue will be in coming periods as those leads turn into demos, proposals, and (hopefully) closed deals.
Weighted Pipeline Value
Each time a lead hits a sales rep’s desk, that rep should spend time evaluating the potential deal size based on historical patterns and similar customers. Additionally, a good sales team should spend time understanding what conversion rates through the funnel (MQL > SQL > Opportunity > Demo > Proposal > Close) look like. These two factors help sales teams understand the weighted value of each deal and, when all of the deals are combined, the total Weighted Pipeline Value.
For example, if a company turns 25% of Sales Qualified Leads into Closed Deals and a specific deal (if it closes) is worth $1,000 in ARR. The weighted value of that deal at the SQL stage would be $250.
Pipeline velocity rate is simply the growth in a company’s weighted pipeline value from period to period. This growth is influenced not only by the number of leads generated and qualified but also by a sales team’s ability to continually push expectations of average revenue per customer higher.
Proposals Sent vs. Deals Closed
This represents the bottom of the funnel for our hypothetical company and shows how well sales reps are at understanding what a potential customer who is close to converting looks like. Directionally, things look good, as both the number of proposals sent and number of deals closed are growing. Additionally, deals closed as a percentage of proposals sent is increase over time, another positive sign.
The Context: Crafting Your Sales Report Template
Numbers and visualizations play a major role telling your team or company’s story but context is key in driving home the points you are making and keeping all of the people who can make an impact engaged.
As you can see in the sales team report put together by our hypothetical sales manager, context is what helps her or him draw connections between the metrics being tracked and tell a story that motivates team members, keeps executives informed, and shows others in the company how their efforts – for example, the impact of the Marketing team’s lead generation efforts – are making an impact.