Articles by Jim Wilson
- Sales Metrics for Early Stage Companies
Early stage companies need to measure the right metrics to make data-driven decisions for growth. There are three critical questions that early stage companies need to answer through these metrics: predictable growth rate, effectiveness of the sales team, and the health of the sales funnel. • Companies can use growth rate metrics such as bookings, qualified pipeline, new logos, and renewal rate/churn to determine the right growth rate based on historical data. • Sales effectiveness metrics such as new reps hired/attrited, average quota attainment, average new hire ramp time, # of productive reps, and forecast accuracy are leading indicators that help sales leaders understand sales effectiveness. • Sales funnel metrics can help build a healthy sales funnel through goals for quota, activity, and leads.
- QBRs: Why they matter and how to run them effectively
Jim explains that Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs) provide valuable feedback on the right messaging, differentiation, and value proposition, uncover best and worst practices in the sales process, help founders and CEOs assess the sales team readiness and capability, and foster alignment between sales and other parts of the organization, particularly marketing (messaging) and product (roadmap and differentiation). Establishing a regular cadence, holding QBRs in-person and preferably offsite, scheduling a team-building exercise, and mixing up the agenda are all critical to the effectiveness of QBRs. Additionally, using a standard template for reps, including others from the company, and following up with designated action plans are crucial.
- How to Turn Win-Loss Analysis into Buyer Insights
Many early stage companies report on wins and losses, but few turn this data into valuable buyer insights. Good Win-Loss analysis should answer fundamental questions, such as what parts of the pitch are missing the target of intended buyers, why are they winning, what metrics and KPIs are buyers using to justify their purchases, and what are the strengths and weaknesses of competitors. To get the complete customer picture, collect buyer feedback from three different channels: • Self-reported win/loss reason codes and stories • Customer studies and surveys • Third party customer interviews Each channel has distinct advantages for gaining deeper insights into buyer behavior.