Sales are the lifeblood of your business. They provide income to keep your operations turning and your company in business. However, they also do something else. If you look closely at your sales records, you will see that they generate a tremendous amount of data that your business could leverage to even greater success. This is called sales analytics.
What is Sales Analytics?
Sales analytics are business analytics tools that transforms data about your sales transactions and outreach efforts into actionable insights. The right sales analytics will help your company identify new opportunities, spot weaknesses in your outreach process, recognize potential niches, and pinpoint what you need to do to grow and succeed.
The term “sales analytics” refers to a collection of different formulas or metrics. Each one offers something slightly different to say about your operations. Ideally, you will use several to develop a complete picture about your company’s sales efforts.
Sales Metrics to Track
Here are 13 sales metrics to get you started. Each one has the potential to help you kick start your sales analytics and transform the way you do business.
Total Revenues (by Year/Quarter/Month/Week/Day)
Before you can increase your sales, you have to know what they are. There are lots of metrics that are based on your revenue, so start there. It might sound simplistic or straightforward, but the key here is to make sure that everyone on your sales team, if not all of those in your organization, understand how much money your company makes.
You should pay attention to how much money your company is making compared to different time periods. For instance, you may want to look at how much money your company made in the prior year, month, or week.
Similarly, earnings are important too. This is how much you make after expenses. It does not help you to sell a million widgets if you only end up with $1 in profit.
2. Sales by Product/Service Type
Total Sales of Product A
Total Sales of Product B
Next, look at how much money you make on each product or service you sell. Doing so will help you understand which of your products are selling and which are not.
Ideally, you should be looking at this metric in a number of configurations. Sales by product is important but you can also gain insights by looking at the total sales for a class of products or services. It will help you see whether a type of products is working better for your company than another.
Net earnings by product or service and division or segment are equally important. This metric will help you have a clear picture of exactly what contributes to your profitability.
3. Utilization by Segment
Utilization = Hours Worked/Available Hours
Utilization is important as well, especially if you bill by the hour. This metric looks at how much of your employees’ time is billable and compares that figure to the total number of hours your employees were available.
If your utilization rate is very high, you might not have enough resources for your employees to leverage. You can lower the utilization rate by creating more templates and standardizing your operations. At the same time, if you find that you are not utilizing your employee’s time as much as you’d like, you could find that you don’t have enough customers or that you have too many people on staff.
In addition to utilization, you may also want to look at “chargeable utilization” – the number of hours for which you actually bill compared to the total available hours – and utilization by employee.
4. Sales Growth
Sales Growth = [(Sales in time period – Sales in previous time period)/ Sales in previous time period] x 100
The “sales growth” metric helps you see how much your ability to produce revenue has improved (or declined) over a set period of time. To calculate this metric, start by subtracting your sales over a past period of time (e.g., one quarter) from another period of time (e.g., the present quarter). Take that sum and divide it by the sales in a previous time period and multiply the result by 100. This will give you a percentage increase or decrease.
Example: Sales increased by 33% over last quarter if this quarter you sold $400 million and last quarter you sold $300 million.
This metric has powerful applications because it helps you see how much your sales have changed over time. You can also use this formula to measure the success of different initiatives.
Example: Sales increased by 20% after the company began advertising on social media.
5. Target Revenue
Target Revenue = Number of Projected Sales x Average Transaction Size x Time Period
Your target revenue is where you’d like your current revenue, but it cannot be an arbitrary number. Of course, you’d like to make a million dollars, but that probably isn’t going to happen by next year if you are currently only selling 1,000 items a year at $100 each. However, if you took your current numbers and said that you would like to increase the average transaction size by $10 or that you want to increase the number of items you sell by 20% (or both), the figure would be much more realistic and attainable.
6. Sales to Date
Sales to Date = Total Sales from the Start of your Fiscal Year to Present
Sales to Date is a sales metric that is very similar to Total Revenues. The difference here is that instead of using a specified time period, it totals all of your sales from the first of your fiscal year.
This metric can be useful because sometimes a set time period fails to capture a specific event. Take high school prom for example. Some years it falls in May while other times, it is at the end of April. If you own a formalwear store, comparing sales on a per month basis may be misleading. Instead, you may want to look at a year-to-date sales metric, say on June 1, because that would capture all of the prom dress sales and tuxedo rentals for the season.
7. Previous Sales
Total Sales by Past Period
Looking at your total sales from a previous period will help you get an idea of how far you have come in your efforts. While the number means very little on its own, Previous Sales is a powerful metric when you compare one year to another or one quarter to a past one. Including previous sales instead of simply looking at sales growth is valuable because it helps you conceptualize the numbers differently. The metric may also be more applicable to your distribution, operations, or manufacturing divisions because those departments deal with physical goods and actual product levels.
You can look at Previous Sales for any period as well as Previous Earnings.
8. Average Purchase
Average Purchase Size = Total Sales in a Set Period / Number of Sales Made in the Same Set Period
Average Purchase Size (or Average Purchase Value) refers to the average size of your sales transactions. You calculate this figure by dividing the total sales you made in a set period (e.g., one month) by the number of transactions you recorded in that period.
Example: If you had $20,000 in revenue for November and you posted 400 transactions, your average transaction size was $50 for the month.
This metric is useful because it helps you understand your customers’ behavior and enables you to craft marketing strategies that leverage this tendency. To use our earlier example, if you find that your average transaction size is $50, you may want to offer a coupon to incentivize customers for spending $60.
9. Repeat Sales Rate
Repeat Sales Rate = Number of Repeat Customers in a Set Period / Total Number of Customers in a Set Period
Repeat Sales is also important because it lets you know whether you are doing a good job. People only come back to a company when they enjoyed the service they received, liked the product, or otherwise make an informed decision to buy from you again. If you are not getting many repeat customers, there are only two explanations: you are expanding rapidly and attracting a disproportionate number of new customers or your product/service/customer experience is not perceived as valuable enough to warrant a repeat visit.
10. Sales by Region
Total Sales by Location
Make sure to look at your sales by region too. This sales metric can help you identify whether a specific demographic is shopping at your store or choosing your services over another. This information will help you decide where and how to place advertisements as well as identify potential areas for expansion or relocation. If 80% of your customers come from a neighboring town, you may want to consider opening a second location there or targeting some of your ads to people who live in that area.
11. Lead Conversion Rate
Lead Conversion Rate = [(Number of Converted Leads / Total Number of Leads) x 100]
Lead Conversion Rate is the percentage of your customers who complete a specific action. The exact activity depends on your definition of conversion. For some companies, conversion is the number of people who sign up for a newsletter while for others it is when a lead becomes a paying customer. Either definition is correct, and you may want to calculate more than one lead conversion rate for this purpose.
Example: Ten people out of 100 who visit your website download your free e-book, so your lead conversion rate is 10%.
Example: Of the 200 people who clicked on your ad, 25 of them made a purchase. This makes your lead conversion rate 12.5%.
This is a powerful metric for comparing the success of different efforts. You could see if one ad performs better than another or compare how many people download your e-book compared to a white paper.
12. Sell-Through Rate
Sell-Through Rate = [(Number of Inventory Items Sold in that Period / Total Inventory at the Beginning of a Set Period) x 100]
Sell-Through Rate or STR is a percentage that expresses what percentage of your inventory you sold during a set period of time. Many retailers use this metric to get an idea of how effectively they are managing their inventory.
Example: You had 100 widgets in stock at the beginning of August and you sold 75 of them that month. Your sell-through rate for August is 75%.
Example: If your sell-through rate is 100%, you sold out of the item during that period.
Ideally, you want to have a high sell-through rate. It depends on your business whether selling out of an item is a good thing. While a 100% STR does mean that you fully-assessed demand, you also may have missed out on some sales opportunities. Conversely, any STR that is less than 100% means that you have extra inventory at the end of the month. Those items cost money to acquire and will have to be managed effectively.
Cannibalization = [(Sales of Existing Product in Past Period – Sales of Existing Product in Present Period) / Sales of New Product in Present Period] x 100
Cannibalization is a sales metric that expresses the percentage of how many sales of an existing product were lost because you introduced a new product. For instance, let’s say you sell tents. You have a two-person tent model in green. This summer, you decide to launch a new product – a two-person tent with a canopy in blue. You can’t just look at sales. You would only be able to see total sales or the sales volume of one tent compared to the other.
Example: You sold 100 green tents last month. This month, you sold 60 green tents and 50 of your new blue tents. Your cannibalization rate is 80%.
Cannibalization lets you estimate whether launching that new tent has made the existing one obsolete. This metric can also be produced through market research to assess whether a new product is valuable enough to replace an existing product.
Putting it Together
Unfortunately, many businesses shy away from these sales analytics because the data is not easily accessible and the calculations are labor intensive. If that sounds like your company, you are in luck. While you can calculate these sales metrics on your own, you don’t need to take the time. Technology and data strategy can be utilized to make it easy. Partner with a funnel optimization and analytics company like ironFocus that understand marketing and sales. We will do the work for you so you can focus on being profitable.
Sales analytics are one of your most powerful tools for understanding what contributes to your sales and figuring out how you can boost your revenues. They provide you with insights and information you can use to make informed strategic decisions. Take control of your company’s future and start optimizing your sales funnel with the right sales analytics.