I have spent more than 20 years of my career being responsible for driving revenue for sales organizations – large and small, direct and channel, proprietary and open source, product and services-based, SaaS and perpetual license, SMB, and enterprise. And in that time, I have engaged in many debates with my CEOs, CFOs, and my Boards of Directors about the best ways to consistently and efficiently hit aggressive revenue targets. I have deployed and iterated on various sales models.
My biggest learning from these varyingly successful experiments: the macro-metrics that have the highest correlation to “hitting your number” with best-in-class sales efficiencies are sales productivity and ramp time.
Sales productivity is essentially the ratio of your actual sales in any given time period to total quota capacity in the same period. It can be tabulated pre-or post-churn. The benchmarks my Board investors have typically challenged us to meet have been 72-80% netting out churn, or 60-68% all-in.
Ramp time is the time it takes a sales or channel resource to onboard– learn about the company, the products, and services it sells, the competitive environment, the processes to be followed, systems to utilize, the internal and external ecosystem to be leveraged, etc. Doing this well sets up team members for long-term success by reducing churn and creating more productive capacity. Ramp time is typically measured in ‘Time to First Sale’ and/or ‘Time to full productivity.’ Benchmarks vary widely across different businesses and go-to-market models.
The beauty of both sales productivity and ramp time are that the data points needed to measure them are always tracked and often readily at hand. Every CRO and CFO and sales operations leader knows the following:
- How many salespeople do you have onboarded?
- What was the quota for each?
- What business did they actually close?
- What turnover and replacement hiring took place?
- How quickly did new hires begin to sell on average?
With the answers to the above, you have a current-state baseline for sales productivity and ramp time, and you can visualize historical trending.
More importantly, looking forward, you can easily quantify the dollar impact of a single percentage improvement in sales productivity. Or the dollar impact of accelerating ramp time by any given time period, a week or a month, etc.
This leads me to why I am so excited to be leading the revenue efforts at Mindtickle. We provide a platform that acutely improves sales readiness, and therefore sales effectiveness as measured by Sales Productivity and Ramp Time for my CRO colleagues across the globe!
The impact Mindtickle drives can be directly correlated to the sales programs leveraging our platform, improving their readiness, and executing better and faster. There is minimal guesswork associated with ROI or payback period. And importantly for anyone in a Revenue seat where half-life is equivalent to the remaining window in the fiscal year, urgency is the name of the game and Mindtickle delivers results quickly.
A sales readiness platform like Mindtickle is a must-have. It’s as foundational as CRM and CPQ for any sales organization selling complex products and services. As customers, my counterparts leading revenue teams at over 185 of the leading brands and fastest-growing enterprises around the world would concur. That’s validation enough for me!
See the results of Mindtickle in action on our Customer Stories page!