The Essential Sales KPIs that You Should Track

Sales are and always will be a numbers game. A professional and business function that operates in a world of numbers, metrics, data and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

In this article, as we can’t put every possible target and KPI — given that everyone takes a different approach — we have listed the 20 most common and essential KPIs that sales managers and teams need to track.

These have been broken down further into a top-line list, essential for every sales team everywhere, followed by activity-based KPIs, with different lists for Inbound and Outbound teams. After this is a list of KPIs for conversion rates. 


Top-line Sales KPIs

Sales Activity Metrics

Conversion Rate Metrics

Top-line Sales KPIs

Total New Revenue

New revenue refers to everything anyone doing sales activity is bringing in, whether account management, inbound or outbound. And this can include marketing too, as everything both teams are responsible for is ultimately designed to generate new revenue (as in, not revenue that a company is already expecting, in the order book). This can be worked out monthly, quarterly or annually. 

Revenue from NEW Customers

Not counting revenue from current customers that is new, which is what account management is designed to generate, this is revenue from new customers. Every time a new client lands, the value of that work or contract can be calculated as new revenue. 

Revenue Increase from Current Customers

Account management is designed to generate revenue from current customers. This means either ensuring a contract keeps going, or alternative and new products and services can be promoted/sold to them, as a way of increasing revenue. 

Year-on-Year (YoY) Growth

Often, year-on-year (YoY) comparisons are done when targets are being set. If you can compare revenue now to a year ago, and the number is up, then you are doing well. 

Customers Lifetime Value (CLTV)

CLTV partly depends on how long customers generally work with you, and therefore need your products/services. For example, if you’re a software provider and the monthly rate most customers pay is $100, and they stay on average for 3 years, then the CLTV is $3.600. Naturally, the more you charge and the longer clients stay with you, the higher their lifetime value. 

Revenue by Territory / Sector or Niche

It’s often useful to break revenue down according to a range of factors. It could be product or service lines, territories (as in different countries), sectors or niche areas. This way, sales managers get a clearer idea of what’s performing well and what isn’t. You can use this data to improve performance. 

Sales Activity Metrics

Measuring activity is a crucial skill and operational function for any sales manager. If you don’t know how busy your team is, and what they’re doing with their time, how can you coach and train those who aren’t performing as well? 

Activity metrics are often overlooked because everyone looks at whether targets have been hit, or not. But if you don’t take a closer look at what’s going on every day, within the pipeline itself, then the actual performance of team members could be easily overlooked.

We’ve broken this list down to those that impact outbound teams, inbound, and key conversion rate metrics. 

Outbound Metrics

1. Number of calls made

Measuring the number of calls an outbound team makes is crucial. This needs to ensure there are enough sales leads in the pipeline to book meetings, based on current conversion rates. For example, if it takes 100 calls to book 10 meetings, then the call rate needs to stay at 100 per week. 

2. Number of emails and messages sent 

Outbound emails and messages are the same. They play a key role in the sales pipeline, and should always include elements of social selling, to ensure they’re not completely cold messages. The warmer and more tailored an outbound call, email or message can be before it goes out, the more chance for success. 

3. Number of meetings booked 

Activity at the top end of this pipeline should result in meetings/demos being booked. An active pipeline ensures there are plenty of meetings being booked. If these meetings seem few and far between, then it’s definitely a problem. 

4. Number of meetings/demos to conversion 

How long does it take from the first meeting or demo to achieve a sales conversion (winning a new client)? Every sales manager should aim to ensure the sales cycle is short, especially if leads have been qualified properly in the early stages. 

5. Average deal value in the pipeline 

Similar to the CLTV metric: it’s always useful to measure the financial value of every deal in the pipeline, and ideally ensure this is always entered in the CRM. 

Now we take a look at metrics that an inbound team needs to be aware of, which are similar but always somewhat different to outbound teams. Inbound leads either come in from referrals, any channel partners you might have, and crucially, the result of marketing activities. 

Inbound Metrics

1. Number of leads in the pipeline 

This is where a certain amount of calculating backwards is needed. Say you need to win 10 new customers this month. 

It takes 2 weeks from the first contact to convert them, and it takes 50 demos to win those customers; and you have a 10% conversion rate from inbound leads, then you need 500 new leads in the pipeline every month. Base this metric on the conversion rate that works for your company. 

2. Average time to contact inbound leads

With inbound leads, speed is everything! Don’t delay getting in contact, or replying. Whether they’ve filled in a lead magnet form, sent an email, or got in touch by any other means, you need to reply as soon as possible. Otherwise, you risk warm leads going cold. Time is crucial when it comes to inbound leads. 

3. Number of meetings booked 

With inbound leads, the aim should be to book as many as possible on demos and sales meetings. It may take one call or demo to qualify a potential lead, and then another for the more in-depth demo. Unless of course, you can convert new leads on a single demo/meeting; but that depends on the products/services you are offering and how well pre-qualified a lead is when it enters the sales funnel. 

4. Number of meetings/demos to conversion 

Ideally, when it comes to inbound leads, the time it takes to win a new client should be shorter than outbound leads. These are already interested and to an extent have pre-qualified themselves, so pay close attention to this aspect of the sales cycle. 

5. Average deal value in the pipeline

Similar to the CLTV metric: it’s always useful to measure the financial value of every deal in the pipeline, and ideally ensure this is always entered in the CRM. 

Now we will take a look at conversion metrics. 

Conversion Rate Metrics

The time it takes from first contact to a meeting/demo 

Is this a matter of days or weeks? Keeping it short ensures sales leads, whether they’re from outbound or inbound pipelines stay interested. 

Overall conversion rate in the pipeline (win/close compared to lost ratio)

Look at this from the top to the bottom of the sales funnel. From when leads first enter the pipeline, and how many there are, to the number that converts into clients. Getting this number higher is better for everyone. 

Time from first meeting/demo to conversion (sales cycle timescales) 

Again, this is another top-line activity metric in many ways. How long does it take for leads to work through the pipeline, and how many fall away at various stages? This is the best way to plug any leaks and increase conversion rates. 

Value of deals converting and CLTV of those deals 

And finally, how much are all of these deals with? Both in terms of annual revenue. As a way of measuring new revenue being generated, and over the average expected lifetime of every new client. 


We know of course there are numerous other metrics you could measure. Larger companies often measure more. Smaller businesses and startups work with what they can for the time being, and often rely on CRMs and meetings, calls and emails from sales team members for a clear understanding of the key sales metrics. Keeping a close eye on all of this will ensure your company is healthy and the sales team performing well.