3 Incredibly Important Prospecting Metrics to Keep Track of in B2B Sales

For salesman, the most important metric they keep track of is how much business have they closed per month, quarter, year. This helps set up payout, promotion and advancement.But how do you get there?

What’s important to keep track of that keeps a salesman headed in the right direction and not chasing bad prospects?

There are important indicators that help set up those closes, and they are important because they keep the salesman on track and help identify when adjustments need to be made in order to keep the sales journey headed towards a close.

Here’s what gets you there:

Email Conversions

Keeping track of open and response rates – this is key – you need to know what is working. Are you drawing prospects in with a quality subject line? If you are not getting good open rates, then you know you need to get better subject lines to draw the prospect in – you need to make them want to open your email.

Higher open rates mean higher probabilities of getting responses. You need to stay on top of your open rates and be quick to adjust to make them better. Use your best copywriting skills to make those subject lines scream “open me!”

Then, are you getting responses? Is your copy good enough? Are you getting accurate results from you’re A/B testing? If your response rates are low, you can be sure you are not providing engaging copy – your value is not being properly conveyed. If you’re just writing about features without explaining the benefits of your service and why they will add value to the prospect, you will not get responses and you lessen the chance of response when you proceed with your email cadence. You can have done everything to optimize your cadence, but without good copy, you look foolish.

Positive Conversations

Sure, you keep track of dials, contacts etc, but are you keeping track of positive conversations? Are they at the top of your list? These are the higher quality, higher probability prospects that go through your sales funnel quicker. You may make plenty of contacts each day and put certain prospects in the follow up file, but the good, positive conversations should be tracked and determined why they are positive. What makes them positive and can you replicate those types of calls with other prospects?

When you keep track of these types of calls you are focusing on your higher probability prospects that you will set appointments with, do demos for, and will ultimately buy from you and become a valued customer. Focus on these conversations and your ratio of positive calls to closed business.

Closing Ratio

We can have had plenty of email conversions and positive conversations all day long, but unless you actually close the prospect and get them to purchase your SaaS service, subscription etc, none of those numbers matter. You need to close. What is your closing ratio from time of initial contact -time from email conversion and time from initial call.

Bonus metric

How many times per week/month are you working to improve your sales skills? We have been able to automate just about everything, have you automated learning? Are you reading up on your industry? Connecting with sales pros who can give you different ideas/ ways to close difficult prospects and handle unique selling situations?

How many sales related books/articles do you read per month?

How many self-improvement/motivational books/articles do you read per month?

James Altucher says that we can get a lifetime of information when we read someone’s biography because the knowledge is condensed into a book and that you can outsource 90 percent of mentorship to books and other materials. 200-500 books equals one good mentor. Read everyday – be committed to making yourself better. That’s one metric that if you continue to raise the bar with knowledge and self work, will help put you over the top when you keep track of the previous 3 metrics. Be better every day, and let the numbers guide you.


Alaysia Brown
About the author: Alaysia Brown is a recent graduate of Louisiana State University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Communication Science. She is currently a Content Marketing Specialist with SalesLoft.

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Benchmark for B2B SaaS sales cycles

When it comes to B2B SaaS sales cycles, it’s never easy to know if you’re doing good. How many days does it takes to close a deal? What factors and characteristics affect this number?

The first thing to understand is that SaaS sales cycle can vary dramatically, depending on a few factors.

What factors affects B2B SaaS sales cycles?

Target customer

Sales cycle will vary dramatically depending on what size of companies you’re targeting. And the reason is simple: enterprises have complex structures, and you’ll will have to go through a long compliance process that can take weeks or months. It also tend to take longer because you have to sell the solution to several people, not just your end user/department. Every time a new stakeholder is involved in the buying process, you have to re-sell the product.

Let’s say you’re selling a marketing automation tool to a Fortune 500 company. It’s not enough to have the marketing director bought in, you’ll probably have to go through IT to prove you’re infrastructure is reliable and their data is safe; then procurement where they will compare your proposal with at least two others; then finance to have you registered as a vendor, align payment conditions and methods. It ain’t easy.

“Every time a new stakeholder is involved in the buying process, you have to re-sell the product”. Tweet this quote

Common ways of miscalculating and misinterpreting SaaS unit economics

When it comes to measuring subscription businesses, unit economics are crucial.

Miscalculating or misinterpreting these numbers can be really harmful for your business.

This set of metics will tell you if you’re building a sustainable business, and that is only possible with profits. One can say that making no profits is not necessarily bad, pointing Amazon as an example.

Amazon haven’t been profitable for years and still a very successful business. There are good reasons why one would raise capital and make investments that lead you to be unprofitable – like hiring new sales people and accelerating sales on a SaaS business – but they key point here is availability of capital fueling faster growth.

Despite investments, let’s see how to avoid miscalculating or misinterpreting your unit economics.

Podcast: Aaron Ross on SaaS Sales

Aaron Ross on SaaS Sales

Aaron Ross was an early employee at Salesforce and created a sales process that added over a billion dollars in revenue to the company.

Aaron is know most known for writing a book called predictable revenue that became the sales bible in Silicon Valley. His ideas on sales transformed businesses around the world and made him well know in the software industry.

I recently caught up with Aaron to chat about the challenges of SaaS sales, how big companies are transitioning to a subscription business model, and to talk about his new book with Jason Lemkin, From Impossible to Inevitable.

Notes from SaaStr 16’ — Day 3 Summary

SaaStr Annual 2016

Final day at #SaaStrAnnual 16′. This was the best event that i attended as a SaaS founder. If you want to review the previous days, here’s my notes:


What Makes a Great SaaS CEO
Josh SteinJason Lemkin

Key insight: If you can get to U$1m in ARR you are smart enought to do it. The question is: Do you want a put the effort it?

  • It is crucial to set a great vision;
  • Met Aaron Levie 2y before the investment;
  • He burned the boat early to leave B2C and focus on enterprise. He had to “rebuild himself” to become an enterprise leader. All with discipline and hard work;
  • He became the go to guy for thought leadership in the industry;
  • Don’t say “I’m not a good public speaker. I’m not an enterprise guy.” You have to practice. You have to embrace the change.
  • Set values and principles, that’ll make things easier;
  • As you grow, be less exposed to day to day ops. Assemble a great team;
  • 3 stages that require great changes: Up to 50 people, 200 people, 1000 people. You have to emerge as a figure, scale yourself;
  • Set clear responsibilities for CEO, COO, CRO, etc;
  • Empower people to make decisions and not bottleneck;
  • Do not ask yourself if you are capable to become a CEO. Just take the commitment. It takes a lot of effort on the side. It takes reading every single business book. The key question is: Do you want to do it?
  • You always have to be thinking 6–12 months in advance. Get advice. Bring external feedback;

Notes from SaaStr 16’ — Day 2 Summary

SaaStr Annual 2016

Had a lot of fun yesterday, if you want to check day 1 summary, click here. Here’s my notes for Day 2.


Bubble? What Bubble? How It’s Different This Time. And How It Most Certainly Isn’t
Jason LemkinMark Suster


Key insight: In SaaS? It’s time to cut costs, and focus on responsible growth. Not a good time to grow at all costs.

  • There’s a lot of VC money out there and the majority of the money in VC is going to late stage;
  • 55% of money in the system does not come from VC;
  • VC’s are accumulating investments, but not having returns. M&A activity is not up. This is the first january in a decado with zero IPO’s;
  • Median valuation went up 3X in 2 years, but seems to be corrected in Q4 (trend ??);
  • 61% of VCs believe valuations are going down in 16′;
  • Companies are moving towards cost cutting, burn rate reduction and profitability;
  • Not a lot of “FOMO” (fear of missing out) in Silicon Valley anymore. VC’s do not feel the rush to close, and the pace is slowing down. 70% of investors surveyed said their investments have slowed down. They’ll still invest… but not as quickly.
  • Companies aren’t talking about it, but they’re cutting costs.
  • ABR. Always. Be. Raising.

Notes from SaaStr 16’ — Day 1 Summary

SaaStr Annual 2016

Amazing event, took a lot of notes. If I forgot something, made a mistake or you have additional stuff for me to add here, feel free to tweet at me or leave a comment.


Atlassian — Inside Story Behind a $5B IPO
Jay Simons

Key insight: Think about “Product Expansion paths”

  • Create a natural network effect built into our products. Think about organic expansion inside the organization
  • Product strategy is important. Atlasssian thinks about the team collaboration.
  • Profile the end users — Make them happy.
  • Be an advocate for your customer and they will be an advocate for you.
  • It was a right decision to divert energy and build a second product.

ARR vs ACV vs TCV

What comes to your mind when you read the letters ARR?

Well, if you’re in the financial market you may refer to the NYSE:ARR stock, if you’re a tech guy you may think of Application Request Routing; but for us SaaS professionals, ARR means two things only: Annual Run Rate and Annual Recurring Revenue.

Although both metrics are related to your business revenue, they mean two very different things.

EBITDA vs Gross Margin vs Net Profit

We recently discussed how revenue should be recognized in a SaaS company, comparing it to bookings and billings, and it’s pretty straight forward.

Profit is harder to define. There are multiple ways to keep track of it, with metrics such as: Operating Income, Net Income, Free Cash Flow, Cash Flow or something else. One of the most used metrics across the SaaS industry is EBITDA, but still, it can get confusing due to the way we recognize revenue.

The three most common metrics used to measure a SaaS company profit are EBITDA, Gross Margin and Net Profit. Let’s explain in details each one of these metrics.

Introducing the all new Saasmetrics API

Introducing the all new Saasmetrics API

We’re happy to announce that the new Saasmetrics API is now live.

The API allows you to build your own integrations and connect Saasmetrics to any system or application you want. By using our API you can automatically input data to Saasmetrics so you don’t need to spend your time typing data manually, avoid typos and human errors, and have constantly updated numbers and metrics.

The API is organized around REST. Our API is designed to have predictable, resource-oriented URLs and to use HTTP response codes to indicate API errors. We use built-in HTTP features, like HTTP authentication and HTTP verbs, which can be understood by off-the-shelf HTTP clients, and we support cross-origin resource sharing to allow you to interact securely with our API from a client-side web application. Please remember that you should never expose your secret API key in any public website’s client-side code.

Read the full API documentation and starting integrating now!

Bookings vs Revenues vs Billings

Measuring your business results can get really confusing. These three metrics we’re about to discuss are extremely related to each other but mean totally different things.

For the sake of explaining, let’s consider this sample data set of customer subscriptions.

Customer Joined in Plan Interval Amount Contract Value
Customer A 06/2015 Gold Yearly $100 $1,200
Customer B 06/2015 Silver Monthly $60 $60
Customer C 07/2015 Silver Yearly $60 $720
Customer D 07/2015 Silver Yearly $60 $720
Customer E 08/2015 Gold Yearly $100 $1,200
Customer F 08/2015 Gold Monthly $100 $100
Customer G 09/2015 Silver Yearly $60 $720

To make things easier here, we’re considering that all customers are paying 12 months upfront for yearly plans – more on that here – which may or may not be true in your case. It’s common that companies offers customers the option to commit to a full year but still bill them monthly.

Effective tactics to reduce SaaS churn

Just as exponential growth is great for your company, high churn rates are exponentially bad.

If you’re just getting started to acquire your very first customers, churn may not be a big deal, but as soon as you get over a hundred customers churn becomes crucial. And by crucial, I mean it can be the different between the success and failure of your business.

A high churn rate can have an impact on your business growth, your company valuation, and the overall perception of customer satisfaction and success. Just as exponential growth is great for your company, high churn rates are exponentially bad.

The right SaaS metrics for each stage of your company

The right SaaS metrics for each stage of your company

You probably know tons of different SaaS and subscription metrics, and you probably heard you should be measuring a few of them no matter what. Actually even we have told you that on the “5 metrics that every subscription business should be measuring” article.

Guess what? That isn’t necessarily true.

Don’t get me wrong, those five metrics are still key and should definitely be measured for most part of the SaaS and subscription business, but the whole point here is the stage of your business. Imagine yourself and you co-fouder running a recently created startup in a garage and measuring things like EBITDA, deferred revenue or sales quota per rep. That doesn’t make sense right?

The essential SaaS metrics guide

We are proud to announce that we have just published our latest book, The essential SaaS metrics guide. The book is a compilation of what we’ve learned about managing SaaS companies – particularly about how dealing with subscription metrics can mean the difference between the success and failure for your business.

In the book you’ll find thoughts on the subscription economy, the differences between managing a traditional versus a subscription business, what are the right metrics for each stage of your company, and six different key Saas metrics explained in details.

How to price your SaaS product the right way by Steli Efti, CEO @Close.io

Steli Efti, CEO @Close.io

Pricing your SaaS product optimally can mean the difference between success and failure for your business. Even a great team that’s building a great product can fail if they get their pricing wrong.

The more you think about pricing, the more confusing it can get. There are so many different roads you could go down, and it seems like there’s a good argument to be made for why you should go down each and every one of them.