Previously, we covered ‘top of the funnel’ saas sales metrics for cold calling, LinkedIn and email outreach. Knowing the numbers to measure against will help you figure out where your bottleneck lies and show you which area you are stuck on that needs improvement. This time, we’ll be covering ‘in the funnel’ metrics, which are the metrics for when the meeting is already booked to your calendar.
It’s not logical to assume where the problem in your process lies and blindly try to improve random parts of it. The purpose of measuring your metrics is to gain a clear understanding of specifically where your issue lies so you can focus your attention on that particular problem. The numbers will give you the answer, so pay attention to them.
SaaS Sales Metrics to Measure Based On Deal Stages
MQL: “Marketing Qualified Lead”
Definitions for MQL vary, but in this particular context, we define MQL as a lead that is booked on the calendar. They are marketing-qualified, and now they are passing onto the next stage where they must be qualified by sales in a sales meeting.
SQL: “Sales Qualified Lead”
After the lead progresses from an MQL to an SQL, they meet the BANT criteria, which stand for:
- Budget: The lead has the right budget for your product.
- Authority: The lead has the authority to make the decision.
- Need: The lead has a need for your product.
- Timeline: The time is right for your lead.
When a lead does not meet the BANT criteria, it is then disqualified. At this point, you can delete it from your CRM, mark it as ‘disqualified’ or do as you wish with the disqualified lead.
When a lead doesn’t meet all the requirements today, but there is still potential to sell to them in the future, they become a “nurture lead”. Nurture leads can be taken over by the marketing team to send marketing emails to, and to be checked in and followed up with months down the road. They are continuously nurtured until they are ready to become an MQL or SQL.
Post-SQL (Ei. Proposal-Sent, Demo, POC, etc.)
Past the SQL stage, since every product varies, it is up to you to determine what the next logical step will be. Depending on your product, your lead may move to a demo, the proposal-sent stage, or a POC. Whatever the case may be, there needs to be a deal stage in place for that.
Contract-Sent & Negotiations
This stage is the final phase where the contract is sent and a negotiation is being made. It is important to measure how many of your post-SQL’s (proposal-sent, demo, POC’s, etc.) are converting into “contract-sent”.
The number of leads converting from “contract-sent” to “closed won”, where the deal is closed and the lead becomes your client.
The number of leads converting from “contract-sent” to “closed lost”, where the deal is closed and the lead decisively declines.
Troubleshooting Your Process
If you find your bottleneck lies in a lack of SQL’s, you may need to re-evaluate your top-of-funnel to see how you can book better meetings. Perhaps you need to target different people than your current target, or your scripting for qualifying the meeting needs some adjustments.
If you’re finding your number of disqualified leads is unusually high, this metric is also telling you that your targeting is off. Focus on getting better meetings again by re-evaluating who you’re targeting and your script for qualifying the meeting.
In the case that you find your SQL’s are not converting to the post-SQL stage, this may mean you need to improve the initial meeting. Perhaps you qualified the lead but the presentation wasn’t enough to create a sense of urgency that they need to act right away and move forward.
Another potential conflict could lie in your follow-up system. It may be that you or your team are not following up enough. Statistics show that on average, it takes about 5-7 or more follow ups to close a deal. With this in consideration, are you following up enough? It’s helpful to automate your follow-ups with your CRM system. Learn all about how to improve your follow-up system here.
On the occasion that you’re finding insufficient conversions from “post-SQL” to “closed won”, this likely comes down to your product or sales process itself. Did your lead gain the value they were hoping to get out of your trial or POC? To solve this, you can set clear criteria for what they can expect from your trial or POC before they begin, and check with them to see if meeting this set of criteria would make them move forward.
To improve your demo stage, focus on uncovering your lead’s pain points and ensure you are showcasing how your product will solve their problems and make their lives better. Focus on selling the benefits of your product, not just the features. Highlight the value your product brings.
If you’re looking to improve your conversions from “contract-sent” to “closed lost” and minimize that number as much as possible, ask your prospects why they decided not to go ahead with your solution. Could it be that you’re not supplying enough value for the price? Are there non-negotiables in the contract that need to be reassessed? Determine where you are losing these deals.
Land More Closed Contracts By Measuring Your Metrics And Improving Your System
Looking at your data is the best way to tackle improving your sales process and ultimately closing more deals. When you know what to measure, you can narrow down on the ways you can improve your system and weed out any techniques that are just not converting. It just makes sense to read what the numbers mean than to make blind judgements based on feelings.
Read about how to close a deal when selling your tech or SaaS product. If you need more MQL’s, many SaaS startups just like you are outsourcing their sales for good reason. To get more meetings booked to your calendar, let’s get your sales team set up.