Establishing Your Baselines: Sales

Establishing Your Baselines: Sales

Establishing Your Baselines: Sales

Before you can start your business and marketing goal setting, you should have a good understanding of where you are at today. Once you have your baseline metrics recorded, then your firm can work on the growth for the next year and begin to set goals.

This article provides you with some brief examples of sales (business development) baseline metrics to get you started.  In this article, I shared some ideas for marketing baseline metrics. Then, the series continues with some different methods to set goals.

Sales (Business Development) Baseline Metrics

Sales Revenue

This may seem obvious, but where are you at with sales for this year? Prior years? You might even want to break this down by market or office depending on how your firm is structured. I suggest knowing your sales history for at least the prior three years with five years being preferred. This will help you understand the trends and know if there was just a mega project contracted one year and not in another one.

Gross Margin

This is calculated by taking the entire revenue amount for a project and subtracting any subconsultants or vendors. This is a good indication of how much of the job you are “giving away.” This may or may not be a fair metric because depending on your client requirements, you may have to subcontract a certain percentage of work to minority, local, or disadvantaged firms.

New Clients

How many new clients have your firm secured new work with? How many new clients have your firm pursued in total? What was the outcome of each effort? Knowing the types of clients you are pursuing, the number of successful pursuits and the make-up/demographics of each new client will help when you start building your goals.

New Contracts

How many new contracts did you win? Were they with new or existing clients? Did you do anything differently to win those new contracts? What is the average contract value? By having a good understanding of not only how many new contracts you won but digging a little deeper into why and how your firm was successful will help you to replicate the success.

New Leads

How many new leads (clients or projects) did you identify? Where did the new leads come from? How did you qualify the new leads to determine they were worthy to pursue? Measuring new leads tells you how well your sales team is prospecting.

Sales Activities

We know that our sales cycles may be longer than other industries so just looking at sales revenue only tells part of the story. Sales activities metrics can show what your seller/doers and business developers are doing daily. These activity metrics are manageable, meaning that the firm leadership can directly influence them. Sales activities can be as granular as the number of calls, emails, conversations, etc. or as broad as the number of client information meetings/presentations, proposals submitted, shortlist presentations, etc.

Overlapping Metrics

New Clients

This overlaps in that marketing is integral is building brand awareness to reach potential new clients. While business development/sales are heavily involved in the follow-up and one-on-one relationship building. Each is also involved in the identification of the new types of clients to pursue and the in the proposal development to win the work.

Client Retention and Satisfaction

This may be arguably the most important metric because it impacts all departments of the firm—operations, marketing, and sales. It impacts your revenue, expansion, and cost of selling. As we know, generating revenue from loyal clients is considerably less expensive than finding and acquiring new clients. Some metrics can include the number of recurring projects, increased client satisfaction scores, and Net Promoter Scores.

On the other side, you can look at the number of clients who do not choose to work with your firm again. When looking at this metric, you will want to know why the client is no longer working with your firm. It can be for reasons you can or cannot control. You can control the performance of your teams and client service. You cannot control the client budgets, if they go out of business, etc.

Budget Adherence

Do you have budgets established for marketing and business development activities? If so, did you go over or stay under budget? In what areas did you go over/stay under?

Other Articles in the Series

Look to this article to get some ideas for Marketing Baseline metrics. Once you have the metrics identified, then you can use these methods to set goals for your firm.


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