Sales is often the sharp end of most businesses. While on the one hand, you’re building relationships with customers on the other you’ve got increasing targets to hit and the pressure that, if you don’t sell your company doesn’t make money.

In the middle of this there’s often little room to experiment, optimize and try new approaches, but doing this, and using OKR as a guide can have a huge payoff, as we’ve learned ourselves at Perdoo.

OKR can help you turbocharge your sales team, wildly exceed your targets, and provide value to your organization over and above money in the bank.

Sales OKRs for large companies

If you’re in a Sales department with several teams, each responsible for a Sales channel, department heads may want to set up OKRs for the department, and then have each channel also create their own OKRs. In this case, there would be two types of Sales OKR, strategic department level Objectives, and channel-based tactical Objectives. The structure would look like this.

Ultimate Goal > Company OKRs > Sales Dept OKRs > Sales Channel OKRs

Sales OKRs for small companies

If you’re managing sales at a small company, like Perdoo, with a small team, 3 to 5 Sales Team OKRs per quarter will work, without the need for a departmental level. The structure would look like this.

Ultimate Goal > Company OKRs > Sales Team OKRs

Example Sales OKRs

The type of OKRs used by Sale teams can be categorized into 2 main types. The first approach is to set OKRs to improve Sales processes or operations. Funnel optimization is a good example, and can be expressed as an example OKR like this:

O: Improve the performance of the Sales Funnel

    KR: MQL to Opportunity close rate is 65%
    KR: Opportunity Close Rate is 50%
    KR: Time to close is 14 days

        IN: Test new call script
        IN: Develop and test new demo deck
        IN: Automate post call follow up
        IN: Test a free trial offer

The second type of OKR often used by Sales teams is a build OKR, especially when starting from scratch, entering new markets or launching new products. For example:

O: Successfully launch Acme widgets to Asian customers

    KR: 25% of new APAC customers buy widgets
    KR: Average deal size for widget orders is $6k
    KR: Total revenue from new widget sales is $1,5million

        IN: Hire 5 new APAC salespeople
        IN: Design new widget selling course
        IN: Setup widget sales scoreboard
        IN: Launch sales incentive for widget sales
        IN: Implement new call scoring model

If you decide to use OKR for Sales, make sure you follow these simple rules.

  1. Don’t confuse OKRs with KPI’s – KPI’s monitor the same thing constantly, like sales targets. OKRs take you somewhere new, and they’re temporary.
  2. Objectives should be inspirational and should NEVER contain numbers
  3. Key Results should ALWAYS contain metrics you influence, but don’t fully control
  4. Initiatives should always be the things you DO to influence your Objective

For more example OKRs and common Sales metrics used for Key Results, check out our post from last year How to Use OKRs for Sales make sure to grab a copy of our guide Example OKRs for Sales Teams.