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.
- 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.
- Objectives should be inspirational and should NEVER contain numbers
- Key Results should ALWAYS contain metrics you influence, but don’t fully control
- Initiatives should always be the things you DO to influence your Objective