Not to sound too much like Joey Tribiani, but we want to ask your sales team: “How you doin’?” 

While they may be making sales, we want to make sure you know how your sales team is really doing. Do you have a way to track it?

In the B2B SaaS industry, sales efficiency is critically important. Selling software at scale is about finding the optimal sales resource levels and ensuring that your investment in sales reflects in the revenue they are generating. 

In order to do that, you’ll need to specify what stats and rates you should be tracking to confirm that your team is absolutely killing it. These are your sales benchmarks, which you’ll use to understand how well your team is performing. You can also use these benchmarks to track your progress and watch your team thrive.

What are SaaS and B2B sales benchmarks?

We’ve already written about eight of the most important SaaS metrics, from customer acquisition cost to churn here, so we won’t go over old ground. Instead, this blog covers benchmarks related to sales only—calls, demos, appointments, opportunities — anything to do with the actual selling process. 

Benchmarks defined

While people tend to use metrics, KPIs, and benchmarks interchangeably, there’s a subtle difference. Benchmarks measure real-world activities of companies, departments, and/or individual team members. Teams use these to compare their sales performance against the industry average to ensure that the business remains competitive and viable. 

Benchmarks are the standard by which something is measured and evaluated in comparison to metrics. Compared to KPIs, benchmarks don’t measure how well a business unit, project, or individual performs against strategic goals. Instead, they compare a SaaS business’s processes and operations with other entities, primarily competitors, to understand its success. 

You need to understand benchmarks to compare your sales results against your industry, but first, you need to know what to measure and how. This article explains some standard sales benchmarks for SaaS and B2B and explains exactly how to do the calculations. Once you know the data for your company, you can use it to compare with your industry standards. 

5 SaaS B2B sales benchmarks you should track 

Let's dive a little deeper into the metrics you should measure within your sales department. 

1. Cold call to conversation rate

You provide your sales teams with a lead list, and you can see them making phone calls, but how many people are picking up and engaging in meaningful conversation? 

The cold calling conversation rate measures how successful your outbound sales is and tracks the number of calls each rep makes vs. the number of conversations they have. 

How to calculate the cold call to conversation rate

If a rep makes 200 calls a week and manages to have four conversations, your call to conversation ratio is 4/200, or 2%. For every 100 calls you make, you'll only have two conversations. 

Keep this metric at 10% or more by changing up your tactics. Call at different times of the day, invest in a regional phone number or try following up calls with texts and emails to see if the metrics improve. 

Call to conversation rate formula: Conversations per month / calls per month

How do you stack up against your industry? 

Let's take a look at how you compare against the competition:

Key takeaway

You need to remember that cold calling is highly important for SaaS business. It helps salespeople establish relationships with prospects and move them further into the sales funnel. A successful sales demo or call script can distinguish between failure and success, high bounce rates or high conversion rates. 

2. Conversation to appointment rate

The ratio of conversations leading to in-person or phone appointments is a good indicator of how well your reps communicate your message and value proposition. 

How to calculate average conversation to appointment rate

If your rep has 100 conversations per week, leading to 25 appointments, your average conversation to appointment ratio is 25%. 

If this ratio falls below 25%, try listening in on a few of your rep's calls. (If you have an outbound dialler linked to a CRM system, you can do this unobtrusively.) 

  • Is the rep able to hold the prospect’s attention? 
  • Do they have a hard time moving the conversation forward? 
  • Are they doing a good job listening to the prospects and understanding their pains?

Once you know what's gone wrong, provide a little coaching to improve your results. 

Conversation to appointment rate formula: Number of conversations / appointments 

How do you stack up against your industry?

Time to see how you compare against competitors:

Key takeaway

By calculating the conversation to appointment rate, you can find how well your sales reps are doing in their job and how close or far away they are from reaching their sales goals. Additionally, you can realize whether your research is effective or if it’s time to optimize your process. 

3. Appointment to opportunity rate 

So your sales team is setting loads of appointments. They’re busy and they’re schedules are always packed. But how does that impact the number of Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) coming in?

This benchmark helps you determine whether or not your sales team is booking quality meetings or wasting their time with leads that aren't a good fit for the business. 

How to calculate appointment to opportunity rate 

You can calculate appointment to opportunity rate by measuring how many appointments booked move to the opportunity stage of the sales conversion funnel. For example, if 200 appointments lead to 25 qualified prospects, then you have a 12.5% appointment to opportunity rate. 

Appointment to opportunity rate formula: Total appointments set / total lead volume

How do you stack up against your industry?

But how well are you doing compared to other SaaS companies?

Key takeaway

Calculating the appointment to opportunity ratio is important for SaaS businesses. It helps them calculate effectively if their sales team is booking quality meetings with prospects or wasting time with prospects that aren’t good fits. This enables you to save time and money and evaluate whether your salespeople are successful. 

4. Opportunity to conversion rate 

SQLs are great, but you know what’s even better? Dolla dolla bills, y’all! Next, let’s examine how many qualified opportunities actually convert to paying customers. 

This benchmark will tell you whether or not your sales team is adequately moving leads from the middle of the sales funnel into closing. 

How to calculate opportunity to close rate

Calculating the opportunity to close rate is a simple process. All you need to do to calculate it is to have both data points between the same period. For instance, if a sales rep creates ten opportunities and wins 5, their opportunity to close ratio is 50% because they managed to close five deals out of the ten opportunities they created.

Formula: Deals won / opportunities created  

How do you stack up against your industry?

This is how you measure up against the competition:

Key takeaway

Opportunities are hard to create, so your salespeople shouldn’t waste them. A good opportunity to close ratio varies from industry to industry, business type, and campaign. Yet, it’s a crucial benchmark to calculate and consider, as, just like the previous one, it can help you determine whether your sales reps are successful in their sales approach. 

5. Demo to close ratio

How many of your qualified leads who view your sales demos convert and become customers? That's something worth considering. In fact, this benchmark can tell you a lot about the success of your demos and of your product. If your ratio is low, your demos probably need some updating. 

How to calculate demo to close ratio

As mentioned above, your close ratio represents the complete number of sales you've made compared to the quotes you've given to qualified customers. To calculate it, you need to divide the number of sales you've made by the number of demos you've delivered to prospects. For example, if you've written 100 quotes and made 60 sales, your closing rate is an impressive 60%.

But if you’re using an interactive product demo platform like Walnut, you can actually learn so much more about your demo process as well. Track the rate your prospects click through or whether they enjoy certain features more than others. 

Formula: Number of demos / number of sales

How do you stack up against your industry?

See how your demo to close ratio compares against the competition:

Key takeaway

Thanks to the demo-to-close ratio, a SaaS business can easily understand if its demos were effective and converted prospects. If the rate is low, it means that either your demos aren’t as effective as you thought they would be, meaning you might need to consider gaining more insights on how to create an interactive product demo. Alternatively, a low demo to close ratio means that you may have to re-think your sales approach, your target audience, or your products or services.

Optimizing your whole sales process with demos

It’s important not to lose sleep over your benchmarks. The goal of measurement is to manage your sales and pivot to new strategies or make improvements while necessary. Sales benchmarks can provide actionable insights that drive those improvements and give you a way to compare your progress against your industry. 

But no matter which area of the sales process you are struggling with, a good sales demo platform like Walnut can be really helpful.

Whether you want to send a short personalized demo to your prospect after your first call or a more in-depth one later on in the sales process, having an international demo platform in your sales tech stack can significantly improve your entire sales process.

If you find that you’re losing customers or that you can’t convert prospects, building interactive demos can make the difference and help you grow your businesses. It’s not hard to see why; product demonstrations let prospective consumers experience a product hands-on without needing a set-up. This way, prospects get the chance to try before they buy and enjoy a demo earlier on in the process.

So what are you waiting for? Push the big purple "Get Started" button at the top of your screen to start improving your sales funnel today.

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