OKRs for Sales Teams

Focus

Acquisition
Activation
Retention
Referral
Revenue

Key Questions

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Which channel(s) and market(s) do we want to focus on this quarter?

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Are our efforts aligned with Product, Marketing and Customer Success?

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Are we happy about our current acquisition costs?

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Do we have the right resources to have an efficient sales process?

Sales teams are focused on the last stage of the AARRR funnel showed on the right. Their work is often simplified as a "closing" exercise, but in reality they have to juggle many hats and coordinate with multiple teams to remove doubts from potential buyers.

There can be questions about the value of OKRs for Sales. They're metrics-driven by definition, and their targets are directly tied to the bottom-line. So what's there to change? The answer is alignment. Sales are the most effective when their strategy aligns with what the Product and Marketing teams are doing.

OKRs will help everyone get a shared understanding of what the top priorities are for each function and allow organizations to concentrate efforts on specific outcomes.

Example of Sales OKRs

You'll find below an example built around a fictitious company. Your OKRs should move from quarter to quarter and map to your company's reality – that's why we thought it's best to illustrate things as a case study that you can take inspiration from.

Scenario

Askawoof is a startup building a platform to help companies run customer satisfaction surveys. Their Sales team has been doing a great job in Australia so far, but it’s time for them to expand to new markets.

General advice

Take advantage of your Objectives to be specific about your growth opportunities. Avoid statements like "Increase revenues", or "Double the amount of customers". It's pretty obvious that we want to grow the business, and vague statements won't help other teams understand how they can help with sales.

Good Objectives should help anyone understand where to focus their energy. "Increase revenues" leaves too much room for interpretation. "Expand to European markets" will produce more focused initiatives, and your Product team can align their own goals to support different regions.

Their OKRs

Objective

Start our journey towards becoming a global leader

Key result

10% of new sales are coming from US or EU customers

Key result

5 existing customers expand to a second country

Objective

Turn sales into an efficient growth engine

Key result

Reduce the sales cycle from 9 to 6 months

Key result

Reduce Customer Acquisition Costs from $740 to $510

Objective

Become a compelling offer for large and Enterprise customers

Key result

Sign 15 Enterprise customers

Key result

Increase our Average Revenue Per Customer (ARPC) from $750 to $975

Key result

Increase Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) to $500K

Best practices for tracking OKRs

#1 Make it part of the team rituals

OKRs won't be of much help if you're not keeping an eye on them. Staying focused and aligned starts by adopting a simple routine with the team.

  • Monday: review progress on OKRs as a team, then look at your roadmap.
  • Monday-Friday: work on projects.
  • Friday: demos.

Start your Monday by looking at outcomes first (OKRs) and then outputs (roadmap). This will make sure that roadmaps discussions are centered around the most pressing issues.

#2 Make sure everyone can see trends

A common mistake for tracking OKRs is to use a table where you replace values in cells with the most recent update.

Not seeing trends can give you a false sense of security. You may be above the target line today, but the overall trend might be going the wrong way. So make sure that you have a simple way to understand if you're getting off track.

A simple progress chart can do wonders to help you understand if you're getting off track.

#3 Automate your OKRs process

OKRs will most likely cause friction as you expand their use within your organization:

  • Team leads have to send reminders every week.
  • People have to scramble through spreadsheets to find their goals.
  • Reports need to be handcrafted for leadership.
  • There's a general lack of consistency in implementation.

You can greatly simplify things by adopting a platform like Tability that will automate most of the OKRs tracking and make progress easy to see.

Tability can help you automate OKRs
Turning OKRs into a collaboration process with Tability

What other Sales metrics can you use?

If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some example of metrics that can be relevant for your Key Results.

New/Expansion MRR

How much revenue should come from new customers or existing customers.

Sales cycle time

How long it takes for a lead to turn into a paid customer.

Monthly onboarding/demos calls booked

How many leads are booking demos with the sales team.

Lead conversion rate

Percentage of leads that turn into paid customers.

Average Revenue Per User (ARPU)

How much revenue do you get per customer on average, over a certain period of time. Can also be ARPA (Average Revenue per Account) or ARPC (Average Revenue per Customer).

Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC)

The cost of turning a lead into a paid customer.

Customer Lifetime Value (LTV)

How much revenue do you get on average per customer, from the moment they start paying until they leave.

Pipeline value

Expected revenue from all active sales opportunities if they all converted.