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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

"We've been managing the wrong sales metrics........"

In a recent revenue engine maturity workshop, or simply put, the "why aren't we scaling?" session, the infographic below served as the framework #LucrumPartners used to help the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) understand what sales metrics to measure and coach.

This management team was like many early stage management teams. They've experienced rapid growth, but mostly due to founder-led and ELT generated sales. The leadership team felt their early sales success justified the investment in building out a #b2b sales team. The team identified an interim sales leader and would not be investing in a #CRO at this time.

Add sellers and achieve more revenue. Easy enough, right? Not so fast.

These #b2bsales team members came in with a vision of auto piloted sales, just as the founding team was able to achieve. The interim sales leader was struggling on how to coach the team and replicate the early life to date sales results. Frustration began to build.

We asked the interim sales leader to describe his 1:1 coaching process, and all signals were pointing at lagging indicators in the form of results. The sales leader was trying to drive revenue through sales team performance management. This coach was failing to move the needle.

It was time to break the cycle.

We created a simple 5-step framework to help the sales leader connect the dots between what he was managing with his sales team and the firm's growth targets (which included revenue growth). Our goal was to identify and map coachable activities that aligned to the company's growth objectives.

Step 1: We reviewed and tweaked the annual plan by adding two lagging indicators of gross margin/operating margin and Customer Satisfaction Scores to the growth targets. Both were identified as important to ELT.

Step 2: We mapped 1-2 growth objectives that aligned to each growth target. The growth objectives were board approved strategic goals which included expanding to a new sector and launching new product offerings.

Step 3: We refined the key KPIs against the growth objectives, which provided clarity to ELT on how to measure each objective, especially since the objectives required additional budget to activate them.

Step 4: We ensured that each KPI had an assigned sales objective, and each sales objective had a corresponding set of seller activities. The seller activities were the leading indicators of performance, each being observable, measurable and coachable.

Step 5: We communicated the leading indicators to the sales team and created a sales leader dashboard report to measure and monitor each seller's key activity. This reshaped the weekly 1:1's.

A version of this infographic was created for the ELT to see the intentional correlation of mapping seller activity and behaviors to the annual planning cycle. The customized infographic provided the ELT members with the visualization of mapping coachable activity to outcomes.

Next up, this team will focus on building new muscle memory around these key activities.

If your team struggling with expanding within existing accounts or building pipeline and converting to new client signings, reach out to us at

Please also check out our recently published eBook "Red Flags in Revenue: A Guide for Private Equity" available at

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