Key Performance Indicators for Sales Engineering Teams

The Key Performance Indicators or KPIs are a series of quantifiable measures used to evaluate the performance of a company or an organization. Several organizations use KPIs at various levels to assess key business objectives and the progress towards achieving their goals.

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For defining a KPI, you need to consider how that KPI will affect the business objective of the organization for progressive growth and success. Hence, the choice of KPIs for your team should depend on the business and sales model of your organization.

Sales KPIs are crucial to a product/service-based organization as it helps account executives, managers, and sales engineering teams to track progress, build new strategies, identify opportunities, and manage the overall sales performance ratio.

Traditional Sales Engineer KPIs were very seller-centric and it relied on ground-work for grabbing the attention of people by highlighting the features and benefits of the product in a quick time to sell it. But now, as the industry is gearing towards the SaaS (Software as a Service) sector for aggressive growth and service offerings, the current Sales Engineer KPIs are determined by multiple factors for different products and services.

Take a look at our top 10 KPIs for Sales Engineering teams here,

Sales Target

The sales target KPI measures the sales revenue of the organization and compares that to the present target or past performance. Based on the vertical, a sales target can be defined as the number of customers acquired, number of deals closed, or number of products sold. The key is to design an effective strategy to reach the target market and ensuring the team is visible throughout to achieve their periodic goals.

Quality of Demo

A product demo is the art of showcasing how a product or service works to fulfill the business gaps. Even if the audience is non-technical, the quality of the demonstration paves the way for them to understand the technical aspect of the product. This KPI can be measured by calculating the number of prospects who are turning into a potential lead and requesting a product trial or a pilot contract.

Demo Conversion

Demo conversion can make or break the pre-sales pipeline. It is a crucial responsibility of Sales Engineers, hence it makes up a great KPI. A well-run POC of your product can be the key to capturing and converting your leads into possible customers.

Product Expertise

Understanding the product provides the capability to better engage with prospects. Sales Engineers can use this knowledge in product demos, answering any questions, scoping proof of concepts, and helping prospects in evaluating the product. A Sales Engineer’s responsibility is to help customers understand the true value and impact of the product and technology. This KPI can support this key objective.

Number of POCs

Managing Proof of Concepts is one of the key activities of Sales Engineers. The more POCs they handle, it shows the number of opportunities and projections of converting POC into actual revenue.

By tracking the number of POCs performed, you can also track the visibility and growth of your business in the industry. Let’s say your team focuses on many verticals, and only a few of them prove to be more successful than others, then this could be the sign to reassess the vertical strategy and drive the team to increase the number towards the trending vertical.

Technical Closure of POCs

Proof of Concepts are usually the longest part of the sales cycle. In many cases and for a variety of reasons, POCs close technically but do not convert into revenue. A Sales Engineer should be given credit for POCs that are technically closed. Sales Engineering leadership should also track the number of POCs that are technically closed vs Sales Revenue. This ratio can provide signs into the closing process of the sales deals.

Successful POCs Closed

This KPI is about how effective a pre-sales team closes accounts and reaches the annual or monthly target. It gives the statistics about the opportunity to lead and lead to customer ratio and is an immediate metric denoting the revenue curve in your business.

Technical Knowledge

Sales Engineers are continuously required to keep track of new features and technologies that they are selling or where their customers are operating.

For example, a Sales Engineer who is selling an IoT device to High rise building, needs to not only understand what an IoT device does but also how high rise building technology works where that IoT device will be plugged into. The Sales Engineers who understand the involved technology (even though it may not directly relate to a specific product) can have better communication with people involved in the proof of concept.

Sales Engineer’s KPIs should include how they are enhancing their knowledge to support the business.

Team player

The Sales Engineering team is usually at the forefront of the sales process. Sales Engineers deal have to not only understand the depth but also the width. This means Sales Engineers need to work together, share knowledge, ideas, and train each other and new members of the team. Sales Engineers KPIs should include some activities that help the whole team.

Documentation

Documenting Sales Engineering activities is usually not very popular among Sales Engineers, but documentation is often required for everyone in the team. In some cases, where team members go on vacation or leave the company, the documentation is the only way for new people to understand what happened.

Sales Engineers KPI should include the responsibility of documenting key activities that directly relate to revenue, such as Proof of Concept activities (findings, meeting notes, feature requests, issues, etc).

To conclude, KPIs are important to business objectives because they influence business goals, decisions, and are critical to performance management.

Image Credit: Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash

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