Important key figures in sales

A lot is changing rapidly in the world of sales. We are dealing with new markets and sales channels, competitors and new products that are becoming increasingly challenging. Everything is “data-driven” today.

This makes it all the more important to have a good overview of the most meaningful key sales figures.

Which key figures are important for sales?

Which key figures are important for a company or project depends entirely on the industry and the defined goal. For example, the closing rate may be decisive for one project, while customer satisfaction is the most important indicator of success for another. Other important key figures are turnover, DB, market shares, up/cross-selling shares, lead creation/conversion or churn rates. There is no general rule as to which key figures should be used. Instead, it should be part of every sales strategy process to develop a suitable system of key figures. However, there is a recommendation to limit the sales KPIs to a maximum of 5-7.

Why do we need key performance indicators?

Key sales figures make it clear where things are going well in the sales process and where there is still room for improvement. Therefore, continuous monitoring of sales KPIs is also the key to ongoing optimization of sales performance. The increasing complexity and speed in sales makes it almost impossible to rely solely on gut feeling, intuition and experience. Key sales figures help to measure the extent to which the strategy is being implemented and which measures are successful. Based on sales KPIs, the sales process can be optimized and it can be ensured that the sales team prioritizes the right activities for the greatest success. What management measures in sales is what the sales staff will focus on.

Defining key figures for sales based on the sales funnel

The sales funnel is a strategic tool at the start of every sales development process. After all, it is the performance of the entire sales funnel that is decisive for sales success.


By looking at all phases in this way, problems and challenges can be assigned quickly and, above all, correctly. This makes it possible to focus precisely on those activities that are most effective for the company’s success and the defined goals.

The most important sales figures from practice

Conversion Rate

The conversion rate of leads provides crucial information about how the sales funnel works and which activities have the highest return.

Visitor Lead Conversion

This key figure describes the relationship between the number of visitors to a website (traffic) and the resulting leads. It is of central importance for every company to define what a lead is. A general definition describes a lead as a person who has shown interest in your products/services by taking specific actions (downloading marketing content, filling out a contact list, subscribing to a newsletter, etc.).

Lead-Qualified Opportunity Conversion

Opportunity conversion refers to the number of leads that turn into a qualified opportunity (customer has a need situation, a budget earmarked for it and also a time dimension for when they want the solution implemented).

Qualified Opportunity – Customer Conversion

If the opportunity was converted into a customer, this is referred to as customer conversion. This key figure therefore refers to the number of opportunities that are converted into customer orders. The time period in which this conversion takes is also a decisive criterion here.

Lead to conversion rate

The calculation is actually simple once the key figures have been documented: How many leads do we need to close a deal?

Length of the Sales Cycle and time per phase

The length of the sales cycle is the time between the first contact (first touchpoint) and the closing. It can also be used to measure the average time invested in the respective sales phases. This sales indicator is a good benchmark, especially when comparing sales employees. It allows managers and salespeople alike to understand how long each phase takes and where the opportunity may be getting stuck. This important measure of sales effectiveness can significantly increase forecast accuracy. Looking at this key figure has a significant advantage for planning: if the average sales cycle length and the number of opportunities in the pipeline are known, then the number of opportunities won within a period can be calculated.

quality and volume of Opportunities

This key figure provides information on whether there are enough opportunities in the pipeline and whether the volume is sufficient to achieve the defined targets. The answers to these questions indicate how “healthy” the pipeline is. One of the most important instruments in sales management is pipeline management. If set up correctly, the sales pipeline provides important information on qualitative and quantitative output.
The following questions should be asked:

Closing Rate 

The closing rate is about the question of how many opportunities have actually led to a deal and what average sales have been achieved.


What top performing companies do?

“Top performing companies” measure all these key figures on an ongoing basis. Sales managers can intervene, support and/or correct in good time and are therefore able to achieve maximum sales performance.

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