Sales Team Performance Metrics: Brent Silberman of Narrative Science

Brent Silberman jumped onto Sales Operations Demystified to share his knowledge and experience in Sales Operations and increasing sales team performance metrics. Check out all the other episodes of Sales Operations Demystified here.

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Key Takeaways

A passion for using data to tell stories

Before Brent moved into sales operations, he had an intense passion for telling stories with data. He now tells stories related to sales performance to help fuel Narrative Science’s growth in his role as Analytics Manager.

The Analytics <> Ops Circle

A very interesting insight generated through the discussion was that both analytics and operations are intimately connected with two feedback loops:

  • Analytics > Operations –  Before deciding what to do (operations), you must first analyze the data
  • Operations > Analytics – Once you have done something (operations), you must then review the data to understand how to change or improve the system

These feedback loops explain the rise in the requirement for analytics in the sales process, as without analytics how would a sales operations person know what to do next?

Automated alerts during deal stages

Brent increased the productivity of his reps by setting automated alerts for himself and his sales reps based on the deal stage. For example, if a deal stalled in a specific stage for longer than 30 days, both Brent and the sales rep would receive an email notification telling them that if the deal was not moved within the 48 hours, it would automatically be marked as Closed Lost.

This focussed the sales reps and helped them remove bad deals from the pipeline to enable them to focus more on those deals that had a higher likelihood of closing.

Brent’s favorite sales team performance metric

When asked which sales metric Brent would measure if he could only measure one for the rest of his career, he said it would be “stories written”, this is a usage-based metric (Narrative Science’s product helps businesses tell stories with data) and a much more holistic answer than we normally get to this question.

Typically an experienced sales operations resources would answer with a metric just related to the sales process, though as Brent has a more wholistic background and has a broader role than just sales operations… it makes sense that Brent would choose a product usage based metric.

Brent needs sales rep churn or revenue growth to test onboarding

Brent is pretty happy with his onboarding process, though he has just five account executives and Narrative Science has had zero sales rep churn since he joined. Therefore, in order to further test his onboarding process, Brent is hoping either for revenue growth or some sales rep churn (joke!).

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