Types of sales activities

A sale doesn’t happen by accident. The activities performed by a sales team are the driving force behind every step in the sales process, from lead generation to the close of the deal. Every activity — a simple prospecting call, a follow-up email, a face-to-face meeting — has an end goal: Satisfy customers and generate more revenue and growth for a company.

Read more below.

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Types of sales activities

A sale doesn’t happen by accident. The activities performed by a sales team are the driving force behind every step in the sales process, from lead generation to the close of the deal. Every activity — a simple prospecting call, a follow-up email, a face-to-face meeting — has an end goal: Satisfy customers and generate more revenue and growth for a company.

So, sales teams shouldn’t play guessing games to figure out which activities they should spend the most time on.

Since each activity carries so much weight, it’s only logical that sales teams learn which activities hold the most stake in the sale, along with how to streamline them. Sales activities tracking can offer the final word on what activities stay, go, or need adjustment for a sales team to be successful and meet goals. However, to track sales activities, a sales team must first learn the types of sales activities that can be tracked.

Let’s discuss what sales activities are, the types of sales activities that can be tracked, and sales activities examples.

What are sales activities?

Sales activities are the daily activities that a sales team performs. This can include all the sales practices, strategies, and actions a sales representative or sales team as a whole takes to move prospective customers through the pipeline or maintain current customers. The importance of sales activities is obvious: The activities that a sales team performs, if performed successfully, lead to won deals, loyal customers, and goals met for the company.

There are numerous ways sales reps can actively engage with a customer or prospect. Successful daily sales activities are what lead to prominent outcomes over time. Whether it’s the initial cold call, a launch meeting, or a follow-up email, every part plays an important role in moving the customer forward in the sales journey.

Though the goal of a sales team is to successfully carry out sales activities to lead customers to the finish line and close deals, some sales activities aren’t always that successful. According to Gallup, 60% of B2B companies’ customers are indifferent to their services, and only 46% strongly agree that the companies deliver on their promises. A sales activity plan that gets customers to buy the product may not help to retain loyal customers. To perform sales activities successfully, a sales team needs to track its activities’ outcomes to see how well its services and promises are leading to closed deals and long-term customers.

Sales activity tracking can capture the outcomes of these activities, which provides context on where deals are headed and where in the sales pipeline a sales team may need to iron out kinks. A sales team can use the results of sales activity tracking to discover how to streamline the sales process.

For instance, it’s important for sales managers to have a broad perspective in order to provide a sales team with a big-picture view of and feedback on their performance. Sales activity tracking provides a way to see these insights and turn them into actionable steps to improve sales effectiveness.

What are the types of sales activities?

Speaking generally, there are two types of B2B sales activities that can be tracked: quantitative and qualitative. Tracking both qualitative and quantitative sales activity data will give a comprehensive picture of a sales team’s activities. Let’s review these two types of sales activities and give examples of each sales activity.

Quantitative

Raw, unbiased data that can be broken down into numbers is known as quantitative data. There are many kinds of sales activities that can be tracked under the quantitative data category, including sales rep metrics, pipeline metrics, and lead generation metrics.

Sales rep activities

Sales rep metrics can show what a sales rep does on a daily basis. These types of metrics can be directly influenced, adjusted, and improved. For example, after digging into the metrics of a sales rep who isn’t reaching the sales quota, a sales manager might discover that this sales rep isn’t sending enough emails to leads. Although managers can’t control the amount of closed deals a sales rep makes, they can tell the sales rep to increase how many daily emails to send.

Other sales activity metrics can include:

  • Calls made: The number of solicited and unsolicited calls a sales rep makes to a prospective or existing customer to generate business
  • Emails sent: The number of business emails a sales rep has via email with a prospective or existing customer
  • Social media interactions: The number of interactions, such as responses to direct messages or comments, a sales rep has with prospective customers
  • Referral requests: The number of how many existing customers have referred a sales rep
  • Proposals sent: The number of sales proposals a sales rep has sent out to pitch the product or service
  • Scheduled meetings: The number of meetings a sales rep has scheduled with a prospective customer, existing customer, or other sales reps

Pipeline activities

Pipeline metrics gauge the condition of the entire sales pipeline instead of just one sales rep’s metrics. These activities show what’s working and what’s not regarding the holistic sales process. These sales activities usually follow a specific time frame, such as a month or quarter.

Pipeline metrics can include:

  • Sales cycle average length: The amount of time for a lead to travel through the sales pipeline and become a won deal
  • Total open opportunities: The amount of deals and opportunities that are open by a team or individual sales rep
  • Total closed opportunities: The amount of closed and won deals
  • Weighted value of sales: The estimated value of total deals as they journey through the pipeline
  • Annual contract value: The amount of money a contract generates per year
  • Win rate: The percentage of deals won divided by the total number of deals in the pipeline. This metric can be measured by individual sales rep or by the entire sales team.
  • Conversion rate: The amount of converted leads that happened at every stage of the sales pipeline. This can also be measured by individual sales rep or by the entire team.

Lead generation activities

Lead generation metrics will gauge how well a team’s sales reps are pursuing prospects. These sales activity metrics may include:

  • The average lead response time: The percentage amount of time sales reps respond to customer leads
  • Rate of lead followed up with: The percentage amount of leads that sales reps follow up with
  • Rate of leaded followed up with in a specific time range: The percentage of sales reps who follow up with a lead in a specific amount of time (e.g., 24 hours)
  • Rate of leads dropped: The percentage of prospective leads who have moved through the sales pipeline and have declined or not completed a deal
  • Rate of qualified leads: The percentage of prospective leads who have moved through the sales pipeline and can be converted into a customer
  • Volume of new leads in the pipeline: The percentage and frequency of new opportunities that are added to the pipeline
  • Customer acquisition costs: The total account of marketing spend divided by total amount of new customers

Qualitative

Qualitative data is a bit harder to capture than quantitative data is. This type of data is subjective but gives more meaning and context to the raw quantitative data. Typically, in-the-know sales reps and sales managers use the quantitative data mentioned above to make informed decisions about qualitative data.

Qualitative data asks questions about sales activities such as:

What are customers objecting to or what are they embracing? What are the goals of a prospective lead? How are productive sales reps using their time? Why do (or don’t) leads want to buy the product being sold? Why did a customer move to another company?

It’s only by obtaining both quantitative and qualitative data that effective sales activity tracking can happen.

In the past, a sales activity tracker, such as a CRM, could only track quantitative data. Qualitative data, such as that derived from conversations that sales reps have together while trying to anticipate buyer behavior or future sales, wasn’t possible to input into a system to analyze.

However, with the advancements of technology in today’s digital age, the way qualitative data is captured has changed for the better. Collective[i]’s revolutionary software can transform sales activity tracking with a critical layer of artificial intelligence (AI).

Our Intelligent WriteBackTM automates CRM data capture so quantitative data can be captured with efficiency and accuracy. Sales teams can pull quantitative data from the qualitative data, giving their business the edge it needs to track its sales like never before. Once data is captured, Intelligence WriteBackTM can work directly with Intelligent InsightsTM and Predictive PipelinesTM.

Intelligent InsightsTM uses AI to provide sales reps with an optimized to-do list every day with the next, best actions that replicate the judgement of top-performing sellers. Predictive PipelinesTM provides sales leaders with on-demand insights and pipeline health assessments. Managers can review the sales pipeline and access critical information to pivot or alert sales teams without losing any time.

Additionally, C[i] RecommendsTM studies the top performers across the neural network to discover which activities are likely to have the most impact. Sales reps will receive daily sales activities lists, including recommendations, news, and risk alerts that ultimately drive the best results throughout the sales team and entire organization.

Collective[i]’s technology is enhanced with the most sophisticated AI on the market, allowing B2B businesses to have the best tracking tools and the advanced insight needed to see how data is changing daily.

What are the best sales activities?

This question has no right answer. The sales activities that a company tracks may vary widely depending on the products it sells, its target market, and its sales team’s goals. However, broadly speaking, the best sales activities are the ones that generate the most leads and win the most closed deals.

Collective[i]’s technology automates sales activity tracking so a sales team can spend more time selling and less time analyzing.

Choose the intelligence that will close the deal. Explore Collective[i]’s end-to-end software to transform your sales activity.

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