The number of calls you make is an imperfect measurement of your sales activity. It tells you what kind of effort you made today but not much more than that.

Counting up the number of meetings you had today or last week is another imperfect metric. It gives you some information about how much time you spent with clients or prospects. But it doesn’t give you any indication as to the quality of those interactions or of the commitments gained.

Adding up the revenue for all the new opportunities you’ve created isn’t a perfect metric either. If the opportunities are real, the revenue might be some indication of how you might fare in the future. But there are far too many variables involved with this metric to be of much use by itself.

Your win rate isn’t a perfect metric either. It tells you how you’ve done in the past. But it doesn’t say anything about the value of the deals you won, how competitive they were or whether or not they were bluebirds (accounts won with no real effort).

I’m not really sure what a “meaningful conversation” is. It sounds as if a salesperson made calls without gaining the commitments he needed. This metric might tell you something about how many conversations you had with decision-makers or decision-influencers. But it doesn’t tell you anything about the value of those conversations.

Even won business is an imperfect metric. So you made your number? That’s great, but is that the most you were capable of?

Pick the metric you like. It will be imperfect. It only tells a small part of a much larger story. Even the most objective metrics have a lot of subjective assumptions behind them.

By itself, one metric doesn’t tell you enough that you can afford to rely on it alone. Activity metrics are important, but outcomes are also important. A careful and thoughtful mix of the two can give you an objective measurement from which you can ask the questions you need to ask to improve.

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