Sales Vanity Metrics

Sales Vanity Metrics

By Scott Sambucci | July 4, 2013

Check out our upcoming Meetup event Thursday, July 25:

Startup Sales Circle with Featured Guest Matthew Harrell, Enterprise Sales Manager with Google.


Why are you sales opportunities stalling? Could be that you’re using Sales Vanity Metrics.

# of Outbound Calls

This means you are waiting for leads and prospects to call you back. And they don’t. So instead, you tell yourself – “Sales is just a numbers game and if I make enough calls, I’ll close some sales.” Sounds an awful lot like the Infinite Monkey Theorem.

Instead measure number of leads converted to prospects or number of sales advances from your outbound calls. Making 10 calls and logging five advances is far better than making 45 outbound calls with no progress on your sales opportunities,

Defeat vanity.

Defeat vanity.

# of Demos:

Demos stall the sale because you think the product is the reason the prospect is interested. Measuring the number of demos causes you to rush to the demo before properly assessing the client’s situation and the problem they need to solve.

It’s not your product – it’s how you can to solve the prospect’s problem. In fact, see how far you can take a sale without showing your product. And when you need to, see how short you can keep your demo.

Check out “Great Demo!” for more on this.

# of Free Trials

If you are measuring the number of free trials, what you’re really doing is sending logins and pass codes to accounts will never be used. It sounds good because you think the person is really interested, so much so that they want to use your product. For free. Without any commitment. And they can screen your phone calls, never login, and never talk to you again. Yeah, that sounds great doesn’t it?

Instead of “free trials,” call them “Problem Assessments” where you and the prospect mutually agree on how the new user account will be applied to a specific problem the prospect is facing. Set a deadline and then assess whether your product solved their problem. (Hint: Set up the rules to the game so you win…)

Here’s a nice article on Cohort Analysis ( for your free trial, er Problem Assessments…

# of Proposals:

After your demo, your prospect says – “This looks great. Send me a proposal.” You fist pump because you get to notch BOTH a demo and a proposal on your Sales Vanity Metrics…

Proposals are nothing but a reason to stall. A typical proposal includes a product description, price, delivery, training, implementation, and contract length. When you send a proposal, you’re giving the prospect a list of reasons to reject your product – “not the right product” – “too expensive” – “not a good time” – “need more training…” etc, etc, etc.

Instead of proposals, write out a Project Implementation Plan with the client. Ask them what should be included so that the project is approved internally. Make them put in just as much work as you so you have a clear picture of what they exactly need.

Read more about “Vanity Metrics” for the Lean Startup here.

And remember to check out that Meetup event:
Startup Sales Circle with Featured Guest Matthew Harrell, Enterprise Sales Manager with Google.


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