Using data to drive Sales: Metrics you should be looking at.

The importance of a data-driven sales strategy cannot be overstated. In the fast-paced world of agile and conscious audiences, metrics can help you make sense, and get a full, rich picture of what exactly your sales efforts are achieving, and how audiences are responding. Your business data analytics suite is a powerful tool for streamlining and finetuning your sales effort. If you choose not to look at the data, you may be driving your sales team and ploughing hard in the opposite direction from where some of your most valuable prospective clients are gathered.

In this Pulse Insights article, we’re going to highlight some of the important numbers to pay attention to, and weigh your sales efforts and results against. 

So what metrics should you know, and actively track, and how do you make sense of these figures at the end of each cycle?

We’ll take a look at the most important ones here today.

Customer Acquisition Metrics

Conversion rate

Conversion rate measures the ratio between how many visitors or prospective customers you received within a given period and how many of them took the desired action. The conversion rate reveals the effectiveness of your sales funnel.

Cost per acquisition (CPA)

This metric generally evaluates the efficiency of your marketing campaigns. The CPA measures the aggregate cost to acquire one paying customer on a campaign or channel level. 

Sales Funnel Metrics

Lead-to-opportunity ratio

How many leads were generated versus how many leads were converted? This metric reveals the quality of leads the sales team is generating, which can help to inform the sales team’s lead generation strategy.

Opportunity win rate

This metric measures the number of opportunities won, divided by the total number of opportunities created within a specific time period. This helps you in evaluating the effectiveness of your sales team in closing opportunities. 

Website and E-commerce Metrics

For marketers whose products and services live on an e-commerce website, these metrics are vital.

Website conversion rate

You want to track the total traffic to your e-commerce website against the percentage of those visitors who make a purchase. 

Cart abandonment rate

This metric is to evaluate the effectiveness of your checkout process. By tracking what percentage of customers add items to a cart and end up not going through with their purchase.

Social Media and Email Marketing Metrics

If most of your customers or visitors to your e-commerce website are driven by your social media and/or email channels, then there are also important metrics to be paying attention to.

Engagement rate

The engagement rate measures the ratio of followers you have against the level of interaction with your social media content. This gives you a picture of how engaging your content is to your audience.. This metric is subject to the algorithmic changes made on social channels. For instance, based on your activity, Instagram can limit the reach of an account and considerably affect the overall engagement rate over a period.  Engagement rate is still a good yardstick for businesses to gauge audience interest, especially when you compare your engagement rate with what is considered average.

Click-through rate (CTR)

When you include a link in an email to your database, what percentage of the total audience actually clicks on that link. This is the click-through rate, and this metric measures accurately the effectiveness of your email marketing campaigns.

Analysing and Utilising Data

To be able to get an accurate picture of the overall performance of your campaigns and social posts, it is vital to collect accurate and reliable data. You want to double-check the start and end dates of the campaigns, and make sure you’re entering the correct data into your query when you obtain analytics data from social channels. 

You should also consider running your sales initiatives and efforts through data analytics tools. Independent analytics tools like Hubspot, Sprout Social and Hootsuite may provide more detailed reports and insights into your social and web activity, and what results you have realised by that activity. 


If you’re interested in concentrating your sales and marketing efforts to deliver better results and ultimately a better bottom line, then monitoring key metrics like website conversion rate, lead-to-opportunity ratio and others mentioned in this article should be part of your periodic assessment. Not only is it important to look at these figures, but it is also important to invest in understanding very clearly the picture they paint, and the message they send. At the end of your cyclical evaluation of these top metrics, you should be able to condense the figures into a statement, or an adjustment to your campaigns that the numbers suggest when taken together. It may not look like much, but these small adjustments will make for large and more importantly, ongoing improvements in your targeting and conversion, helping you achieve your sales and marketing goals. 
Pulse is Africa’s leading innovative media company. We have helped some of Africa’s biggest brands make sense of their marketing and content. If you have further questions, contact us here.