B2B Sales Efficiency: How to Calculate Sales Efficiency

Joanna Okedara
Table of Contents
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    Imagine that you're a sales rep for a private label coffee wholesale distribution business trying to reach your monthly quota. You could spend hours cold calling every lead on your list, hoping to stumble upon a potential customer. Now, that’s not efficient. 

    On the other hand, you could focus on identifying your ideal customer profile and targeting those prospects who are most likely to convert in your sales pipeline. This will increase your chances of success.

    Key Takeaway: Sales efficiency, also known as magic numbers, measures how well your sales team converts leads into customers and generates revenue. When your sales team operates efficiently, they can close deals faster, convert a higher percentage of leads, and ultimately drive more revenue for your business.

    So, if you're tired of aimlessly dialing numbers and crossing your fingers for a miracle, it's time to embrace the power of B2B sales cycle efficiency. By streamlining your prospecting process and investing your energy where it matters most, you'll be well on your way to surpassing your monthly quota and brewing up success.

    What then is sales efficiency and B2B sales efficiency? Let’s find out!


    What is Sales Efficiency?

    Sales efficiency refers to the effectiveness and productivity of a sales team in converting leads into customers and generating revenue. It measures how well a sales team utilizes their time, resources, and strategies to achieve desired results. 

    A highly sales-efficient team is able to optimize their processes, maximize their output, and close deals more quickly and effectively. Sales efficiency involves various factors, including lead generation, prospecting, qualifying leads, nurturing relationships, and ultimately closing deals. 

    Let's break it down with an example. Imagine you're selling online ordering solutions to businesses. Instead of randomly reaching out to any company under the sun, B2B sales efficiency kicks in when you identify your ideal customers. 

    You do your homework and target those companies that align perfectly with what you offer. This laser-focused approach means you're not wasting time chasing after leads that are unlikely to convert. Instead, you're zeroing in on the ones with the highest potential for success. That's like hitting the bullseye every time!

    But wait, there's more! B2B sales efficiency isn't just about finding the right leads. It's also about optimizing your sales processes. You know those repetitive tasks that eat up your time, like manually entering data or sending out individualized emails? 

    Well, with B2B sales efficiency, you can automate those tasks and free up your valuable time for more meaningful interactions with potential clients. It's like having a personal assistant to handle the grunt work while you focus on sealing the deal.

    B2B sales efficiency means targeting the right B2B prospects, utilizing effective sales techniques, and streamlining the sales process to minimize time and resource wastage. When a sales team operates efficiently, they can achieve higher eCommerce conversion rates, shorter average sales cycle length, and increased revenue.

    When sales efficiency is high, the team can close deals faster, convert a higher percentage of leads, and achieve greater revenue generation. To improve sales efficiency, businesses often employ various strategies and tactics. 

    These may include:

    • Targeting the right leads: Instead of a scattergun approach, sales teams identify and focus on leads that align with their ideal customer profile. By concentrating efforts on prospects most likely to convert, they can optimize their time and resources.
    • Effective prospecting: Sales managers employ effective prospecting techniques to identify potential customers who have a genuine need for their product or service. This ensures that time is spent on quality leads and increases the chances of closing deals.
    • Personalized selling: By tailoring their approach to each prospect's specific needs, pain points, and preferences, sales professionals can create stronger connections and increase the likelihood of conversion. Personalized selling shows a genuine understanding of the customer's unique situation and builds trust.
    • Efficient use of sales tools and technology: Leveraging B2B and wholesale CRM systems, sales automation tools, and other sales technologies can streamline administrative tasks, automate repetitive processes, and provide valuable insights. This enables sales teams to focus more on engaging with customers and closing deals.
    • Continuous training and skill development: Investing in the ongoing development of sales skills and knowledge ensures that sales teams stay up-to-date with the latest techniques and industry trends. This helps them adapt to changing customer needs and market dynamics, enhancing their efficiency.

    How to Calculate Sales Efficiency

    Calculating sales efficiency is an essential step in understanding how effectively your sales efforts are generating results. Let's roll up our sleeves and dive into the key components of calculating sales efficiency:

    #1. Determine the Time Period

    Start by selecting a specific time period for your analysis. It could be a month, a quarter, or a year. This will provide a basis for evaluating your sales efficiency within a defined timeframe.

    #2. Identify Key Metrics

    To measure sales efficiency, you'll need to focus on relevant sales metrics that align with your business goals. Here are a few metrics commonly used:

    • Revenue: Calculate the total revenue generated within the chosen time period. This is the primary indicator of sales performance and forms the foundation for measuring efficiency.
    • Cost of Sales: Determine the total cost associated with your sales efforts, including salaries, commissions, eCommerce marketing expenses, and any other expenses directly related to sales activities.
    • Number of Deals Closed: Count the total number of deals successfully closed within the chosen time period.
    • Sales Expenses: Identify and calculate the expenses incurred in sales operations, such as travel costs, software subscriptions, training expenses, or any other sales-related costs.

    #3. Calculate Sales Efficiency Ratios

    Now it's time to crunch some numbers and derive meaningful ratios that reflect your sales efficiency. Here are a couple of ratios to consider:

    • Revenue to Cost of Sales Ratio: Divide the total revenue generated by the total cost of sales. This ratio shows how much revenue you generate for each unit of cost incurred in the sales process. A higher ratio indicates higher efficiency in generating revenue.
    • Revenue per Sales Representative: Divide the total revenue generated by the number of sales representatives. This ratio reveals the average revenue contribution per salesperson, helping you assess individual or team productivity.

    #4. Compare and Analyze

    Once you have calculated the sales efficiency ratios, compare them with previous periods, industry benchmarks, or your company's internal targets. This analysis will help you understand your performance relative to your goals and identify areas for improvement.

    #5. Continuously Improve

    With the insights gained from your calculations, focus on implementing B2B sales management strategies and tactics that enhance sales efficiency. This could involve optimizing sales management processes, training and development programs, adopting new technologies, or refining your targeting and lead qualification methods.


    Sales Efficiency Formula

    To calculate the Sales Efficiency Ratio, you divide the revenue generated by the total sales and marketing expenses during a specific period.

    The formula is as follows: Sales Efficiency Ratio = Revenue / Sales and Marketing Expenses

    Typically the result is expressed as a ratio or percentage. A higher ratio or percentage indicates that a company is generating more revenue for every dollar spent on sales and marketing, which signifies better efficiency.

    A low ratio shows that your company is spending too much on eCommerce sales and marketing activities relative to the revenue generated. On the other hand, a high ratio means that your business is generating significant revenue with relatively low expenses.

    Sales Efficiency vs Sales Effectiveness

    Sales efficiency and sales effectiveness are two related but distinct concepts in evaluating the performance of sales teams.

    Sales efficiency focuses on the productivity and cost-effectiveness of sales activities. It measures how efficiently a sales team converts resources (such as time, money, and effort) into sales results.

    Key metrics used to assess sales efficiency include the Sales Efficiency Ratio (as mentioned earlier), sales cycle length, lead-to-opportunity conversion rate, and cost per sale. The goal of improving sales efficiency is to optimize resource allocation and maximize the output of the sales team.

    Sales Effectiveness, on the other hand, examines the quality and impact of sales efforts in achieving desired outcomes. It assesses how well the sales team is able to meet customer needs, close deals, and drive revenue growth.

    Some of the key metrics used to evaluate sales effectiveness include win rate (percentage of deals won), average deal size, customer satisfaction, customer retention rate, and revenue growth. Enhancing sales effectiveness involves focusing on sales strategies, techniques, and skills that improve customer engagement, value proposition, and relationship-building.

    While sales efficiency and sales effectiveness are distinct concepts, they are interconnected. A highly efficient sales team may be able to generate sales quickly and at a low cost, but if they are not effective in closing deals or meeting customer needs, the overall sales performance may suffer.

    Conversely, a highly effective sales team that consistently meets customer needs and closes deals may achieve excellent sales outcomes but might not be as efficient in resource utilization.

    Both sales efficiency and sales effectiveness should be considered when evaluating and improving sales performance. Striking the right balance between the two can lead to a high-performing sales organization that achieves optimal results while operating efficiently.

    How to Measure B2B Sales Performance

    Measuring B2B sales performance is like putting on your detective hat and uncovering the secrets to eCommerce sales success. It's all about digging into the numbers and sales metrics that reveal how well your sales efforts are paying off. 

    Here’s how to measure B2B sales performance:

    #1. Set Clear Objectives

    Start by defining your sales objectives. What do you want to achieve? Is it increasing revenue, acquiring new customers, or improving conversion rates? Setting clear goals allows you to track your progress and measure success accurately.

    #2. Track Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) 

    Identify the eCommerce KPIs that matter most to your business. These could include metrics like conversion rate, average deal size, sales cycle length, customer acquisition cost, or revenue generated. Choose the KPIs that align with your objectives and focus on tracking them consistently.

    #3. Utilize CRM Software

    A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a valuable tool for measuring B2B sales performance. It helps you track interactions with prospects and customers, manage your pipeline, and generate insightful reports. You can use your wholesale CRM software to capture consumer data and extract meaningful insights.

    #4. Analyze Conversion Rates

    Conversion rates provide a clear picture of how effective your sales team is at turning leads into customers. It is important to track conversion rates at each stage of your sales funnel to identify areas for improvement. For example, analyze the percentage of leads that convert to qualified opportunities and the rate at which opportunities close.

    #5. Evaluate Sales Cycle Length

    The length of your sales cycle is a crucial indicator of efficiency. Measure how long it takes from the initial contact to closing a deal. A shorter sales cycle generally indicates better performance and increased efficiency. You can analyze the factors that contribute to longer sales cycles and find ways to streamline the process.

    #6. Monitor Customer Retention and Upselling

    B2B sales success isn't just about acquiring new customers - it's also about retaining and growing existing ones. Keep an eye on customer retention rates and the revenue generated from upselling and cross-selling. Satisfied, long-term customers are a testament to your sales performance.

    #7. Seek Feedback from the Sales Team

    Your sales team members are on the front lines, interacting with prospects and customers daily. Tap into their knowledge and experience. Make sure you regularly collect feedback from the sales team to gain insights into challenges they face, suggestions for improvement, and potential roadblocks hindering performance.

    #8. Conduct Win-Loss Analysis

    Another way to measure sales performance is to analyze both won and lost deals to identify patterns and learn from successes and failures. It is important to understand the reasons behind lost opportunities and uncover what made successful deals click. This analysis helps refine your sales strategies, messaging, and tactics.

    #9. Compare Performance Over Time

    Continuously monitor and compare sales performance over different time periods. Look for trends and patterns to understand if your sales efforts are improving or if there are areas that require attention. Regular performance analysis enables you to make data-driven decisions and course corrections.


    Frequently Asked Questions About How to Calculate Sales Efficiency

    Calculating sales efficiency will help you know how well your sales efforts are performing. Now, it may seem daunting at times, especially if you are not so good at maths. However, there are several sales management software and sales automations tools that can help streamline the process.

    Let’s answer a few simple questions about B2B sales efficiency.

    What are the 3 ratios to measure efficiency?

    The three ratios to measure efficiency are:

    • Inventory turnover ratio
    • Asset turnover ratio
    • Receivables turnover ratio

    What is the definition of sales effectiveness?

    Sales effectiveness describes the process of finding the right sales tasks to produce the best possible sales output and outcomes. 

    What is the formula for net sales efficiency?

    The formula for net sales efficiency is:

    Net Sales Efficiency = Net New ARR / S&M Expense


    • ARR is annual recurring revenue
    • S&M expense is sales and marketing expenses
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