6 Key Sales Metrics (And How to Reliably Pull Them From Salesforce)

Ryan Baer

November 17, 2022
you notice your sales data is out of date
you feel like you lack clarity on current pipeline
you want to see reports on booked and forecasted revenue but can’t
you missed an important action item for a potential customer
you expanded your sales team and it’s hard to see who owns what account
you’re seeing duplicates in the data
What does “CRM set up” mean/involve?
When is the best time to set up your CRM and why?
What are the costs if you wait?
What are the benefits if you move quickly?
How do most companies implement their CRM?
Should you get Salesforce or another CRM?

Salesforce is the source of truth for data on the sales process, but it’s essential to implement guardrails for that data to be reliable. In this post, we’ll discuss some common metrics that Founders, Sales, and RevOps Leaders often want to track in Salesforce, as well as the restrictions necessary to depend on those metrics. If you want to track these metrics and feel like you can count on them, Swantide’s workflows handle all of this on Day 1, in the background of your Salesforce instance, freeing you up to focus your time elsewhere. With that, let’s dive in:


SaaS businesses are built on recurring revenue (more on how to set up a renewals flow can be found here). However, Salesforce only comes with 1 standard Amount field out of the box, which doesn’t give you a full picture of ARR if you have contracts that are not 12 months or any one-time revenue on an Opportunity. Failure to track this from the start distorts revenue data, which leads to a time-consuming and manual data entry process in the future.

Fortunately, you can leverage both Salesforce-native functionality and some custom fields to track this from the start:

  • Add Opportunity Products to your Opportunity page layout and configure your price book with the appropriate list price time unit (e.g. monthly, annually, or one-time) for each product 
  • Track ARR/MRR for each product through a formula field on the Opportunity Product referencing the list price time unit, Quantity, and Amount  
  • Use a custom field on the Opportunity to roll-up the ARR/MRR from all of the Opportunity products, and use another custom field to track the number of months on the Opportunity if you want to track TCV

This allows you to track weighted and unweighted ARR/MRR on each Opportunity, as well as in the pipeline as a whole. To ensure this data is tracked consistently, remove the Amount field from the page layout entirely. If you want to allow reps to forecast Opportunity Amounts without adding products, add Validation Rules requiring Opportunity Products beyond a certain stage.

Conversion Rate & Average Duration by Stage

To track the Average Duration that Opportunities are in each stage, you’ll need to create:

  • A custom field for each stage in your sales process that will show the date/time the Opportunity moved into that stage
  • A Flow that automatically timestamps the field as an Opportunity moves into each stage. Timestamping each Opportunity Stage as a separate field in Salesforce is necessary because the default Stage Duration field found in an Opportunity History report only tracks the number of days the Opportunity has been in the current stage, so the data is wiped out as the Opportunity progresses.
  • Validation Rules Requiring Opportunities to only advance one stage at a time. The best way to calculate duration in reports is to use filters on the custom timestamp fields in question. If Opportunities can skip stages, the filters used in the report will be too narrow to capture all of the progression through the funnel. This means that Opportunities that skip stages won’t be picked up in your analysis.

These three powerful components allow you to calculate the Conversion Rate from one stage to another, as well as the associated ARR for that conversion. This provides insight into where in your sales process you’re losing Opportunities.

Renewal Success Rate

If you track both New Business and Renewals in Salesforce, use picklist values on the Opportunity Type field to distinguish between the two Opportunity Types. This distinction can be used as a filter for reporting on any metrics you track in Salesforce. 

In addition to the ARR/MRR fields described above, we suggest creating a Renewals section on the Opportunity page layout. Here, you can link the Parent Opportunity, pull through the Parent Opp’s ARR/MRR, and create a Net New ARR field to monitor expansion/contraction on the Renewal Opportunity. Leveraging Flows to do this from the start will help you avoid a painful data migration down the line.

Revenue & Activity Metrics to SDRs

While the Opportunity Owner field is useful for attributing credit to your sales team, it can only be populated by 1 person. If you have SDRs and AEs involved in the selling process, the Opportunity Owner field isn’t a great source for SDR attribution. 

Account and Opportunity Teams are the best way to associate multiple team members with one Account/Opportunity [Note: This functionality is only available with Salesforce Enterprise Edition]. We suggest using this instead of creating lookup fields on the Opportunity to 1) cut down on the number of custom fields, and 2) easier filtering on report/list views for users who play different roles across Opportunities. To pull these metrics into reports and dashboards, you’ll use the Opportunities with Opportunity Teams report type instead of Opportunities. Starting with this approach can help avoid yet another painful migration.

Activity metrics, such as number of calls and emails sent, are also an important indicator of SDR performance. You’ll need to connect your inbox to see these metrics in Salesforce through one of two approaches, each of which has different reporting capabilities:

  • If using an email automation tool (e.g. Outreach, Salesloft), set up the integration to Salesforce to pull emails into the associated Salesforce records. These emails are created as Tasks of Type = Email, which you can use in building custom reports. 
  • If you’re not using these tools, connect your inbox to Salesforce with Einstein Activity Capture. However, note that in Salesforce’s data model, these emails are not logged as Tasks, so you’ll be limited to using the native Salesforce Activities Dashboard 

Opportunity Loss Reason (And Any Custom Picklist Field)

We suggest tracking Loss Reason on Opportunities to analyze why deals are lost. We do this through a picklist value of the most common Loss Reasons. You probably have other custom fields on your Opportunities that show a selection of picklist options as well (e.g. which competitor you lost an Opportunity to). Wherever possible, we strongly suggest using picklist values instead of multi-select picklists due to some important limitations in reporting on multi-select picklists.

Multi-select picklists don’t allow you to report on how often a single picklist option appears across all Opportunities - instead, you’ll see a listing of every permutation of picklist options across your Opportunity records, which isn’t as useful in answering the questions most pertinent to your business (i.e. how often are we losing Opportunities due to missing features?)  To solve this, you can augment picklist fields with a free text Details field to provide any necessary context. 

A Final Note on Usability & Rep Experience

There’s a delicate balance to strike between using guardrails to maintain reliable data and implementing so many restrictions that Salesforce becomes very difficult for the reps to use. An unusable Salesforce creates its own data quality issues, as reps are less likely to input data in a timely manner. Therefore, it’s important to monitor rep sentiment and keep tabs on timely input of sales data.

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