Ask any business owner or entrepreneur how to increase sales, and you will probably get back something along the lines of ‘increase productivity’.

The fact of the matter is many business owners fall short of being able to come up with any actionable items. Why? Well, it’s likely they tend to overlook the obvious: The secret to increasing sales is understanding your metrics.

Having a firm understanding and grasp of your metrics can tell you:

  • What is working?
  • What areas can I improve and grow?
  • What goals should I set to try and reach moving forward?
  • What is the overall health of the company?

So, what is the most significant sales and marketing (or smarketing) metric you should start tracking right away?

Lead-to-Customer Conversion Rate

Your lead-to-customer conversion metric will show you the percentage of leads who eventually turned into customers. Despite other factors that can affect this metric (like lead quality), it will give you the big picture of how many leads your sales team is converting into paying customers (and your overall return on investment).

It will also tell you if your sales team needs more leads, better quality leads, or more content to educate leads before they close with a sales rep.

Put simply; this metric will give a clear picture of how well your marketing team is doing at producing leads and how well your sales team is closing them. And when combined with other metrics, it can present a clear picture of current performance and where to improve.

Pro Tip: If you’re responsible for the bottom of your company’s smarketing funnel, this metric will be important to remember when taking on new projects. You should ask yourself, “Will this help convert to the bottom line?” and leave demand generation efforts up to other departments.