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STAMFORD, Conn, December 8, 2020

Gartner Says Only 25% of Sales Organizations Have a Standard Definition for Sales Metrics

Gartner State of Sales Analytics 2020 Outlines Steps Sales Leaders Can Take to Deliver Analytics that Help Organizations Overcome Important Challenges

Only 25% of organizations have a standard organization wide definition for sales metrics, according to Gartner, Inc. This lack of metric definition standardization is a key roadblock to sales analytics’ ability to drive commercial success. In fact, The Gartner State of Sales Analytics reveals only 55% of sales teams standardize metrics across all business units, regions and teams within the sales function itself.

“Without unified sales metrics definitions, sales analytics teams will struggle to help end users understand the analysis they are producing,” said Steve Rietberg, senior director analyst in the Gartner Sales practice. “In worst-case scenarios, this means sales analytics leaders will not even be aware of the confusion, and other functional leaders will make decisions based on erroneous assumptions and intuition.”

In May through June of 2020, Gartner surveyed 299 sales leaders and found that 19% of sales organization still define sales metrics ad hoc, meaning definitions are developed as part of each request for analytics and not necessarily reused. Instead, sales organizations need to make metric standardization the foundation for sales analytics’ role in commercial decision making.

“When different data dialects exist in an organization, they may have justification for variations in how a metric is defined and interpreted,” added Mr. Rietberg. “Sales analytics leaders must be cognizant of dialects and flexible enough to support them.”

Gartner defines data dialects as the variations of an organization’s common interpretation of data that emerge within specialized groups, often aligned by customer segment, business process or technical domain.

To establish standard definitions for sales metrics and better ensure their adoption, sales analytics leaders should poll key stakeholders to identify and understand the metrics most important to various audiences in the organization. This information is necessary to design a set of standardized metrics that satisfies the different users’ requirements and eliminate variations in definitions. 

Gartner for Sales Leaders clients can learn more in The State of Sales Analytics, Part 3: Data Governance and Data Quality.


About Gartner for Sales Leaders

Gartner for Sales Leaders provides heads of sales and their teams with the insights, advice and tools they need to address mission-critical priorities amid mounting pressures to drive growth through new and existing customers. With extensive qualitative and quantitative research, Gartner for Sales Leaders helps sales teams combat commoditization and price-based purchasing, develop critical manager and seller skills, elevate the value of sales interactions, unlock existing growth potential, and optimize sales force enablement. Follow news and update from the Gartner Sales practice on Twitter and LinkedIn using #GartnerSales.

About Gartner

Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT) delivers actionable, objective insight to executives and their teams. Our expert guidance and tools enable faster, smarter decisions and stronger performance on an organization’s mission critical priorities. To learn more, visit