How to calculate (and improve) your sales win rate

The Dock Team
March 13, 2024
July 3, 2024

Being a sales leader requires a healthy obsession with your numbers. Your team’s win rate is one of those numbers that matters most.

Sales win rates gauge your team's overall effectiveness and help you fine-tune your strategy. 

Not only do your win rates reflect the strength of your team's skills (and playbook), but they also highlight the importance of sustained, strategic monitoring, and constant iteration on the way to boosting revenue. 

Want to drive revenue growth? Figure out your win rates over time and build a strategy around improving them.

Below, you'll learn:

  1. The nuances of sales win rates
  2. How sales win rates differ from close rates
  3. The right way to calculate sales win rates—individual and team
  4. The best strategies and tools to boost your team's rates

What is a sales win rate?

Sales win rate is the proportion of closed sales opportunities that end successfully with closed-won deals. 

It’s a commonly used key performance indicator (KPI) in sales, and most often represented as a percentage (e.g., 30% win rate).

Knowing your sales win rate helps you assess how well an individual or team is in converting potential deals into actual revenue. A higher win rate suggests a more successful and efficient sales strategy.

Sales win rate vs. close rate

Here's where sales performance metrics can get a bit muddy. While they sound similar, win rates and close rates are different. 

  • Win rate is the percentage of closed opportunities (won or lost) that ended as closed-won deals (over a given time period). Think of this as a way to gauge won vs. lost deals.

  • Close rate is the percentage of all opportunities (including open opportunities) that ended as closed-won deals. Think of this as how many SQLs ended up in deals. 

So, while the win rate gives insight into how effectively your reps or team win deals, the close rate also shows how quickly and efficiently your team can close.

How to calculate sales win rate

Before you dive into calculating your sales win rate—whether at the rep or team level—you need to identify specific metrics:

  • The time period you’re analyzing (month, quarter, year, etc.) 
  • Number of closed-won deals within that period
  • Number of closed opportunities (closed won deals and closed lost deals) in that period 

To calculate win rates across all opportunities, divide the closed won deals by the total number of closed deals or opportunities within that period. The result, as a percentage, is your win rate.

Win rate = Closed-won opportunities / (Closed-won opportunities + Closed-lost opportunities)

Win rates for sales reps 

Let’s say you want to calculate the annual sales win rate of one of your reps. If they had 96 closed opportunities and 24 closed wins, their sales win rate would be 25%. 

Win rates for sales teams

Now, consider that the same rep is part of a team of 12. The numbers are going to be much larger, but the formula is still the same. 

Imagine the team collectively had 1152 closed opportunities and 405 closed wins over the same period. 

To calculate the team's win rate, you would divide the total number of wins (405) by the total number of opportunities (1152). This would give you a team win rate, which in this example would be 35%. 

Why are sales win rates important?

As a KPI, sales win rates are important for several reasons:

  1. Efficacy of the sales process: A high win rate suggests that your sales strategies, methodologies, and execution are likely solid, while a lower win rate may suggest areas for improvement within any of those areas. (Keep in mind that the benchmark for what is considered high or low can vary across industries.)
  2. Setting goals and forecasting: Understanding win rates helps set realistic sales targets and predict future revenue. It allows for better planning and goal-setting based on historical data.
  3. Training and development: Analyzing win rates can reveal specific stages in the sales process where improvements are needed, guiding training and development efforts.
  4. Marketing and outreach effectiveness: When considering all closed opportunities, a consistently high win rate suggests that your marketing and outreach strategies are bringing in ideal prospects. Conversely, a lower win rate could indicate a mismatch between the prospects your company is attracting and those likely to purchase.

Measuring and tracking sales win rates over time

Like most KPIs, your win rates aren’t a one-and-done deal. Measuring and tracking them as sales metrics over time offers insight into: 

  • Trend analysis to determine things like the impact of changes in the market, your sales strategy, or team performance.
  • Performance benchmarking against past performance, industry standards, or competitors to help set realistic goals and expectations.
  • Adaptability to changes in the sales environment or customer behavior, ensuring reps remain competitive and efficient.
  • Resource allocation to highlight where resources are needed most (for example, investing in additional or specific training for sales reps).
  • Process optimization to ensure that your sales strategy continually evolves—meeting current challenges and capitalizing on emerging trends and opportunities.

It's best to examine and track your sales win rates at least monthly or quarterly. 

Tools like your CRM or even a well-formulated Excel spreadsheet can make this easier. These systems run numbers for you so you can easily see what's working and what needs tweaking without worrying about whether or not your math is accurate.

What is a good sales win rate?

Understanding a good sales win rate can help you gauge your team's effectiveness, set realistic targets, and identify areas for improvement.

In a 2022 Hubspot sales benchmark survey of over 1,000 sales representatives, the median sales win rate was approximately 45.5%

But, keep in mind this more generalized data doesn’t take into account variables like:

  • Industry and market conditions
  • Sales strategy, methodology, or approach
  • Product or service 
  • Target customer segments
  • Broader economic factors

Sales win rate by industry

Benchmark data by industry depends on many factors. 

Much like a conversion rate or customer acquisition cost, sales win rates can vary significantly, and a "good" rate in one industry might not apply to another. 

Here are a few examples of why and how they can vary: 

  • Deal size: Differences in deal complexity (like the number of decision-makers involved and resources required to meet buyer expectations) can influence how long it takes to close and how frequently your team lands a win.
  • Market dynamics: Influenced by shifts in supply and demand, consumer behavior, and the economy, market dynamics have a direct impact on how easy it is to secure sales wins.
  • Competition: The number of players in the industry and their market share can improve sales win rates or decrease them based on factors like pricing and the sales strategies used.
  • Advancements in tech: Advancements in tech impact industries differently based on adoption rates and dependency—altering the efficiency and effectiveness of sales processes.
  • Regulations: Industry regulations (for example, SaaS vs. manufacturing)  can shape processes due to compliance requirements and the ability to adapt to changing rules and standards.

If your win rates aren't reaching a specific benchmark, like 45%, it doesn't inherently mean your approach is wrong. The important part is to measure performance over time and compare your team and individual reps against tailored benchmarks and their own past performance. 

The focus should be on evolving and improving as it relates to your unique business rather than categorizing rates as "good" or "bad" based on someone else's data.

5 tips, tactics, & tools for improving your sales win rate

Improving your sales win rate directly impacts revenue. By focusing on specific strategies and leveraging the right tools, you can streamline your process and increase your chances of closing more deals in a win. 

1. Prioritize qualification

If your win rates are the percentage of won opportunities from the total number of opportunities, logic dictates something about qualifying those opportunities that improving your qualification process can do two things:

  1. Increase efficiency: By targeting leads with a higher likelihood of conversion, you reduce wasted time and leave more energy and resources for nurturing high-potential leads. 
  2. Improve resource allocation: Better qualification ensures your sales efforts (and other cross-functional resources) invest in leads with more potential for conversion. This strategic distribution leads to a higher ROI, as efforts are concentrated on leads more likely to result in a yes.

Consider specific methodologies like Sandler Selling or MEDDIC Sales to improve your qualification process. 

Here, we'll focus on MEDDIC as an example of how this can work: 

  1. Quantify impact with metrics to clearly show the tangible value your solution offers to their unique needs (similar to value-based selling).
  2. Identify (and engage) the economic buyer to interact with the right decision-makers with the power and budget to buy.
  3. Align with decision criteria using a tailored approach to identify leads that fit your solution well. 
  4. Build buyer champions to increase the likelihood of success because you have internal support and buy-in within the buying committee.

2. Align the sales process with the customer journey

Aligning your process with the customer's buying journey ensures that your sales efforts sync with their needs at each stage—leading to more relevant (and timely) interactions that increase the likelihood of a win.

Here’s what you can do at each stage to guide your buyers: 

  • Awareness: Focus on educational content and broad information that helps the customer understand their problem and introduces your solution. Stephen Ruff, Co-Founder of Champify, echoes this:
“If you think about what we are as sellers, we're educators. We provide buyers with information so they can make an educated decision for themselves.”
  • Consideration: Provide detailed information, comparisons, and case studies that position your product or service against alternatives.
  • Decision: Offer specific, personalized information, demonstrations, and incentives to make the decision easier for the customer.

Dock Digital Sales Rooms (DSRs) are ideal for meeting your buyers where they are at every stage of the sales cycle

DSRs enable your Sales team to curate personalized information for prospects, offering only the most relevant information they need at that stage. For example:

  • Stage 1: In the Awareness stage, your team can offer introductory videos, general industry insights, and mutual action plans to outline the next steps in one curated space.
  • Stage 2: In the Consideration stage, the DSR can be equipped with product comparisons, detailed testimonials, and case studies.
  • Stage 3: For the Decision stage, the DSR can host pricing quotes with relevant context, order forms, and handoff materials.
Use Dock to host relevant case studies, assets, and more in one central location for each stage of the buying journey.

3. Leverage engagement data

Leveraging engagement data can improve your Sales team's win rates—providing valuable insight into buyer behavior and preferences. Use data and analytics to:

  • Understand how your prospects interact with your content to tailor your approach.
  • Monitor progress and identify bottlenecks and inefficiencies.
  • Stay updated on the status of order forms and contracts to prevent delays and provide timely follow-up.

So, how can your team do all of this easily? With Dock.

Dock tracks buyers' engagement with your digital sales room and sales content to give you more buying signals to predict buying intent.

For example, buyers who don't engage with your content are less likely to close. Dock analytics are pulled from the same DSR where you store your tailored content, case studies, pricing quotes, and more—no more toggling between messy email strands and multiple platforms. 

4. Drive timeline urgency with mutual action plans

Good timeline management during a deal holds your prospect to key dates and milestones to maintain sales velocity.

Mutual Action Plans (MAPs) provide a structured plan for your Sales team and your buyer, making the timelines clear and transparent. As a centralized collaboration space, MAPs eliminate the need for time-consuming and messy spreadsheets, multiple attachments to search through, link after link to click, and fragmented email threads of “to-dos.”  

Using a MAP, buyers (and salespeople) can check off tasks, leave comments, and upload files, streamlining interaction and keeping everyone informed about any progress or lack thereof.

Use Dock's mutual action plans to focus on and improve your sales timeline.

When all parties clearly understand the timeline and the required actions at each stage, mutual action plans help maintain a deal's momentum, leading to faster-closed deals and better sales win rates.

💡Tip: MAPs are also beneficial when a new point of contact joins late in the process, helping them get up to speed with everything about your solution, the current project status, and any subsequent steps. 

5. Prioritize follow-up 

Follow-up can help your team improve sales win rates (and boost recurring revenue). 

Better follow-up leads to more wins by sustaining engagement, addressing concerns, and staying relevant with your prospects. Here are some ways to get it right.

  • Highlighting strengths: When prospects indicate what worked well in your pitch, demo, or even during general interactions, use follow-up communications to reinforce these strengths, for example, summarizing the key points in one location (like a DSR), along with case studies or testimonials that further illustrate these strengths.
  • Addressing concerns: If a prospective buyer expresses a need for more attention or information, zero in on these concerns directly. For example, if they want more competitive pricing, tailor your pricing quotes (with context) in the follow-up communication.
  • Responding to uncovered needs: When a potential buyer expresses additional challenges, use the follow-up to offer targeted solutions. Think: sharing specific product modifications or features that address these needs.

Here's what the Director of Sales at Nectar, Andrew Hollis, has to say about using Dock Digital Sales Rooms to elevate follow-up and improve sales win rates by 31%

Improve sales win rates with Dock

Sales win rates are more than just metrics; they reflect your team's ability to turn prospects into profits. The key to maximizing these rates is meticulous measurement and ongoing monitoring, ensuring your strategies are always results-driven.

Dock provides a practical solution to enhance this aspect of your sales process. With Dock, you can:

  1. Leverage engagement data to personalize your approach with insights into how prospects interact with your content.
  2. Align the sale with the customer journey with tailored content at each sales cycle stage.
  3. Streamline follow-ups and feedback to improve the quality of your interactions based on your buyer—increasing the likelihood of a win.

To see how Dock can boost your sales win rates, sign up for a free trial today.

The Dock Team