Impact/ROI analysis for prioritizing projects

Like most sales teams, ours has a massive backlog of project work. Enhancements to our CRM, changes to our sales process, training development, territory redesign, you name it, it just keeps coming.

How can you compare the expected benefits of each project to help prioritize?

I look at one metric: time saved per sales rep.

Every minute we save a salesperson means more time to work more leads and close more deals. “Time saved” directly correlates to higher output potential and as such it tends to be how I frame things.

Here’s one quick and dirty method for working out time saved per sales rep:

– $50M target, 40 sales reps, $1.25M quota per rep

– 2080 work hours in the year

– Assume 3 weeks off between sick time, vacation, and holidays observed, per rep, bringing us to 1,960 work hours per year

– $1.25M / 1960 = $637.75, call it $600 quota attainment per hour to be conservative

– New project will save an avg. of 1 hour per rep, per week

– That’s $24k per week or $1,248,000, aka $1.25M, or the impact of adding one more sales rep to your sales force without needing to recruit, hire, train, spend benefits and expenses on, etc.

– Project XYZ will take 2 Sales Ops personnel X number of hours at $Y/hr (fully burdened rate)

– Subtract that from the impact and you have a rough net value of this project

– Now do the same for all 20 projects on your list and prioritize by “impact potential”

– Remember the time value of money relative to business needs.  A project with an impact potential of $1M per year that takes 6 months to implement has a different value than one with an IP of $1.1M/yr and 9 months to implement.  The 9-month project nets more over the long term and less over the short. Complicating things slightly: depending on the needs of the business, the short-term bump may be the higher priority.

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