We are in a business climate where operational efficiency is under the microscope. All functional departments are going through an audit to review their performance and sales metrics. I was  inspired to write this post after several technical sales engineers and leaders asked me what performance metrics to consider. As the inventor of modern management Peter Drucker once said, “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Let’s look first at a framework for measurement.

OKRs and KPIs

Most common frameworks used in high-tech companies for tracking and measuring performance are centered around Objective Key Results (OKR) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI). To understand the nuances between the two sales metrics, see table below.

table detailing the difference between OKR and KPI


As a technical sales engineer thinks of their KPIs, it is important to have it contextualized within the OKR framework that your company’s leadership has put in place.

Now let’s look at a high-level framework that might help to develop KPIs for your technical sales team.

How To Measure Sales Metrics

While I’ve grossly oversimplified how to best track technical sales performance, consider the following sample questions around time and money. These may help contextualize an approach to developing your KPIs and establish which sales metrics make the most sense for your organization.

Table explaining the difference between Expense and Revenue


Depending on the maturity level of your company and technical sales organization, you can vastly expand on the questions you want to ask and drill down into deeper quants to measure and improve your technical sales efficiency, which may also be impacted by dependencies around Go-To-Market dynamics that may include product packaging, sales model and macro market dynamics. But I would encourage you to keep it simple and concentrate on the KPIs that contribute to your success and that of your business.


The technical sales community is a key contributor to driving sales efficiency, as I highlighted in a previous post. I would propose that the better handle technical sales has on their OKRs and KPIs, the more effectively they can  influence their success, both in the market and with their internal sales, marketing, product and engineering counterparts. While this post greatly oversimplifies how to set objectives and measure them, I hope it gets your technical sales leadership muscles working so  you can have greater success. As “Think and Grow Rich” author Napoleon Hill once said, “Plan your work, and work your plan.” That’s how you increase your probability of success.