There’s more pressure on revenue teams today than ever before. In order to keep up with growing demands, teams are relying more and more on outbound sales. And with this growing reliance on outbound sales, new tools and technologies are appearing to make it easier to connect with buyers.
But we wouldn’t be good data-driven revenue professionals if we didn’t talk about metrics, because we all know the idiom: what gets measured gets managed.
Tracking and measuring sales activities is one of the most important things you can do to improve your outbound efforts. But with all of the data and technology at our fingertips, there are hundreds of metrics we could be tracking.
That begs the question: which sales metrics are the most important?
In this blog post, we’ll break down the 8 metrics that every outbound sales team must be tracking. From definitions of each metric to general industry benchmarks, you’ll have all the info you need to track the numbers like a pro.
Before we get started, it’s important to understand that target metrics can vary greatly depending on the organization and industry, so take care to use them with caution until you have enough internal data to create your own benchmarks. The most important thing you should focus on is striving to improve against your targets. After each metric, we’ve included recommendations for how to achieve better results.
In original research by Revenue.io and RevOps Squared, we uncovered several key findings that gave us more insights into the state of the outbound sales development funnel. This data presents us with the benchmark metrics to build the basic outbound sales development funnel.
Email open rate: The total number of emails opened divided by the total number of emails sent.
If your emails are below the 27% open rate, we recommend testing different subject lines. After all, your subject line is like an ad for the rest of your email. However, if your open rates are below 12%, a better subject line won’t help. In this case, we recommend looking at your list to make sure you’re targeting the right people in the first place.
Click-through rate: Often abbreviated as CTR, the total clicks on an embedded link in the email are divided by the number of people who saw the email.
When reps include links in their cold outbound emails, it’s usually pointing to some content that’s useful to the buyer, like a blog or email. If your CTR is below 11%, we recommend making sure you are clearly communicating the value of the content you’re linking to, moving your link higher in the email, and adding a second link to the same content.
Email response rate: The total number of responses divided by the total number of emails sent.
This is the metric we care about the most when we’re looking at our sales email performance. The magic formula for getting a response is to send messages that are personal, relevant and timely. There are some quick things you can do to increase your response rates, like making more use of merge fields, which requires great data hygiene. However, the most effective way to ensure personal, relevant and timely responses is to do proper research. This is, of course, a fine balance in sales because you can’t afford to spend hours researching each buyer before reaching out. As a general rule of thumb, the more automation you use, the lower response rate you’ll get.
Bounce rate: The total number of emails intercepted and returned by recipients’ mail servers divided by the total emails sent.
Bounce rates are important because they affect the deliverability of your emails. If you have a high bounce rate for a long period of time, your sender score will decrease, making it harder for you to land in buyer inboxes. If your bounce rates are above the benchmarks, check the source of your leads (are all of your bounces coming from a few sources?), check the age of your leads (are you emailing people who have been in your systems for years?), and clean your data regularly (did someone mistype their email or give you an obviously fake email when downloading your ebook, like A@A.com?).
Dials-to-conversation rate: The percentage of dials that result in a conversation.
If you are not hitting a 9% dials-to-conversation rate, aside from looking at the source of your phone numbers, we recommend a few things. Time of day and dialing technology (for example, using Local Presence) can all play a role in how many dials actually result in prospects picking up the phone.
Dials-to-meeting rate: The percentage of dials that result in actual appointments (demos, meetings, etc.).
This stat drills one level deeper and looks at how many conversations result in a meeting. If you have reps that are connecting with a lot of leads but not booking enough meetings, we recommend examining your rep’s call templates and call etiquette. Leverage Conversation AI by Revenue.io to drill into call analytics and listen to call recordings in order to identify ways that those reps can improve their pitch.
Dial-to-opportunity rate: The percent of dials that result in an opportunity being created.
This metric is both predictive and analytical, revealing not only how much effort is needed to create an opportunity, but also how efficient your current team is. Knowing approximately how many dials it takes to create opportunities can help ensure that your team is properly staffed and that reps are keeping busy enough to move leads to the next stage. If your dial to opportunity rate drops well below the benchmark, we recommend reevaluating your ICP.
Voicemail return rate: The percentage of voicemails that result in the receiver calling you back.
There are few things we can do to affect voicemail return rate, but if your rep’s numbers are below the benchmark, the most impactful thing you can do is test different voicemail scripts. Test length, value propositions, referencing mutual connections, CTA (e.g., “call me back” vs. “look out for my email”), and so forth. We also recommend using Voicemail Drop because it can save you a lot of time and ensure your voicemails are exactly how you want them every time. Pre-recorded voicemails can be framed around campaigns to enable speed while also maintaining a degree of customization. For example, a pre-recorded voicemail could mention the name of an ebook that a prospect downloaded when reps are calling down a list of leads that downloaded that particular eBook
The modern B2B rep is always looking to grow and improve. By tracking the right metrics and using the right technology, you will find yourself having more conversations with buyers.
If you’re ready to take the guesswork out of selling and elevate your sales productivity to the next level, check out Guided Selling by Revenue.io. Now you can eliminate wasted sales time and improve performance with approved playbooks and automated lead and account prioritization.
Brandon is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Revenue.io, the revenue acceleration platform that leverages AI to transform sales teams into high-performing revenue engines. He's passionate about the intersection between tech and psychology, especially as it applies to growing businesses. You can follow him on twitter @brandon_lee_09 or connect with him on LinkedIn.