There are so many factors that go into managing a sales development team. You need the right reps, a solid strategy and a repeatable sales process. However, one of the most important things that sales leaders need is insight into their SDRs’ activities. It seems simple enough, but unless you’re tracking the right data points in Salesforce, it’s virtually impossible to identify what those leading indicators of success are (i.e. what separates winning reps from laggards).
I’ve spoken to a lot of sales managers, and most are tracking basic activity metrics like how many dials reps are making and how many emails they’re sending. Those are important, but there are other essential outbound metrics that managers routinely aren’t tracking.
Get ready for a crash course on five crucial outbound sales metrics that you should start tracking in Salesforce right away (beyond dials and emails).
I don’t care about how many prospects reps dial nearly as much as I care about how many conversations they have. It’s important to know exactly how efficient reps are at having conversations with a prospect. Now exactly what constitutes a “conversation” may vary based on your industry and the complexity of your value prop. As a general rule, when I see that a rep has spoken to a prospect for longer than two minutes, I assume that some sort of sales conversation has taken place beyond a prospect saying “sorry I’m busy” and hanging up the phone.
This metric is important because, in my experience, more conversations each day virtually always correlates with more meetings, opportunities and revenue. While it’s true that reps can’t completely control the amount of conversations they have each day, with dialing technology like Local Presence they can maximize their chance of connecting with sales-ready leads.
This metric is such an important leading indicator. How long are your top tier SDRs spending on sales calls vs. your bottom tier reps? By tracking this metric, you’re probably going to discover one of two things. Most likely, you’ll discover that your best SDRs are just better at keeping prospects on the phone. They are going to have longer call durations as a result. Great SDRs are amazing at building relationships and keeping prospects engaged.
However, it’s also possible that you’ll discover bottom tier SDRs who are having longer conversations than your top tier SDRs. A story I like to tell is the time that I showed up at a car dealership knowing exactly the make, model, color, features and price I was looking for. That deal could have been signed in record time. And yet, I had to spend literally hours listening to a sales guy tell me stories that I didn’t care about at all. He wasted my time. But more importantly, he wasted time he could have spent on the lot trying to sell another car. I happen to know that he didn’t keep that job long.
So if you have a rep that’s having tons of talk time but not creating any opportunities, you need to listen to call recordings to ensure that they aren’t spending 20 minutes talking about their latest ski trip to Aspen.
How successful are reps at getting leads to return voicemails? Getting prospects to return voicemails can be one of the most difficult tasks in outbound sales. Looking at a voicemail return rate can help you identify which reps are leaving the most successful voicemails and which reps need additional coaching. You can also check to see whether coaching initiatives improve reps’ voicemail return rates.
Viewing outbound calling activity by time of day gives managers insight into individual reps’ workflow. You might find that top performing reps are doing the brunt of their calling during specific key call windows (as an example, decision makers tend to be easier to get ahold of in the early morning and late afternoon). More successful reps might be more strategic about when they dial prospects. If a rep is doing a lot of calling at inopportune times (e.g. during lunch hour) they can be trained to call during more lucrative call windows.
If your team is engaged in account-based selling (and I highly recommend that it should be) it’s not only important to monitor how many times reps contact individual leads, but also how many times reps are calling or emailing contacts at a particular company. It’s important to have an overhead view of which reps are reaching out to each account, as well as how often. Even in small sales organizations, it’s common for different reps to reach out to the same account without knowing it. Managers should ensure that accounts aren’t being hit by multiple reps. It’s also important to ensure that accounts aren’t being contacted too frequently or not frequently enough.
These are five awesome metrics to start tracking in Salesforce. If you’re looking for help tracking sales development activities in Salesforce, Revenue.io not only helps automatically capture more sales data, but also offers a slew of reports and dashboards right out of the box.
In one of my next posts, I’ll focus on some more advanced outbound metrics that you can track to predict and influence revenue. Or simply download your Complete Guide to Inside Sales Analytics for over 50 actionable metrics you can begin tracking in Salesforce now!
Jesse WestDirector of Lifecycle MarketingRevenue.io
Jesse Davis West is Director of Lifecycle Marketing at Revenue.io, focusing on improving the experience and maximizing the lifetime value for customers across their entire journey. Drawing on 11 years of B2B marketing experience, Jesse is passionate about communication, branding and strategic marketing. He also plays a mean lead guitar and can throw down at karaoke.