If part of the day-to-day of your job includes being involved or directly working with salespeople, then you know how hectic things can get for them at the end of each quarter and year — lots of stress and anxiety around closing business and hitting quota. However, it can be an exciting time, especially if the dominoes are falling in your company’s favor and your sales team is crushing it.
Regardless of the outcome, we can all agree that the pressure to hit quota is real, and the toll it can take on a salesperson can be substantial.
A small dose of healthy stress can work in your favor, but too much can derail even the toughest salesperson. It’s important that salespeople figure out ways to better understand their own performance to make changes that will reduce quota stress moving forward.
A good self-assessment, some senior-level feedback, and coaching are always great, but the best salespeople aren’t afraid to put some pressure back on their organizations regarding the types and amount of support they are getting. I’m all for introspection, but every company needs to be open to evaluating how well they support salespeople.
Work With Marketing to Better Drive Results
It’s an unfortunate reality that a polarity often exists between sales and marketing. In many companies, this polarity restricts the ability to have a healthy dialogue around metrics from taking place — specifically, conversations around how well Marketing executed campaigns to support the sales team. For instance, it hinders sales from asking questions like: In situations in which a sales development team is involved, how effective were its efforts?
Today, it’s not uncommon for companies to have a large inbound marketing presence and a sales development team that follows up on the inbound leads received. In a perfect world, inbound marketing leads, alongside lead qualification, such as sales development, would create a strong sales prospecting system for outside sales teams — now if we could only get both sales and marketing on the same page.
Salespeople can drive this discussion politely and effectively by requesting some very basic outbound metrics from their sales development team. These metrics will give you a feel for how Marketing is performing at each stage of the funnel and how frequently Marketing is pushing fully qualified leads into Sales’ pipeline. It’s a great jumping off point for engaging Marketing in healthy discussion around their support of Sales.
6 Sales KPIs SDRs Should Monitor
1) Reach Rate: Are you having enough meaningful conversations?
Reach rate can be defined as the percentage of total outbound activities that result in a meaningful conversation with a decision-maker, meaning one in which at least one critical piece of qualification information is gathered.
Reach Rate Goal: 40%
A best-in-class sales development rep is benchmarked to have a minimum of 35 and an average of 40 meaningful conversations for every 100 outbound activities they engage in. What you should look at first in order to help improve this number is the sample lead list from your territory.
Are the leads being targeted in your sweet spot and at the right level? Nobody has a better grasp on the ideal customer profile than the people selling for a company. Salespeople owe it to Marketing to share their ideas on this topic. Many times, the right tweaks to a list profile make all the difference.
2) Pass Rate: Are you able to qualify and close on all meaningful conversations?
Pass rate is the percentage of meaningful conversations that become fully qualified and passed to a salesperson. A fully-qualified lead should contain mutually agreed-upon lead information and contain all of the information a salesperson would need to conduct an effective discovery call.
Pass Rate Goal: 11%
An experienced, savvy sales development rep will qualify and pass 11 out of every 100 meaningful conversations that they engage in. This rep should initially look at a detailed summary of quality conversation notes above all else to improve the rate.
Salespeople invariably see things in the notes that a manager may not. We’ve found that one of the greatest sources of training and improvement for our teams is to share our conversation notes with salespeople directly. It’s an excellent way to get real-time training and a huge source for clues as to what may or may not be pushing pass rate below standards.
3) Pipe Rate: Do your leads convert to sales forecast?
Pipe rate is the percentage of fully-qualified leads that end up on the sales forecast. In order for a lead to end up as pipe, the call must occur, the information must be validated (by sales), and the salesperson must have a logical next step in the sales process.
Pipe Rate Goal: 73%
The best of the best sales development teams will see 73% of their leads show up on the sales forecast. To better this figure, they’ll want to check out the no-show rates before anything else.
The single greatest cause of a low pipe rate is no-shows. Not only do no-shows themselves kill the number, but the fact that they rarely get rescheduled also compounds this issue.
Salespeople should proactively work with Marketing to establish a formal hand-off process that involves the sales development rep booking the meeting for both the salesperson and prospect and handle any and all reschedules. Sales must commit to an updated calendar and never miss a lead appointment. Four in five rescheduled leads that are caused by a salesperson needing to change the time are never heard from again, so don’t do it.
Salespeople Need to Take a Proactive Approach
Salespeople shouldn’t wait to see what marketing is going to do next for them. They should instead engage in a healthy dialogue with marketing to understand how they are performing in these three KPIs and offer some time and intelligence to help improve the process and numbers.
Ultimately, getting to quota is a team effort. It’s in sales’ best interest to take a positive, value-added approach as opposed to the classic “wait-to-blame” tact that many of us have seen all too often. To set your team up for success, read our benchmarking report, The Outbound Index and find what KPIs you and your team need to hone in on to maximize your output.
How does your company track KPIs? Is the process efficient and understood by all employees, including both marketing and sales? Tell us in the comments below!