The abundance of sales metrics available today can be overwhelming. Thanks to marketing automation software, CRM platforms, dialing technology and other sophisticated tools, inside sales managers have access to more data than ever before.
This is sometimes both a blessing and a curse. If you try to manage too many sales metrics, you might lose focus on the most important ones. The trick is to zero in on the ones that will have the biggest impact, so you can spend your precious time and resources wisely.
Here are five sales metrics every inside sales manager would be smart to measure:
1. Dials per lead
A lot of managers pay too much attention to dials per day. While that’s one of the sales metrics that can help you evaluate the effort of individual reps, it’s not as useful as dials per lead. Dials per lead tells you how many times your team attempts to contact each lead before giving up.
Your reps should call each lead at least six times before sending it back to marketing for more nurturing. Research has shown that organizations that follow this rule enjoy dramatically higher contact rates.
Look at a rep’s daily dial count occasionally if you’re concerned about low effort. But keep your team focused on the more important goal of contacting more of your leads by making six attempts. Remember to stay focused on the most important sales metrics.
2. Percentage of leads contacted
If you increase your dials per lead, you should contact a higher percentage of your leads. If you don’t see any improvement, you’ll want to investigate other sales metrics that may be impeding your progress.
Here are some likely culprits:
Poor lead or list quality: Some inside sales managers settle for less-than-desirable data when they buy cheap leads or lists. With lean cultures and tight budgets, it’s easy to understand why. But buying a cheap list with low data quality will waste a lot of your team’s time. You’d be better off investing in good leads and lists because it will improve your contact rates and reduce rep burnout.
Lack of direct-dial phone numbers: If you are calling senior-level executives and you are not using direct-dial phone numbers, you are setting yourself up for failure. Busy executives use their assistants to shield them from sales calls. You can boost contact rates by dialing more direct lines.
Outdated technology: Are your competitors beating you to the best accounts because they employ better technology? For example, some sales dialers allow you to show up as a local number on a prospect’s Caller ID, even when you call from another state. This technology improves the odds that your prospect will answer your call. People have grown wary of out-of-state telephone numbers.
3. Appointments set
As your leads travel down the funnel, you’ll want to track appointments set. It’s one of those meaningful sales metrics that will give you insight into how effective your reps are once they get a prospect on the phone.
It also will help you identify low-quality lead sources, if you are contacting a high volume of leads who are not willing to schedule an appointment.
Here are a few questions that can help you improve your appointment-setting process:
Are your reps friendly on their calls?
Do they ask the right questions?
Are they leading with research and relevance?
Are they getting firm commitments?
Do they have access to online scheduling software?
4. Opportunities in the pipeline
Are your reps’ pipelines drying up? Inside sales reps often struggle with consistency. They might hit their numbers one month, but they can quickly fall into a slump if they are not constantly refilling their pipelines with new opportunities.
Obviously, that’s not ideal. You’d be smart to spot this issue and help your reps correct it before it becomes a serious problem. The best way to do this is to stay focused on the right sales metrics.
You must watch your pipeline opportunities like a hawk. If your reps sell out their pipelines without replenishing them, your numbers will suffer in future months. Remember to track both the number of opportunities and the dollar value of those opportunities because they are valuable sales metrics.
5. Average order size by lead type
Inside sales legend Aaron Ross says that your prospecting efforts should focus on average order sizes that are 5 to 10 times bigger than the opportunities you target with inbound marketing. It is harder to generate good prospecting leads, so your average order size must be larger if you want to stay profitable.
Ross recommends that you group your leads into three categories:
Seeds = word of mouth
Nets = marketing programs
Spears = targeted prospecting and business development
Are you tracking your average order size by lead type? If not, now’s a good time to start.
Which key inside sales metrics did we leave off this list? Let us know in the comments.