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Measuring and Impacting Sales Productivity with a Metrics-Driven Strategy

Measuring and Impacting Sales Productivity with a Metrics-Driven Strategy


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Measuring and Impacting Sales Productivity with a Metrics-Driven Strategy

How Visibility into Sales Productivity Metrics Creates Positive Accountability

When I started my first outbound-centric job, I was constantly stressed. I asked myself and my managers regularly if I was doing a good enough job and if I was meeting expectations. The problem was, I didn’t have a clear, accessible way of knowing how or if I was tracking towards my goals at any given time. 

Fast-forward to starting at Ambition: With the click of a button, I was given a scorecard that clearly laid out my daily and monthly expectations, as well as real-time progress. Finally, I was able to focus my efforts productively, cast number stress and excel calculators aside, and log off each day knowing I had fulfilled expectations.

Ambition scorecard showing progress on objective metrics

Some leaders view making metrics or “scores” visible as micromanaging or overbearing, but I think it has the opposite result. From a rep’s perspective, making those numbers readily available and trackable empowers me to manage my own efforts and results. Combine that autonomy with the instant gratification of completing my daily activity score or making it to 100% of quota, and you have a rep who is motivated by a healthy culture of accountability and encouragement. 

The Five Most Important Productivity Metrics for Sales Development

Sales development is a numbers game. There are a lot of metrics you can track, and especially in this crowded tech environment, it’s important to dial-in on the metrics that will cut waste and impact your team’s bottom line. Here are the five metrics we’ve found to be most impactful to productivity.

  1. Calls 
    Why you should track it: More than likely, this is what your reps are doing more than anything else. If a rep is not consistently booking meetings, you can look at the number of calls they’ve made to determine if the right amount of effort is there to begin with.

    What good looks like: Industry standard for calls is 40 per day, but this number varies vastly across verticals and market segments, so make sure you’re setting realistic benchmarks based on the output you require from each rep.
     
  2. Connects
    Why you should track it: These are what we call “quality conversations” at Ambition. This metric indicates whether your reps are connecting with quality prospects within your ICP and reflects their ability to prospect well and maintain their outreach.

    What good looks like: Industry standard for connects is 4.4 per day. This number is an average of organizations that qualify as “email-centric” (averaging 3.3 per day), “neutral” (4.1 per day), and “phone-centric” (6.8 per day).
     
  3. Call <> connect ratio
    Why you should track it: Tracking the number of calls/dials per connects/quality conversations gives you the best indication of the quality of the number you are dialing. Best practice is to only dial numbers that you know belong to your ideal prospect.

    What good looks like: Industry standard ranges from 4-7% per day.
     
  4. Emails or social outreach
    Why you should track it: Multi-channel prospecting has proven the most effective way of generating leads and booking meetings. Prospects that have seen outreach from a rep on more than one platform are far more likely to respond. This is a very important metric to track the thoroughness of your reps in their outreach.

    What good looks like: The volume of LinkedIn or email touches vary the most out of any SDR metric. As a general rule, a 1:1 ratio of emails/social outreaches to calls is a good benchmark to start with.
     
  5. Contacts sequenced
    Why you should track it: Tracking the amount of prospects sequenced gives you direct insight into their effort in prospecting. It doesn’t matter how many calls or emails they make if one day they run out of prospects! Take your SDR activity accountability to the next level by tracking their prospecting numbers.

    What good looks like: At Ambition, we hold reps accountable to 25 contacts per day. This accounts for average daily fall off from prospects that opt out or are removed from a sequence.

What Levers You Can Pull When Your Sales Productivity Metrics Are Down

Every sales development leader knows what a team slump can look and feel like. When you notice that your numbers are down, where should you focus your efforts to quickly turn the tide? Metric-driven coaching and competitions energize your people, increase performance and sales productivity, and can help you impact those key sales productivity metrics.

What should metric-based coaching look like?

Coach on the numbers in 1-on-1s: 

  • Regular check-ins are crucial for checking in with your reps, encouraging them where they’re performing well, and coaching them on best practices or ways they can improve. Put important qualitative metrics in your check-ins, such as:
    • Meetings held this month vs scheduled: how are reps owning their monthly goals?
    • Call conversion rates: how are reps performing when they talk to prospects?
    • SAL>SQL conversion rates: are reps going after quality titles and accounts?
  • Put metric snapshots into your coaching sessions so reps are looking at their numbers at the same time as their managers.
  • Run these four coaching programs to help you achieve quota and maintain consistency.

Employ action items or goals to help reps focus on areas of improvement:

  • Reps aren’t making enough calls: set a goal for them to hit 125% of daily call quota over the next week.
  • Reps aren’t adding enough prospects into sequence: set up a prospecting call to dive in with them and coach on best practices, plus set a goal for them to add into sequence by the next 1v1.

Action items in Ambition

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What should metric-based competition look like?

Run contests or blitzes around key metrics that need improvement:

  • Is your team struggling with conversion or hold rates? Create a leaderboard to stack-rank the most efficient reps. At Ambition, we track the following metrics on our “Monthly Conversion Rate” Leaderboard:
    • SAL>SQl conversion rates
    • Meeting hold rate
    • Call conversion rate

If your team is falling behind on top of funnel metrics like calls or meetings booked, creating short term or long term competitions is a great way to encourage an increase in activity. Here are 7 creative ideas for your next call blitz.

Ambition leaderboard

What goals are important?

Every organization has different goals. Yours might be around increased market share in a specific vertical, net new logos, or revenue from a specific product. Regardless of organization goals, it’s important to break down what activity and attainment is needed from your team on a regular basis and to set clear expectations.

Our SDR team has goals around meetings booked, meetings held, and SQLs within each of our market segments. Giving consistent visibility to our team has been critical to achieving those goals month over month.

How to Manage Sales Productivity Without Being a Micromanager

How do you balance accountability and encouragement? In my experience, each rep needs a slightly different combination of the two, but cultivating a culture that values both is critical to impacting sales productivity. For me, achieving that balance is simple. When I have an easy way to view my leading and lagging KPIs, and my coaching is dependent on my individual investment (i.e. “rep led”), the balance strikes itself.

Rep-led coaching programs can look like:

  • Coaching check-ins that focus on topics reps can add prior to the meeting
  • Call coaching or account strategy coaching that requires reps to surface their own calls or accounts
  • Rep-initiated call blitzes on days you haven’t scheduled
  • Rep-initiated goals and action plans

When accountability becomes holistic across the team and everyone can see how much effort and success I’m putting in each day, my managers no longer represent another looming performance review. Now, my managers can step into the roles of trusted advisor and cheerleader.

In my experience, micromanaging doesn’t occur because of a wealth of information, but a lack of it. When managers are freed to focus more time on coaching and cheerleading, and reps experience greater visibility to their numbers, the whole team experiences greater productivity.

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About Ambition
Ambition's Revenue Performance Platform™ combines Performance Intelligence with Sales Gamification and Coaching Orchestration to drive accountability and encouragement, helping revenue teams achieve their peak potential. With insight into what's working and not, revenue leaders can take action to drive behaviors and activities that lead to results. In-office, remote, or hybrid, Ambition is helping companies like T-Mobile, Waste Management, ADP, ServiceNow, Ryder, and the Atlanta Braves achieve their peak revenue potential. Ambition is a privately held company based in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with remote employees all over the world.