A couple weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about Inside Sales KPIs (key performance indicators). I discussed the metrics that OpenView advises our expansion stage high-growth software/technology-enabled portfolio companies to hold their inside sales teams to on a daily basis. I was really curious about what other sales managers had to say about KPIs, so I posted a discussion thread about the topic on one of my LinkedIn groups, Inside Sales Experts.
The response has been overwhelming — in a good way. Today, weeks since I initially started the thread, I still receive multiple messages a day from group members, giving their two cents about what KPIs work best for lead generation services teams. In the 50 comments that members have left, I’ve honestly learned something from each and every post.
What are some common trends that I saw in group members’ posts?
- People are VERY passionate about KPIs — wow!
- Making KPIs too high for cold callers is not effective — reps get burnt out and lose focus
- Time spent on the phone and conversion rates are equally important, if not more important than the number of dials
- There are different types of inside sales roles, depending on the type of product/industry, etc, so before locking down specific metrics, take all factors into consideration, do your research, and finally, get feedback from reps as to what they think their capacity is…
Here are some posts that I found to be really thought provoking:
Michael Pedone wrote:
“I’ve always found the metrics of 60 dials per day and or 3 hours of talk time to be a highly effective gauge.
Of course it depends on what you are selling and who you are selling to.
When as was working for someone else, I would have my day scheduled to where I would do my best to have at least 40 dials by noon. I got more done in 3 hours than the rest of the sales team. But the rest of my day after lunch was a breeze and “pressure” was off. So if you are going to go with 60 dials a day (and or 3 hours talk time), if you are not already, challenge your team to hit 40 dials before lunch.
They’ll be more productive and more relaxed as the day goes on. At least that’s how it was for me. I wasn’t stressing about getting my dials, cause I knew I could easily get 20 more from 1 till 5:30. So when I was in closing mode, I wasn’t too “tight”, if you know what I mean.”
Kelly Kaiser wrote:
“In my opinion, I feel anything over 60 calls a day will be counter productive, again, depending on your product. If you selling widgets, the sales process is certainly different than if you are selling software to an IT executive. Also, what is the objective of the phone call? Is it to actually sell the product, or just to gain information that will be handed off to another sales representative, more of a lead generation phone call?
You should only have matrix based on what an inside sales representative can control. An inside sales rep cannot control how many people will take their phone call. I have many hundreds of telephone calls to decision makers who have said they are on their way to a meeting to try again another time. Would you consider this a conversation?
Last year I had an informational telephone interview with a company which had an 80-100 calls per day expectation. I asked the hiring manager how many reps made the numbers & what his turnover was. He admitted that turnover was high and the person in the job the longest had only been there 9 months. Median length of service was six months. Needless to say, I did not ask for an interview.
I also believe in having weekly measurements vs daily. Most representatives understand there needs to be a unit of measure, however they should be reasonable, realistic and, over all, achievable.”
If you are an an inside sales professional, I urge you to join the Inside Sales Experts Group, which is organized by Trish Bertuzzi of the The Bridge Group, Inc. Working for one of the top venture capital firms in Boston, and focusing on Inside Sales Management for our portfolio, I have found the group’s discussion threads, and The Bridge Group’s reports to be extremely helpful and informative.