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What are Sales Development Metrics and why you should care?

August 17, 2020
by
Kyle Vamvouris
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Over the years, I have had the pleasure of working with several SDR teams. During that time, I have noticed a trend that strikes directly at leadership. 

Many SDR organizations are given metrics they must hit but are not being held accountable to those metrics.

This is so surprising to me because if you would like your company to grow to its full potential, you need your Sales Development reps to be working to the best of their abilities. 

It comes down to the sales metrics that SDRs are held accountable for.

Having key sales metrics for your SDR team allows you to track how reps are performing so you can identify where they are struggling. This will guide your coaching to help that struggling SDR.

Sales Development metrics also allow you to track both the quantity and quality of your team’s work. This is important because you want to make sure that you understand the impact your team has, beyond just scheduling the initial sales call.

In this article, we are going to be taking a look at why and how you should track SDR metrics to help your reps perform to their full capabilities.

Let’s dive right in!

What are Sales Activity Metrics?

Before we talk about what SDR metrics to track, I would like to discuss what they are and why we should be monitoring them in the first place.

Sales activity metrics allow you to monitor the activities of your SDR team and better understand what impact they will have on the future. 

When it comes to sales, today's activities are tomorrow's performance.

Because each day is important for tomorrow’s success, there are two things you must be doing on a daily basis.

  1. Identify what is working today so you can repeat it tomorrow.
  2. Identify what is underperforming today so that you can improve it before tomorrow.

The above is what you should be doing on a daily basis but holding your team accountable to metrics also has an impact on them.

When your SDR team knows what sales activities are being tracked, they will aim to increase their performance. The reason is not that they are being watched by “big brother.” It’s because there is transparency in what they must do, as an individual, to hit their number and maximize their compensation.

Transparency and accountability allow you, as the leader, to prioritize your coaching. 

For example, if you see that someone is doing all the right activity, but they aren’t hitting their targets, you can use the data to identify where they need help. This wouldn’t be possible if they were hitting their activity levels because you would not have enough data to be confident in what is holding them back. Are they struggling with having sales conversations or are they simply not doing enough activity?

Overall, the sales metrics you hold your SDR team accountable to give you much more insight into how you can improve and optimize your prospecting strategy for higher success rates.

Action Tip: Look at your SDR team data and see if you can answer this question: “What do I need to change to guarantee that we hit our quota?”

What SDR Team Metrics To Track

I group tracking sales metrics into two main categories.

  1. Input Metrics
  2. Output Metrics

Inputs are a quantity metric, it allows you to track the number of results. It answers questions like, “how many meetings will we book this month” and “What percentage of conversations lead to a scheduled meeting?”

Outputs are a quality metric, it allows you to track the quality of your team’s meetings. It answers questions such as, “how many meetings does it take to close a deal” and “how much revenue does each SDR generate a year?”

What Sales Development Metrics Should you be Tracking?

There are six key metrics that I recommend you track and monitor regularly. There are a lot of metrics you can be tracking but using the ones I cover here will allow you to quickly evaluate the health of your team.

This will allow you to understand the quality of meetings your team is setting and better keep your team on track by having minimum activity expectations. In my opinion, having a standardized activity expectation is mandatory. That being said, many SDR Managers don’t hold their team accountable to minimum expectations so the metric, and the manager, become pointless.

The six metrics you must be tracking are.

  • Calls Made & Outcome
  • Emails sent & Outcome
  • Meeting scheduled
  • Future Meetings
  • Sales Accepted Opportunity
  • Revenue

Calls Made & Outcome

Tracking the number of calls and their outcomes is a great way to keep your finger on the pulse of what is going on with the individuals on your team. 

There are two primary reasons why this metric is helpful.

  1. You can quickly identify who needs cold call coaching.
  2. You can quickly identify if there are problems with your call list.

To track this metric, you need to track how many calls are being made and what the outcomes of those calls are. The outcomes include (no answer, connected, initial meeting scheduled, disqualified, etc.)

Action Tip: Look at the connect to meeting scheduled rate for each SDR on your team. Find the average and coach those who are falling behind.

Emails Sent & Outcome

In the same way you are tracking calls, you should also be tracking emails and their outcomes. 

There are two primary reasons why this metric is helpful.

  1. You can quickly identify who needs coaching on email.
  2. You can quickly identify if there are problems with your email list.

To track this metric, you need to track how many emails are being sent and what the outcomes of those emails are. The outcomes include (no reply, replied, initial meeting scheduled, disqualified, etc.)

Action Tip: Look at the email sent to meeting scheduled rate for each SDR on your team. Find the average and coach those who are falling behind.

Meeting scheduled

This metric is debatably an “output” but I track it as an input personally. The reason why is because I suggest compensating SDRs on Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAO). An SAO is when the sales rep conducts the first meeting scheduled by an SDR and determines it to be an opportunity worth pursuing. 

This metric is one of the most important because it’s an indicator that your team is or is not on track. In addition, it allows you to identify if the other inputs are leading to enough meetings to meet expectations.

Example: If the activity to meeting scheduled rate is low, you should do some training or provide a new lead list.

By contrast, this metric can also be used to discover new messaging or processes that are leading to better results.

Example: If an SDR is performing extremely well you can analyze what they are doing and share it with the rest of the team to improve their results.

Action Tip: Look at the activity to meeting set rate for each member of your team and analyze what the top performers are doing that’s setting them apart.

Future Meetings

The future meetings metric will allow you to forecast how your team will do against quota. If this metric is low, you will have to motivate your team to increase inputs. If this metric is high, things are looking good and you should use that to keep your team motivated!

Action Tip: Look as how many future meetings your team has and, based on historical math, where will you end up against quota?

Sales Accepted Opportunity

The core metric I believe every SDR should be held accountable for is Sales Accepted Opportunity (SAO). In my opinion, this is the best quality metric for SDR teams. An SAO is simply a potential deal that was scheduled by an SDR. 

Tracking this metric will allow you to determine how good the quality of leads that your SDRs are generating.

If the percentage of meetings your team books to the number of SAOs is high, the quality is high. If this rate is low, the quality is low. Note: The goal isn’t a 100% meeting to SAO rate. This rate will vary from company to company but should be based on the Account Executives workload. 

Action Tip: Look at the meeting to SAO rate for each individual on your team. Does anyone stand out? If so, what are they doing differently?

Revenue

Every sales leader’s favorite word… REVENUE. It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Tracking the revenue that each SDR is responsible for does two things.

  1. Shows the impact that the team has on the company.
  2. Justifies further investment in the SDR team.

This is the ultimate quality metric and should be treated as such. This metric can be used to motivate your team, convince leadership to invest more, and prove your value as a leader. 

People lie, revenue doesn’t.

How do you track these sales metrics?

Now you are asking the right questions!

Tracking the input and output metrics of your Sales Development team is a simple as setting up some reports in the CRM. Each CRM is different so instead of a technical walkthrough, I will cover how to track each one of these metrics.

Calls Made & Outcome

The phone system you use should be logging calls directly into the CRM. Make sure every call is logged and that each SDR is required to select a “call outcome” from a drop-down menu. Create a report of all calls made within a specific timeframe and organize it by the outcome.

Emails Sent & Outcome

Your email service provider should be integrated with your CRM and logging all emails. Make sure every email is logged and that you are tracking opens, clicks, and replies. 

Create a report of all emails sent within a specific timeframe and organize it by opens, clicks, and replies. Finally, run a separate report of Meetings Scheduled where the last activity was an email. This will show you how many meetings are getting scheduled from the emails your team is sending.

Meeting Scheduled

Every SDR must be responsible for logging meetings when they schedule them. Make sure you are having the SDRs update those meetings with their outcome  (no-show, SAO, Disqualified, etc.). 

Create a report that shows how many meetings were scheduled within a specific timeframe and organize it by rep and by how it was scheduled (phone, email, LinkedIn, etc.).

Future Meetings

The future meetings report is a simple report that will help you better forecast what the month or quarter will look like. Again, this requires every SDR to be logging their meetings in the CRM.

Create a report of all meetings with a future meeting date within the month or quarter you are focused on and organize it by SDR who scheduled it.

Sales Accepted Opportunity

The core metric that SDR teams are held accountable for! To track this metric the Sales Rep must mark meetings that they conduct as “sales accepted.” 

Create a report of all sales accepted opportunities that were a result of an SDR scheduled meeting and organize this report by SDR.

Revenue

Tracking the revenue generated by each member of your team requires is simple and every CRM I know of makes it easy to do.

Create a report of all the closed deals that were started by an SDR scheduled meeting and organize this report by SDR.

Quick Metric Analysis Template

Here is a template you can use to quickly see the effectiveness of the individuals on your team. I also have created an interactive version of this that you can get access to by filling out the form below.

Let the metrics guide your coaching, not become it.

I want to make one thing VERY clear.

Do not let metrics become more important than the people. 

What do I mean by this?

There is a trap that a lot of leaders fall into that I call “spreadsheet management.” This is when a sales leader will look at one individual’s metrics and think by pressuring them to do more they will get more results. 

For example. Kate makes 50 calls and books 3 meetings every day. The average of the rest of the team is 80 calls a day and 2 meetings. Spreadsheet management would be pressuring Kate to make 80 calls a day because the data suggests that she would schedule an additional 1-2 meetings a day. 

Trust my experience here, that’s lazy leadership and it doesn’t work that way. Typically when someone has lower activity levels and higher production than everyone else, its because they found a rhythm that works for them. If it ain’t broke… you know the rest.

Leadership is about supporting and motivating your team to accomplish more than they believe is possible. You should push your team, and yourself. Set expectations and hold yourself and your team accountable to them. 

And finally…

Never.

Under any circumstances.

Make excuses.

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