One Critical B2B Sales Metric You’ll Be Hearing More About in 2016

Sales analytics don’t just offer the power to quickly view your team’s past and present activities. Some of the best metrics act as crystal balls, enabling you to gaze into the future. Predictive analytics are getting hotter, as more and more sales teams are looking for ways to gain advantage. In today’s uber-competitive business landscape, you don’t have the luxury to wait until it’s too late to set underperforming reps back on the path to righteousness. Like a great basketball coach, you need to intervene early and often to make sure that reps are performing at their full potential.

calls-to-opportunity-before-v1.3As we move into 2016, there has never been a better time to audit your sales analytics. What knowledge are you truly gaining from your sales analytics? What insight do you wish you had access to? While I could fill pages discussing all of the B2B sales metrics I think are vital, I want to hone in on a single metric. If you’re not already tracking this metric, expect to hear a lot more about it over the coming year. That metric is dials-to-opportunity rate by rep.

What is a Rep’s Dial-to-Opportunity Rate?

This metric tracks how many dials a rep is making for each opportunity created either by the rep or by the team. It can be expressed as a ratio. As an example (and benchmark), data from Sales Benchmark Index shows that .7866% of dials result in opportunities. Expressed as a ratio, this shows that it should take a rep a little over 126 dials to create a single opportunity.

This powerful predictive metric informs how much effort you need from your sales team, including hires, dials, hours of work and other factors. And by the way – if you aren’t already predicting how many dials it takes reps to create opportunities, our sales analytics package offers the ability to track this important metric right out of the box.

Here are two scenarios of how this metric can offer value to your sales organization depending on how it’s structured.

Scenario 1: SDRs that Create their Own Opportunities

Opportunities are the backbone of a sales organization. In many sales organizations, dedicated sales development reps (SDRs) are tasked with creating opportunities in CRM for account executives (AEs) to then close. While many sales organizations are already tracking SDRs’ basic activities (e.g. dials per day), not enough focus on their SDRs’ efficiency. At the end of the day, I don’t care how many prospects a rep is dialing if it’s not resulting in opportunities. Being able to predict how many opportunities your SDRs will add to pipe enables you to hire the right number of AEs, set quotas accurately, and know how many SDRs should be on staff to meet the C-Suites desired revenue numbers. That’s why you need to be able to be ensure that SDRs are efficient.

If you notice that one rep is generating opportunities more efficiently than others then it’s time to take a deeper dive to find out why. Listen to live calls and call recordings to see if your high performing rep is doing something that your other reps aren’t doing. If it’s something repeatable (e.g. asking more pointed sales questions) then you’ll be armed with insight you need to coach your sales development team to be more efficient.

Scenario 2: SDRs that Don’t Create their Own Opportunities

We’ve also worked with several sales organizations in which SDRs are only tasked with booking meetings for SDRs. In these cases, the AEs themselves are tasked with creating opportunities in CRM. In such cases, tracking dial-to-opportunity ratio is still equally important. It offers valuable insight into how your SDRs and AEs are working together overall as a team. If your sales organization is structured like this, I highly recommend also tracking dial-to-meeting ratios to track SDRs’ efficiency and meeting-to-opportunity ratios to gauge your AEs’ efficiency.

Looking for more vital sales metrics to track? Get your free eBook 7 Essential Salesforce Dashboards.


About the Author

Jesse Davis

Jesse Davis is a sales and marketing strategist and Sr. Content Marketing Manager at RingDNA. Over the past decade, Davis has honed his business communications skills working as an inside sales manager, business writer and agency marketer. He is a proponent of utilizing platform technology and evidence-based methodologies to optimize creative campaigns, marketing ROI and sales performance.

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