When you are trying to convert a prospect or lead to an opportunity, there are essentially two parts to the process. The first part is how you get prospects into a conversation, the second part is knowing what messaging resonates with prospects for them to continue down the sales funnel. In this article, we will take a look at the first part of the process (contact rate) and how to measure its success.
Within the context of outbound sales, the contact rate is the percentage of leads used versus dialogues actually achieved. In other words, out of all the people in your contact list, how many were your SDRs able to have a conversation with.
Contactability is the rate of which your sales rep succeeds in initially getting in touch with a lead. We (sales) should take into account multiple factors when analyzing the effectiveness of an outbound team, and measure the different elements that are required for conversations to take place. This means taking a more sophisticated approach to looking at contact rate and asking questions about the micro variables involved in optimizing a sales outbound process, such as:
The days of simply giving SDRs a large number of contacts and hoping the phone number of each is correct are gone. We recognize that making contact is harder than ever, meaning we need more sophisticated approaches to outbound sales. So, here we will take you through the sales KPIs to measure to improve your team’s contactability.
So, here we will take you through the modern contact rate KPIs to measure and how to improve them step by step.
This is the conversion rate from creation to initial contact of a new company, i.e. an account that belongs to one of your target markets.
It might seem obvious, but it’s generally good to start basic. Measuring the big picture can help you understand the overall level of success of your team. This ratio will help highlight issues around things like the number of attempts and cadence.
One way this can be improved is by setting a minimum number of attempts to contact a prospect and including the use of multiple channels: email, phone and LinkedIn.
This metric is the success rate at which your team can get in touch with each ICP (ideal customer profile).
As your sales team becomes more sophisticated, you should start to track metrics like the contact rate by ICP. This should be considered as there is a stark difference in the availability of SMB vs enterprise prospects. It is also true that certain profiles have fewer gatekeepers than others, e.g. it is generally easier to speak to a VP of Sales compared to a CEO. In the initial stages, your outbound team can be used to gain insights into different ICPs.
This KPI is a tricky one, but the best way to improve this metric is to have a set strategy for each ICP. For an enterprise, let’s say your ICP is the CFO (a hard person to reach). Use the higher contact rate of champions (for example the Finance Manager) within the company to create a sales cadence that gets you closer toward the end goal.
Here at Bloobirds we try to avoid generalizations but the numbers don’t lie, some markets and geographies are more responsive to sales calls than others. For example, we find that Spanish clients are much easier to get a response from than our German prospects. Measuring this will help you identify potential gaps in the language skills of your sales team or just give you a better idea of what to expect from the DACH sales team.
The obvious solution is to hire localized sales teams. However, if a Spanish sales team isn’t an option, then simply doing your research and finding out the pain points that resonate in each market can help you achieve higher contact rates and let your sales team stand out from the crowd. For example, if you were selling an email capture tool, knowing that German companies are extremely cautious about being GDPR compliant compared to other European markets would give your sales team an edge when looking to start a conversation.
This metric measures the conversion to contacted by each channel: LinkedIn, email, or phone.
In measuring the contact rate by the channel you can build a deeper understanding of what works for your specific service and different ICPs. Remember, we are looking to measure the first contact, we don’t expect any deep conversation to take place over Instagram messenger. However, with this metric, you can put your sales team to work where they get the most engagement for their effort. You should expect SDRs to go beyond business email and hit home runs by knowing where they are most likely to catch someone’s attention.
Use a multi-channel cadence, considering the best time to make prospecting calls or the best time to send a Linkedin message. Make sure to build-in appropriate channel switches within a set amount of attempts. For example, Linkedin prospecting can be an effective way to follow up on an email and a softer approach.
Getting people into a conversation is arguably one of the hardest parts of the outbound sales process. To succeed, sales development is about knowing where to put your time and resources. By measuring each of these elements, you will be able to tell your team what type of follow up call works best for each persona, market, and what channels to use. There are other metrics to consider such as response time and number of attempts, which you can read about in our guide on the “20 can’t-miss sales development KPIs”.