The 7 Inside Sales Metrics That Matter

January 26, 2016
min read time
Sam Aparicio
Sam Aparicio
Co-founder & CEO, Ring.io
The 7 Inside Sales Metrics That Matter

For an Inside Sales Leader of a team that primarily makes outbound calls, there are ultimately 7 key performance indicators that matter. Focusing on these will help you consistently hit your sales targets and drive sales growth for your organization.

By incorporating right sales KPIs you’ll know exactly what your team is doing on the phones and where you need to invest your time to improve their sales performance. That will help you to forecast future sales and subsequently know how much revenue your org will make.

In this post I’m going to dig deeper into true conversion metrics so I’m not including the standard calls and talk time metrics like average time on call. Yes, these sales metrics matter, but I’m hoping you’re already tracking these!

1. Connect Rate by Sales Reps

What is it?

A connected call is simply a call that lasts a certain amount of time. Most phone systems should allow you to determine the duration of each phone call. At Ringio, our connected calls are calls that last at least 3 minutes because, for us, this average length results in a sales conversation with our target prospect.

Why does this matter?  

The goal of making a phone call is to connect with a human being and receive communications with qualified leads, so understanding your connect rate by rep can help you easily determine which reps are successful at initiating conversations with their target prospects, and which individual reps need some help.

Low connect rates are usually a symptom of targeting the wrong person, calling the same person too often, or a lack of ability to open the call and engage the person you are calling. By listening to calls that are shorter than three minutes you can understand what the issue is for your sales reps and properly coach them to improve these ratios.

Often, the problem is that the rep’s energy is low, they aren’t effectively getting past a gatekeeper, or they aren’t quickly engaging the decision maker. Quickly diagnose the root problem and put a coaching plan in place to fix it.

2. Call Outcome Mix is a Key to Building Sales Process

What is it?

The outcome of the call is what actually happened on this call as indicated by the sales rep. This data is worth tracking as a field in the task in your CRM. At Ringio we use:

  • Left Voicemail
  • Gatekeeper Reached
  • Decision Maker Reached
  • Meeting Set
  • Not Interested
  • Wrong Number

Why does this matter?

This activity metrics matters because I want to understand what’s actually happening on my team’s calls.

Traditionally, sales leaders only knew how many dials a sales rep made and how many meetings they set. This limited insight into reps performance makes it hard to effectively coach and train a sales team for sales managers.

If you have two sales reps each making 50 calls and setting 3 meetings, how do you improve their ratio?

What if Bob was making 50 calls a day and reached the gatekeeper 60% of the time , while Jane was making 50 calls a day and reached a decision maker 60% of the time? As you see, same time spent but very different opportunities created.

By knowing the call outcomes, you can adjust your coaching and development plans accordingly. With Bob, I would work on techniques to get past the gatekeeper, while with Jane I would work on building value with, and engaging, the Decision Maker. If Jane’s calls result in the highest % of decision maker being reached, maybe she can lead a training session on how she gets past the gatekeeper so effectively.

3. Calls per Hour of your Inside Sales Team

What is it?

This metric is the number of calls an hour your sales team is making. Use the start time of the call to determine the hour the call was made.

Why does this matter?

By understanding which hours your team is most productive, you can optimize your team’s schedule and sales process for maximum efficiency.

Are you meeting with the team at the hour of the week where their connect rate is highest? What about for individual employees? I like to find areas where my team’s connect ratio is best and schedule targeted blitzes at these times. Depending on who you’re calling, you will start to spot patterns where calls made during certain hours are more effective than others.

Which hours is the team collectively dragging? A targeted blitz or contest can be helpful to create more energy on the floor and increase the number of calls and closed deals.

You’ll notice interesting patterns on which hours you seem to reach more decision makers when going through the historical data. If you are calling multiple time zones and see that 9am is the perfect time to catch decision makers, you can have a blitz schedule to call EST leads at 9am, CST leads at 10am, MST leads at 11am and 1PST leads at 12pm. That’s four hours of calling to decision makers when they are most likely to pick up the phone!

Calls an hour alone is a helpful productivity metric worth tracking, but by taking this a step further and analyzing your outcomes per hour, you can understand which hours are the most effective at getting to decision makers and setting meetings.

4. Calls per Day of the Week

What is it?

This is the number of calls per day of the week your sales team is making.

Why does this matter?

How productive is your sales team? Do they produce at the same level every day of the week?

By understanding the differences in productivity by day of the week you can effectively manage your team to limit “slow” days. In order to figure out where to put your sales efforts, you need to understand when your team is slower than normal.

If you are like most sales organizations, Monday mornings and Friday afternoons are typically lower productivity time periods than others. Track your own org and understand what’s different each day. Which day is your team making the most calls? Which day is your team making the least? What about the most effective day at setting meetings or generating new opportunities?

I want to structure my weeks so that my team is on the phone and ready to capture new opportunities during the hours and days that are most productive.

Analyze your outcome mix by hour AND by day of the week to see the areas where you can maximize successful outcomes. Maybe 9am only works Tuesday and Wednesday to get Decision Makers. Find your ideal calling periods and blitz accordingly.

5. Calls Per Meeting of your Sales Team

What is it?

This is your ratio of how many calls it takes each sales rep to get a meeting.

Why does this matter?

This is your ultimate productivity metric. The goal of an initial phone call is to secure a meeting or discovery conversation, so this is an important part of the sales funnel.

By understanding this metric for each rep, you can determine who is most effective at securing meetings and should be given more leads, and those that are least effective and who should be given more training or removed from the organization.

Pay close to attention to team calls per meeting to understand the effectiveness of your front line managers. How do each your teams’ rank?

Remember, looking at this metric by day, by hour, and day of the week is very important.

Also look at how this metric trends over time. I like to look at the last 12 weeks of calls to meetings set by week to quickly analyze organization performance.

When you look at this trend what do you see? Is your call to meeting ratio staying consistent or are your calls becoming less effective? This can give you quick insight into changes in the market or the skills of your team if this metric starts to stagnate or become less efficient.

6. Meeting Conversion % as one of most important inside sales KPIs

What is it?

This is your close ratio of meetings to closed won opportunities. How many meetings does it take your team to close a deal?

Why does it matter?

By knowing this metric you can then understand how many calls it will take to close a deal and ultimately based on your average deal size how many calls it will take to beat your plan.

Yes, no matter how good you are at generating demand the number of calls that your team makes still matters! You should always work to minimize the call to meeting ratio through better marketing, smarter prospecting, and coaching your team to be more effective on calls. Even if your team is highly effective at generating meetings, you still want them to make more calls to grow revenue!

Among all the inside sales metrics this one might be considered the be all end all, because it shows the overall health of the team’s performance. High growth companies pay extreme attention to closing deals and conversion rate of sales opportunities. At the end of the day sales analytics is only a mean to keep tabs on the sales growth.

7. Conversion by Lead Source and the Lead Source Detail

What is it?

This is your lead conversion by the source of your leads.

Why does it matter?

Ultimately you are investing resources in generating leads for your team. Whether you are investing in marketing, purchasing leads for your team to call, or simply having your team prospect their own leads, each strategy costs money.

By understanding lead conversion, you can see what is most effective at generating revenue and invest in more effective ways to generate these leads.

You should also look at conversion by lead source per rep. Are certain reps better at closing different lead sources? Understand why and work to optimize lead distribution accordingly.

Do reps need to be trained to increase conversion? Analyze your recorded calls or shadow live calls to understand how your top sales reps are converting your leads.

How is your source conversion trending over time? Are certain sources becoming less effective? Are others working better?

Consistently analyze your conversion mix and reallocate your investment in leads accordingly to keep your sales pipeline full.

That’s it! If you only focus on these seven sales metrics you’ll have the data necessary to consistently beat your plan and optimize your sales calls.

If your current phone system doesn’t allow you to easily pull these metrics it’s time for a change.

If you aren’t recording calls or if you don’t have the ability to listen to live calls to optimize performance it’s time for a change. These inside sales KPIs are critical to help you stay competitive and achieve consistent revenue growth.


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