03 Jul 2014

By Henrik Gøthler

Co-CEO & Partner, Sales and Marketing

5 Key Outbound Sales Performance Metrics - And How to Use Them


While not all outbound campaigns utilize the same KPIs, you shouldn’t always measure two campaigns in the same way.

In this blog post, we bring up five metrics - all available in the Actimizer Dialer reporting section– which are important to your outbound sales activities.

Here is our take on how to use them – as well as the pros and cons for each of them.

1. Number of contact (call) attempts

How: A simple count per agent, team or campaign that indicates how many times they have attempted to contact a lead or decision maker – which will provide you the level of outbound proactivity. This metric is best used for benchmarking and over time as well as in comparison with the number of connected calls.

Pros: Monitoring the number of contact attempts is useful for benchmarking agents and/or teams against each other. Also, on a team-level and over time, the number of call attempts will expose how efficient your sales organization is as well as identifying spikes.

Cons: While a high number of call attempts indicates a high level of activity, it is still the sales conversations that represent true value. So, when you measure on number of call attempts, always also incorporate the actual number of contacts in order to evaluate the true benefit of a high level of proactivity.

2. Processed leads (%)

How: Processed leads can be measured as the percentage of the leads that agents complete with a closure – typically one of the following:

- Success (meeting scheduled, deal closed)
- Not interested (possibly you want the agent to also specify a reason)
- Unqualified (your campaign is directed towards software companies – but this lead was a hairdresser)
- Invalid lead (your lead vendor gave you a lead which was in fact a fax machine)

Processed leads can serve as monitoring agents and to benchmark vendors against each other – i.e. to evaluate the quality of a batches of leads delivered by different vendors.

Pros: Making a high amount of contact attempts and conversations is one thing – what matters in terms of lead cost efficiency is the rate to which the agents’ process leads. If too many leads are pushed ahead for future follow up when they should in fact be processed (even as a ‘no thanks’), it will hurt your overall efficiency.

Cons: Not much speaking against measuring processed leads - As long as you break down and benchmark the relative distribution of closures to keep track of deviation (if you suddenly get a spike in unqualified leads, you would want to look into that).

3. Total contact time per agent

How: Assessing how much active working time your agents accumulate can be tricky. If the agent is logged into your dialer system, does that count as active working time? Maybe – maybe not! Total agent contact time is calculated by accumulating preparation time + dial time + conversation time + wrap-up time. Actimizer breaks up these measurements for you so you know exactly how the agents’ time is spent.

Pros: Keeping closely track of the total contact time per agent is beneficial on multiple levels. First, it is the most pragmatic way to determine the duration of the agents proactive work, since you don’t rely on manual registration and login-time. Second, you can benchmark agents (or teams) against each other on how much time they spend to deliver their results.

Cons: When used correctly, there are no disadvantages of measuring total contact time.

4. Successes per online hour

How: Successes per online hour simply makes up the percentage of success per prospecting hour for each agent/team. So, if an agent has made 10 successes in 5 hours on of active prospecting time on one day, successes per online hour for that day = 2.

Pros: This is an extremely simple way of comparing the time spent against how much value each agent or team provides.

Cons: Be careful to distinguish between different types of campaigns. For some campaigns, 2 successes per hour is great (e.g. if you book sales meetings), while other campaign types (e.g. lead qualification) would expect a higher number.

5. Busy lines, voicemails and no answer

How: When a lead doesn’t answer the phone, if you reach a voicemail or the line is busy, Actimizer schedules an automatic redial for the lead. About 40-60% of call attempts end up as automatic redials (in the lower end if your campaign is B2B, higher for B2C leads).

Pros: Even though this metric is less amusing (compared to measuring your successes), it greatly influences your hit-rate and efficiency. By keeping track of spikes in automatic redials (e.g. during specific weekdays, times of day etc.) you can make well-informed decisions about how to prioritize your staff resources. Or even switch to another type of outbound dialer for certain campaigns or periods of time.

Cons: You will need to be quite consistent in keeping measurements of automatic redials. That, however, is easily done with Actimizer reporting when you group this metric over time and by campaign.

Bonus tip

Metrics and KPIs are not only exciting for sales managers. Sharing the metrics openly in your sales organization will empower your sales reps and provide the most influential source of improvement.

You can easily share these metrics in your call center – including the top live-scores - with the Actimizer Online Wall Board.

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