Focus on the metrics that matter

In the first of two articles on metrics, we look at what metrics are and how you can focus on the right ones for your SDR team. Let’s find out more.

With all the sales and analytics software at our disposal today, we have reams of data to help us gauge success. However, it’s vital that you know the metrics that make a difference. When you measure the wrong metrics, it’s easy to find yourself on the wrong path.

For example, in 2011, a charity called dosomething.org produced a video starring YouTube celebrities, encouraging young people to donate their used sporting equipment to Children In Need. The video received 1.5 million views on YouTube and was the charity’s most popular video ever. The charity thought everything had gone well, that the campaign was a success.

However, when they dug deeper into the data, they found that out of those 1.5 million views, only 8 people had signed up to donate and none of them had actually donated. Zero donations. The problem was that the charity had defined maximising views as success, when they should have been focusing on generating contributions. They had been focusing on the wrong metric.

In your SDR team, you can measure almost anything, but you have to focus on the metrics that spell success for your business, not just ones that make you look good. The ideal number of metrics to concentrate on is 4, so how do you choose?

Data and metrics

What’s the difference between data and metrics? On my training days, we talk about metrics in detail, but many people find it hard to articulate the difference. Here goes:

  • Data is everything you measure. A metric is one single type of data. For example, YouTube views or donations.
  • You can’t pick your data, but you must choose your metrics.
  • Metrics are what you measure. What you measure, you can manage.

Finding the metrics that matter

How do you know what metrics are the ones you should focus on in your SDR team?
How do you find the signal amongst the noise?

You could try working backwards. How does your SDR team contribute to the performance of the broader sales team? Is it quality conversations with decision-makers? Is it the number of meetings booked? Number of leads qualified? Measure the metrics that lead to good outcomes for the business. You could also look to use metrics to drive behaviour and motivate your team. This means moving away from measuring activity, such as the number of calls made per day. Traditionally, this has been the way companies measure performance for people working at the start of the sales cycle. In fact, according to HubSpot, 29% of teams still measure this metric. However, you will see better results team if you measure quality rather than quality. It drives behaviours to make SDRs more effective, not solely more productive.

More areas to focus on

Some companies go even deeper with the metrics they measure, looking at the specifics of the sales process and focusing on the places that affect results. For example, you could look at metrics around social selling or training adoption.

It’s also beneficial to focus on metrics around hiring. How fast and effective your company is at hiring makes a significant difference to the bottom line. Hiring is expensive and time-consuming; you must also consider the lost productivity when you have an empty chair in your sales team. In your SDR team, try focusing on hiring metrics, such as:

  • Average time to hire
  • Tenure
  • Churn
  • Average cost to replace
  • % of hires from various sources

Stay tuned

Now you know how to choose which metrics to focus on, in our next article we’re going to look at common metrics for SDRs.

In the meantime, let us know how you choose the metrics you measure by leaving a comment below.