The importance of documented key performance indicators (KPIs) for lead generation cannot be overstated within the sales process. As the saying goes, what gets measured, gets done.
Here are KPIs that are essential to identifying the strengths and weaknesses of your sales function.
1. Number of companies contacted
An important component of lead generation is determining your addressable market and creating a target companies list. On a weekly and monthly basis you should be tracking how many companies you have been in contact with and have contacts for. Marketing scope drives messaging and calling strategy.
2. Number of contacts researched
Within your targeting, it is essential to outline the job titles and functions of budget holders, influencers and decision makers that you can source. Tracking the number of contacts being researched on a weekly and monthly basis can help plan prospecting based on functional responsibilities.
3. Number of LinkedIn connection invitations sent and accepted
If you’re leveraging effective lead generation techniques then LinkedIn should be something all your sales reps are using on a daily basis. If you’re ever worried that your team is “wasting their time on social media”, monitoring how many LinkedIn connection requests are being sent to prospects and how many are converting (as this is a good indicator of market interest and targeting).
Connecting on LinkedIn before an initial email and phone conversation breaks the ice. You’re also growing your professional network with prospects you want to connect with.
4. Number of LinkedIn InMails sent
This is another useful LinkedIn activity KPI. Tracking how many InMails your sales reps are using to connect with prospects will provide a tangible outcome to time spent on this platform. With each LinkedIn premium account there is a bank of InMails that should be leveraged. Make sure these are used for contacts who don’t connect or where you can’t source an email address.
5. Number of personalised emails sent
Are your sales reps sending well researched, personalised emails to contacts? If not, this is a good way to show prospects how your solution adds value to their unique situation by researching their responsibilities and company. We recommend measuring this activity metric across your sales reps to get them to commit to this activity, particularly where a contact is not connecting on LinkedIn. The more emails going out the more marketing leads you will generate – opens and clicks, website views and responses.
6. Social metrics (SSI)
A good KPI for social selling is LinkedIn’s social selling index (SSI). This index shows you how ‘socially engaged’ your sales people are. The score is calculated based on the amount of content they are sharing, and the engagement their posts are receiving from other users. To help push up their score, insist on LinkedIn publishing, as well as following and sharing content of influencers and prospects.
7. Number of calls made
A critical part of early stage lead generation is making phone calls. This needs to happen in order to qualify a company and move them into the next stage of your sales cycle – or alternatively move them out of your pipeline. We’ve found that the number of calls made by sales reps is an important determining factor of how overarchingly successful they are and should be tracked and measured against the call target set. Cold calling is dead but this does not mean your reps should be making fewer calls. Instead they should be calling prospects who are engaging with their content. This can be determined from tools such as LinkedIn’s Who’s Viewed Your Profile and Hubspot’s Sidekick for Business.
8. Average and total talk time
What is the average talk time per call across your sales reps? This is a great measure for assessing the level of rapport they are generating. Total talk time is a multiple of this and how many calls they make. At Network Sunday the highest performing reps are those whose talk time is the highest. This measure helps identify which sales reps are struggling and can focus coaching and training efforts.
9. Sales accepted opportunities
The ultimate measure of success for inside sales is the number of sales accepted opportunities delivered each month (not appointments). A sensible target which drives quality not quantity should be put in place. Of course this will differ from company to company depending on market size, value and complexity of proposition. Be sure to get your reps to document each opportunity and put a Service Level Agreement (SLA) with field sales who need to accept or reject the opportunity shortly after it has been presented. Never measure inside sales on appointments that have not been qualified or do not meet the criteria of a real sales opportunity.
Effective lead generation is more than booking a name and a number
A strategy that is critical to longer sales cycles, multi-step engagements and enterprise sales, your lead generation process needs to focus on driving in qualified leads so that your sales rep can spend more time selling. It’s a process that needs to be defined and measured.