In the world of SDR management, quantity metrics are king. When you’re thinking about which SDRs are ready for a promotion, be it to a more senior SDR role or an AE role, you’re naturally going to look at who has made the most calls, or sourced the most meetings and opportunities.
But be warned! When you look only at quantities such as these, you aren’t getting the whole picture. Quantity metrics are a system that can be gamed, and it’s in your best interest as a manager to quickly identify which reps are gaming the system. Why? Because reps who game the system are going to fail miserably once given more responsibility.
When they do fail, people are going to blame you, the manager. So to help you promote the right reps, identify who needs additional coaching, and avoid being labeled as a poor judge of ability, here are 3 methods you need to use to evaluate SDR quality.
Activity ratios are a great tool, because they create a story out of two or more quantitative metrics. What also makes reporting on ratios great is that it can easily be automated with tools like Salesforce reporting or sales analytics platforms like InsightSquared. Which ratios am I talking about? Here are 4 in particular:
- call: connect
- connect: meetings scheduled
- meeting schedule: opp sourced
- opportunity: deal
These ratios help change the conversation from “Who’s making the most calls and sourcing the most opportunities?” to “Who’s making the most effective calls and sourcing the highest quality opportunities?” It can also indicate who gets more results with less activity, which is key when identifying who will make a strong AE.
Here's an example of those ratios in action:
In this example, Catherine Burns is being efficient with her calls at a 3.7 call:connect rate. But a deeper look shows that further down the sales process it takes 16 of her opportunities to get one deal. Maybe she has bad luck, but more likely Catherine needs more coaching on qualifying opportunities.
On the other hand, Joaquin Phoenix is making a lot of calls in order to connect with prospects. At first this seems concerning, but notice that he is only logging the highest quality conversations as connects. 1 out of 2 connects book a meeting, every meeting has converted to an opportunity, and his 2.5 opportunity to deal ratio is the highest on the team. It would have been a mistake to evaluate Joaquin only by his number of connects.
Meetings Schedule to Opportunities Sourced Delta
Similar to a ratio, look at the difference (aka delta) between an SDR’s number of meetings scheduled and number of opportunities sourced. This will be a clear indicator of who is booking quality meetings and making the most of your AEs’ time. An SDR who is gaming the system is going to book more meetings in order to reach their goals, regardless of whether the meeting is with someone who is a good fit for your product. Reps who book high volumes of poor quality meetings get rewarded for the quantity, while creating huge inefficiencies in your sales process.
In this example Genevieve has an impressive 72 meetings scheduled. However, only 35 have been qualified as opportunities. Her delta is 37.
The other reps in this example have sourced a similar amount of opportunities with 20-25 less meetings scheduled. Their delta is 24 or lower. When looking at number of meetings scheduled Genevieve looks like a clear winner. But once you compare her delta to her teammates it's clear that she is causing inefficiencies, and needs to better qualify her meetings. You need to reward the other team members for getting the same results with less.
Closed Lost Reasons
Finally, a good way to evaluate the quality of an SDR’s work is to look at the reasons for losing their opportunities.
A common reason that opportunities become closed-lost is because it’s not the right time for them to buy. Another is a lack of budget. These are reasonable objections that you want your SDRs to catch early on. However, it’s a bad sign if you find an SDR has a high number of opportunities that are closed-lost because they are unqualified for your product, or the individual engaged didn’t have enough authority to buy.
Again, this is a sign that that your SDR is going after the wrong prospects to hit their numbers and creating inefficiency for your team.
Why Should SDRs and SDR Managers Care?
Qualitative data points are clear indicators of who respects you sales process and who is ready for a promotion. Yes, it is important that you are promoting SDRs who consistently hit their number. But do not reward someone who is failing to properly qualify prospects, or needing to double the input of their peers to get there.
When an SDR is promoted to an AE or managerial position, their time becomes even more in-demand and, in turn, they won’t be able to hit their numbers with poor quality work-arounds. By evaluating not just the quantity metrics, but the quality metrics of an SDR, you are judging who can be an efficient AE, and who has consistently an eye for identifying highly qualified prospects.
If you don’t take quality into consideration when promoting, you could be setting your rep up for failure. And as a SDR manager, being able to diagnose the right sales skills to coach and identify your rockstars is key to your success.
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