Expectations And Metrics For Inbound Sales Development Reps

May 4, 2015 Sam Laber

At Datanyze, we write most of our blog posts for outbound sales development reps, covering various tricks and templates that help them better engage prospects and create more qualified sales pipeline. Okay, cool… but what if the majority of your leads come from inbound (ebooks, webinars, search, social etc.)? How do you ensure that these leads are properly qualified, methodically nurtured AND passed to the appropriate person before the moment is lost?

Enter the inbound sales development rep — in our case, his name is Jeff. Hi Jeff :).

Screen Shot 2015-05-04 at 3.42.43 PM

In the below, we cover what to expect out of your “Jeffs” and how the best “Jeffs” (including our Jeff) do their job to quickly turn your inbound marketing efforts into a kick(butt) revenue generation machine.

1. It’s all about response time

First things first, the most important metric for any inbound SDR team is lead response time. When a good prospect requests a demo, asks for information or signs up for a free trial of your product, how long does it typically take your team to respond to the inquiry? According to a study by Leads360 (now Velocify), your lead conversion rate doesn’t just decrease, it drastically decreases the longer it takes your team to follow up.

By creating an inbound SDR team, you can ensure that every hot lead is responded to within minutes, while every warm lead is nurtured with personalized, outbound messages — NOT automated emails.

According to TOPO co-founder and sales development expert Craig Rosenberg, each inbound SDR can work between 200-500 inbound leads a month. If you get more than 500 leads per month or have a longer, more complex qualification process, you may need to invest in more inbound reps, or as we’ll discuss in the below, a lead scoring system that brings the best leads to the top of the queue.

2. Inbound SDRs should have a quota

Similar to outbound SDRs, we believe all inbound SDRs should have a quota for meetings booked. Why? Because not every qualified inbound lead will be willing to talk to sales right away. While this may be the case for leads that request a demo, other less engaged leads that download an ebook or subscribe to the blog may need a bit more coaxing before committing to a full product demo.

When devising a fair quota for your reps, we first recommend implementing a lead scoring system to better understand how many of the inbound leads that come in are qualified to purchase your product. A simple lead scoring system combines two crucial qualifying aspects: fit and engagement. Fit is determined by common lead characteristics like revenue, size, industry, Alexa rank and more, while engagement is determined by the number and quality of interactions a lead has taken on your site.

After putting a lead scoring system in place, you’ll want to settle on a minimum lead score threshold. Leads below this threshold will be considered unqualified and leads above this threshold will be worked by your inbound SDRs and factored into the quota. Let’s say for example your team receives 1,000 leads a month and 600 of these receive a score above the minimum threshold. If your typical qualified lead to demo conversion rate is around 20% (creating 120 demos in this case), we recommend setting the inbound quota closer to 140 or 150 to encourage your reps to keep their foot on the gas.

3. Your secret ingredient for measuring campaign performance

If you’re running a host of digital ad campaigns, you’ll most likely be equipped with a sleek analytics dashboard from each vendor that measures the effectiveness of each creative, each ad copy and each campaign medium. These reporting features are great, but sometimes it takes a bit more digging to understand which campaigns are really performing the best. To get this intel, look no further than your inbound SDRs, who are constantly on the front lines talking with good prospects and disqualifying the misfits.

Once you have an inbound SDR or two in place, we highly recommend scheduling a weekly meeting between your head of marketing and your inbound reps to understand which channels are generating the best leads. This gives your reps a chance to describe what trends they’re seeing in lead quality and discuss a few ways to improve the process and maximize conversion.

About the Author

Sam Laber

Sam is the director of marketing at Datanyze. He's a big John Hughes fan who occasionally fills the DZ office with the sweet sweet sounds of 90s rock giant, Creed.

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