From booking rep appointments to even boosting your ecommerce conversion rate, sales calls can massively impact the success of your business, which is why it’s so important to know how to measure sales productivity by the success of your calls.

When the discussion of sales calls comes up, many people instantly think of cold calling (phoning prospective customers before they express any kind of interest in your product or service). Cold calls are important – they help sales people identify and “warm up” leads who otherwise may not have discovered what their company has to offer. But they are not the only type of sales call we are talking about.

Before we go into the main section of this article, let’s dig a little deeper into the different types of sales calls and how they play a part in measuring your sales productivity.

Discovery calls

Man sat at desk using phone to make a sales call.
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These kinds of sales calls are made to potential customers who have already expressed an interest in your product or service and are keen to learn more about it. These calls can provide good opportunities for your sales agents to find out if the lead is a good match for the product / service you are selling.

Sales appointments

Sales appointments are scheduled calls aimed to discuss the specific details of the offer and bring you one step closer to closing that all important sale. These calls typically offer the chance to convince the prospective customer to move further along the sales funnel by sharing the exact details about why your company’s product or service is perfectly suited to their needs.

Follow-up calls

These calls do exactly what they say “on the tin” (follow up an initial sales call) and are crucial for closing deals. Quite often, a prospect is on the fence and only needs that final push to make the purchase.

There are many things you can’t control in business, but there are also many things you can. And this includes the training you give to your employees to help them better serve your customers, the number of sales calls you complete each day, and, of course, the number of times you follow up with a new lead or existing customer.

Measuring sales productivity is all about measuring the things you can directly control, because let’s face it, if your sales team isn’t performing, you can’t hit those all important numbers. And that’s a big problem.  

Think about it…

When you track your sales calls, you can boost the efficiency of your calls, make the most of your sales process, and ultimately sell more! And let’s face it, that’s what every business wants.

The problem is that not all businesses know how to measure sales productivity through the success of sales calls, and with so many different metrics to track, it can be tricky to know which ones you should be using to get the best evaluations.

Fortunately, we’re here to help.

In this post, we highlight five simple steps to track your sales calls and measure your team’s success.

So, without further ado… let’s get started.

Separate your goals

When it comes to measuring your sales performance, there are two categories that you need to consider: sales results and sales activities.

Sales results refer to the number of opportunities created, such as the number of deals initiated by your sales reps or the total revenue made by your teams. When tracking your sales results, it’s a good idea to start counting backward from the bottom of your sales funnel. This way, you can analyze what’s needed at each stage to hit that end goal (which, of course, is revenue!)

Tracking sales activities, on the other hand, allows you to monitor your team during each step of your sales funnel and offer relevant support when needed. Sales activity metrics to track include the volume of inbound and outbound calls, call duration, and conversion rate.

Look at the number of calls

Although the number of phone calls made in the business world is declining, selling is still a numbers game, and sales calls remain one of the most common methods of outreach for the majority of businesses. If you’re invested in outbound marketing efforts and you have a solid outreach campaign, then the number of calls your sales team makes can provide you with valuable information as to how many quality prospects your business could potentially reach.

You can also dissect the number of calls that your team makes into different categories. These may include:

  • The ratio of calls made to calls answered.
  • The number of completed calls.
  • The number of calls that lead to a prospect hanging up.

If you know which phone conversations lead to quality, completed calls and which are likely to cause a customer to put the phone down, you can go on to provide better training for your team.

Monitor closely

Sales quality assurance form
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Once you have established your KPIs, it’s time to start monitoring them. Look at the data you’ve collected and figure out what it’s telling you.

Let’s look at some examples of how analyzing your data can help you measure your sales productivity…

  • The number of calls can tell you which salespeople are performing well and who may need additional support and training.
  • A low average call time may indicate low-quality sales calls, which may be a sign to revise your sales pitch.
  • A high incoming call waiting time may indicate that you need more staff on your phone lines.
  • A low conversion rate may mean you need to determine how qualified your leads are.

By breaking down these conversational analytics into separate activity metrics, you can keep close track of what areas of your sales calls need improving and take the necessary actions.

Coach and improve

Providing call feedback is one of the most effective training methods for your salespeople. You can have all the data analytics in the world, but it means nothing without a good salesperson guiding a quality sales call.

What your sales staff say during calls has a direct influence on the amount of money your business makes. If you’re thinking about how to measure sales productivity, you need to be thinking about monitoring calls!

So, what’s the best way to go about this without making your staff feel like they’re under the watch of Big Brother?

The most obvious thing is to provide your sales staff with clear call guidelines to follow, which includes recommended selling techniques. You can also provide your staff with individual call reports so that they can monitor their own performance. Together with call performance reviews, you can work collaboratively with your sales staff to continually improve the quality and the outcome of their calls.

The good news is that thanks to advanced call recording technology and even speech analytics software, it has never been easier to monitor sales calls.

Look at the occupancy rate

So, you’ve employed a killer sales team to work primarily on the phones. But do you know how many working hours they’re actually spending on calls?

Things happen; “nature calling” happens; but there could be other issues that mean your sales team isn’t making optimum use of their working day.

This is where the benefit of measuring the occupancy rate comes in.

Occupancy rate measures the time that call handlers spend engaging customers on live calls and doing admin tasks related to those calls.

The formula is simple: (Total Contact Handling Time ÷ Total Logged Time) ×100

Low occupancy rates may be due to a number of factors, including staff spending time on non-call-related duties, such as social commerce, attending meetings, or even poor work habits (we all know someone who likes a chat!). The point is that by determining occupancy rates, you will be able to better work with your sales staff to ensure that they spend maximum time on sales calls.

Analyze the service level

When looking at how to measure sales productivity, this powerful metric provides a reliable indication of the overall performance of your sales team or call center performance.

Most businesses tend to set their ideal service level around cost efficiency. For example, a business might have a goal to answer at least 80% of all their inbound calls within 20 seconds. It is then down to the sales team or call center to meet this service level with agent training, process improvement, and technological upgrades.

Most companies use the following three formulas to calculate service levels:

  • (Number of Calls Answered in Y seconds ÷ Total Calls Received) x 100%
  • (Number of Calls Answered in Y seconds) ÷ (Total Calls Answered + Abandoned Calls)) x 100%
  • (Number of Calls Answered in Y seconds) ÷ (Total Calls Answered + Abandoned Calls after Y seconds)) x 100%

To sum up

We hope this post has provided you with the answers you were looking for on how to measure your sales productivity. While we could write a book on the many sales call metrics you could use (now there’s an idea!), the essential tips that we’ve included in this post offer a great way to start really taking charge of your sales!

Remember, the power is in your hands. The more you know, the more you can control!

Jessica Day - Senior Director, Marketing Strategy, Dialpad

Jessica Day is the Senior Director for Marketing Strategy at Dialpad, a modern business communications platform with PBX (private branch exchange) that takes every kind of conversation to the next level—turning conversations into opportunities. Jessica is an expert in collaborating with multifunctional teams to execute and optimize marketing efforts, for both company and client campaigns. She has written for sites such as Kustomer and Unstack. Here is her LinkedIn.