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Mapping the Process Behind Your Sales Development Metrics

4 min read
Jan. 7, 2016

We’ve gotten Jacco van der Kooij’s perspective on sales development metrics, as well as our own CEO Kyle Porter’s #1 KPI to measure. Now we’re onto our final thoughts from last month’s blab chat with TOPO’s Craig Rosenberg ideas around moving beyond elementary metrics.

Craig’s game plan behind his sales development metrics?

Map out your process.

When we think about sales development metrics, we need to think about them the same way we think about demand generation metrics, marketing metrics, and sales metrics: across the entire revenue chain, you need to map out your entire process. You need to clearly define each of the major milestones that happen along the way.

Sales development metrics ground rules:Screen Shot 2016-01-07 at 4.58.49 PM

The disconnect in most organizations? These defined processes either buried away in a rep’s notes, or lost in translation between marketing and sales.

You can’t measure strategic sales development metrics until you’ve established how the entire process is going to work — and across each of the different steps. Where is each milestone? Where are the crossroads? What kind of rigor can we put to that definition?

The biggest milestone we all know (and many struggle with) is when sales development passes the lead to sales. This step is a common issue for many organizations, and if you don’t have that milestone clearly defined, then tracking the metrics won’t make any difference. Without a clear definition, obscure scoring metrics won’t give you any insights.

When begin building out metrics, you need to be able see what the process is going to look like, and understand where the major milestones lie. That’s when you can dig into the process, and recognize what the leading indicators are that get you to those milestones.

“I can’t tell you how many times the diagnosis of what’s broken is wrong. Someone comes in and they say, ‘Sales is old and it sucks,’ or they say, ‘Marketing sucks. They don’t pass us any leads.’ It’s a classic. Or they say, ‘Well, here’s what we think the problem is,’ but because you can’t look at your entire process and identify all of the things that need to happen to get to Y from X, then you can’t really figure out what’s broken or not broken.”

Take inbound lead follow-up time as an example:

Conversion rates on inbound leads are not where they should be. It could be because there’s a lack of follow up, or maybe it’s something else, but if we don’t look at everything from the time a lead hits Salesforce, dispositions are sent to sales, and you look at each of the milestones that happen along the way to track that and measure results — you can’t make that call.

So what do we do? First things first, map the sales development process out. Define where the Sales Development Rep’s responsibility ends, and where the Account Executive’s picks up.

“The key for me is that all the businesses are different and there’s a lot of similarities — that’s obvious. But it depends on your target market. It depends on your sales cycle. It depends on your product market fit, and where you are in the market. For me, the sales versus sales development ends at sales accepted.

Whether that becomes a forecastable opportunity or not… that depends on your business and the amount of volume that a Sales Development Rep can deliver to the [Account Executive] table.”

The key to knowing how to diagnose and follow through with the entire process is by setting clear and defined milestones, from start to finish. Create an SLA between teams, and denote where responsibilities begin and end. Track and optimize these strategies and alter where you see fit.

Not everyone’s sales development process is one-size fits all, but as long as you have a mapped out process, you will be able to achieve success at scale.