The War Room
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KPIs Killing Productivity?

Was talking to a sales savage friend of mine on the links this weekend and he mentioned to me his first 80 dials are typically all to shit leads because he has to make at least 100 calls every day. He mentioned once he hits 80 calls that's when he starts to make his legit dials and this got me thinking.

At my current company our KPIs are 60 dials a day which I think is much more reasonable, but even that gives me issues sometimes. Once I've been on a project for some time and can fill up my cadence the 60 dials becomes much more manageable, but since emails and LinkedIn don't factor into the KPIs it's hard to spend time on quality personalized outreach. I have had some days where I know I'm doing legit things to generate business, but it sucks knowing any email or LinkedIn messages aren't factoring into the salesforce dashboard.

So I guess my question to the War Room is have any sales leaders who set KPIs ever lowered them and seen increased success? I will mention my company is pretty laidback and if you're doing your job and scheduling meetings that 60 calls a day KPI is not as important, but if you aren't scheduling it's a bad look if you aren't hitting 60 calls. I'm sure most sales organizations are that way (The best reps get lots of freedom) but I do wonder if reps would spend more time on quality outreach rather than mindlessly ripping if they had their KPIs lowered.

P.S this is my favorite meme templateΒ 




πŸ“ž Cold Calling
πŸ‹οΈβ€β™€οΈ Leadership
πŸ’†β€β™‚ Mindset
36
softserve
Politicker
+7
Team Lead - Enterprise Sales
Great post, Chep. I think the biggest issue with some 'call-farm' style companies is this need to hit x amount of dials.

If you're doing strictly cold outreach, the focus should be less on making calls and moreso on having conversations.Β 

I would rather one of my reps makes 15-20 calls and have 5 conversations that lead to some sort of call to action (meeting set, follow up down the road, or a referral) rather than make 100 calls only having one conversation.

Putting less of an emphasis on an actual number of dials to hit allows each rep to do more research and put more of a personalized approach to their cold outreach which in my experience yields far better results.Β 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Couldn't agree more Softserve. Connects and convos > #of dials all day.Β 
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Good point - problem is how do you make sure your team stays accountable without KPIs? What gets measured gets done, right?
Show 2 more replies
inboundsalesrep
Politicker
+7
SDR
First off why is he sourcing shit leads imagine if those 80 leads were all good kid would be rolling in dough
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Excuse me sir but as an inbound rep what do you know about sourcing? 🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣🀣
inboundsalesrep
Politicker
+7
SDR
True all my leads are 80% good, time to man up and tell your company you need inboundsΒ 
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Thesamiam
Arsonist
+6
Sales
As @softserveΒ mentions, have numbers on conversations rather than the number of dials.Β 

Same thing with marketing leads, dont dump hundreds of leads and expect quality, they are going to go through that shit as fast as they can due to expectations from the manager.Β 
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Chep. I can't with you today πŸ˜†

Serious question though. Does this not exhaust you calling so much crap before you get to the quality leads?
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
I was saying my friend calls 80 dead leads not me. I'm pretty honest if my KPIs are below 60 and will tell my leadership I've been grinding on the LI/ emails if they're lower. I do think calling 80 dead leads would be exhausting but I feel for my friend because if I had to hit 100 dials a day I would probably throw in some leads I knew were not going to pick up
HotSauced
Contributor
+1
Business Development
A previous sales job I had measured outbound calls and also phone minutes, so it was a matter of hitting one or the other in a given day. It encouraged conversations because 90 minutes on the phone with 10 outbound calls meant you were engaged with them all. Or if you couldnt get anyone to bite, then you would hit 60-80 calls etc.

However, people will always finagle the system, and as such, directories become VERY popular on peoples call lists
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+5
SaaS Eater
I hold my team to quality touchpoints per day, not dials/emails/LI messages. As long as they touch X number of account with quality TP's per day, I know they are moving the ball forward and all is good.Β 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Respect. I love that
HappyGilmore
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Chep this is a great post and a fire meme.Β 

In my old role it was usually hit 400 activities a week. However we switched that to 200 activities a week minimum with 40 new prospects outreached to. The result of this was better outreach messaging overall and an increase in pipeline across the org overall.

More thoughtful outreach > generic batch & blast.Β 
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Love that and appreciate the kind words😎
Gyro25
Politicker
+6
BDR - Enterprise and Partnerships
As a fully outbound sales rep, this is so true. I spend a lot of time researching and making 20-30 of which I get an average of 2-3 meetings because I take the time to look at who I'm calling vs smashing 100 dials just to impress my SVP of sales.Β 
SaaSam
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
I have found myself in the exact same situation. Our team told the manager what the issue was and he did a 180. Went from minimum of 80 dials no matter what to "I trust you guys to get shit done so all I will look at are results. If they aren't there though there better be enough activity to show it's not from a lack of effort" Totally changed things for us and everyone exceeded quota that quarter.
Re
RedLightning
Politicker
+7
Mid-Market AE
KPI's for KPI's sake is never good. Having said that, they need a structure in place to create a good sales system.

If you're performing, don't make it a big "this is fucking stupid" rant. When they ask you (or if they ask you) what you're doing right, just say that your connect rate on dials hasn't been great so you pivoted to other activities to supplement and are finding success with it.Β 
de
deathbysales
Politicker
+2
Strategic Accounts
I have found managers who are just about the KPIs are less experienced and tend to do things for the sake of doing them. Call me crazy but I will do what makes me money and my company, if they have an issue with that well......... I also have issues with authority and being told what to do, so there is that.
mi
missyd
Good Citizen
Account Executive
Absolutely. If you don't think that reps are just dialing fax and bs numbers to hit that KPI daily, you are mistaken.Β 
Prunetracey
Fire Starter
+2
VP Growth
I've done it three times at different companies. It's a bit time consuming to get off the ground and it really depends on the industry you're selling to but the formula is:

1. Hire a "sales researcher" to go through your "thousands of potential leads" and qualify them as an SQL. Don't underestimate the value of a human doing this as opposed to a computer.
2. Call SQLs instead of "leads". Because you know they can use your product/service, your calls provide a lot more value.

Executive leadership are always skeptical when I say this is literally the first thing I'm changing about your company but they change their tone when the results come through.

Industries I've done this in for reference:
- Tourism
- Construction
- Childcare

A side recommendation would be to really sit down and go through the KPIs and prove (tangibly/mathematically) that they're driving the outcomes you want. Calling 80 shit leads would not stack up.
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
Haha that meme πŸ˜…

I have seen people do the same. Tbh I would rage if I had to make dials just because of dial KPI’s.Β 

for me it s clear. In sales you should always be doing revenue generating activities. If you do other stuff youre losing time.Β 
NoSuperhero
Politicker
+6
BDR
What if the number of convos was the number one KPI to hit?
itwasluck
Opinionated
+2
Account Executive
Meme nailed it. I think KPIs are useful for reps who are NOT hitting their numbers. For reps that have a system that works for them let them run with it, and if results aren't showing then introduce a KPI system and examine the results to determine where the issue is.Β 

KPIs are the death of a salesperson and also can result in fake output (such as pipeline generation).Β 
oz
ozzieozoz
I find my productivity is connected to my crippling self doubt and soul crushing depression...Β 



...and possibly Tik Tok
Chep
WR Officer
+10
Business Development Team Lead
Yea honestly fuck tik tok. That algorithm is some shit. Constantly showing my girlfriend videos of kids who then shows me those videos. I'm not ready for children yet, but for some reason Tik Tok is trying to convince my girlfriend we are😀
GigabitChaser
Good Citizen
+1
Sr Account Executive
I wouldn't last very long. From the beginning you've got to grind the calls/email/linkedin but once you establish yourself. Hopefully that's reduced because your phone is ringing. I hunt opportunities not dials and do everything I can to get my phone/email to ring vs chasing.Β 
Wo
Woody
Opinionated
+3
Business Development Executive
I spent probably a total of 6 years on jobs where my primary role was new business development through cold calling.Β  Standard day is 130 - 150 calls.Β  Anything less than 100 to me is a joke.Β  Lead generation companies are in demand for a reason.Β  There is no reasonable amount of cold calls for a day.Β  The appropriate call count is as many as you can.Β 
Carlil
Fire Starter
+1
Sales Account Manager
The number of dΓ­als are important, as long as the leads are good. Other than that is just a higher cost of Operation. Waste of time and Money.Β 
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