You can’t run your business without sales metrics, but measuring the wrong numbers or misinterpreting these numbers can be just as bad as not having any metrics at all.
For example, you might be getting thousands of visitors to your website per day, but no sales from that web traffic. Or you might have tens of thousands of followers on Twitter, but that doesn’t mean anything if none of those contacts lead to meaningful sales conversations.
When it comes to sales emails, just looking at metrics like “number of emails delivered,” “email open rates,” and “response rates” might reassure you, but they don’t actually show real results. In fact, they can even be misleading.
Here’s three sales metrics you should be watching if you want to know how your sales team is really performing.
Sales Metric #1: Quality of contact data
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people waste their sales efforts on bad contact data. You can have the best email templates and sales strategy, but still get no results if you have incorrect or outdated contact information for your prospective customers.
For example, we’ve seen clients become distressed after Google blacklists them when they blast out thousands of emails with a high bounce rate of 20%. It’s hard to keep perfectly accurate contact data because information is constantly decaying as people change jobs, emails, and even first or last names.
However, if you let your email bounce rate get above 10%, you’re almost guaranteed to have problems with email deliverability, especially as you send more emails over time. You might get undelivered emails as a consequence in the beginning, leading to a lower open and response rate, but over time you might even get your email server’s IP blacklisted.
Likewise, you don’t want to waste your sales team’s time with emailing and calling people with the wrong information.
Sales Metric #2: Positive email response rate
It’s exciting to get lots of responses to your sales emails, but just looking at “response rate” as a number will count a lot of “false positives.” For example, many email analytics tools will automatically count any response, including “OOO” (out of office reminders), and other misleading auto-responders, as well as negative responses.
This becomes especially problematic when people are sending multiple emails across a sales email campaign, since there are more chances for responses that aren’t actually positive. It’s really important to keep track of positive response rates as well as negative, or unsubscribe requests, since the latter are likely to be associated with spam complaints.
With regards to positive response rates, you can also analyze your emails for specific keywords that appear to be recurring across similar sales emails. In general, you should pay special attention to positive responses that lead to fruitful sales conversations, and ideally close deals.
Sales Metric #3: Quality of sales conversations
One of our clients was complaining that our sales emails were getting them lots of responses, but they weren’t having enough quality sales conversations that they could actually Go to the full article.