Meetings booked is a vanity metric. We expect this factoid to surprise exactly zero sales leaders, and yet we’re saying it because people use meetings booked as a measure of BDR success anyway. It’s not correlated to revenue, so it doesn’t actually show a good outcome.
Here’s another common KPI challenge: with the huge volume of data available today, many leaders struggle to narrow their focus. Looking at too many markers on a regular basis is a recipe to make them all into meaningless soup.
Which KPIs are valid ways to understand the contribution of a BDR on revenue? We’ve narrowed it down to the essential few.
The three most important KPIs to measure BDR influence on revenue
Tracked over time, these three KPIs tell the story of a rep’s progress. They’ll rise as the rep becomes more in tune with which accounts to pursue, more practiced in how to qualify prospects, better at handling objections, and stronger at conveying product value.
The KPIs illustrate the direct influence a BDR has on revenue. They’re output metrics, meaning they reflect the results of the activities a BDR does rather than the activities themselves. As such, they’re ideal contributors to compensation.
What does a good result look like? Each output KPI needs a goal set on a monthly or quarterly basis. Any shorter period dooms the team because of variance that would affect the results too much–people have days off, holidays happen.
While goals should be set on a monthly or quarterly basis, the KPIs should be forecast every day. If you review the numbers on a monthly or quarterly cadence, you’ll see what went wrong after deals have been lost. If you forecast, you’ll see alarms while you can still save those deals.
Your daily forecast should assume the current trajectory will continue. If 10 meetings have been held in five days, the forecast should add two meetings per day for the rest of the period.
While we’ve identified three output KPIs to choose from, we recommend focusing on two of the three to keep the team dialed in without too much distraction. At Falkon, we use meetings held and sales accepted opportunities as factors in how we compensate each rep. We use the third KPI, pipeline influence, less often given our deal cycle.
When someone in your ICP shows up for a meeting, they’re likely a legitimate potential customer. A held meeting indicates that a booked meeting was worth your team’s time.
However, meetings held isn’t a perfect measure of success. Some meetings happen reciprocally (I’ll let you demo, you let me demo). Some are with people who aren’t actually qualified buyers (even if they’re in your ICP, do they have budget?).
Because a held meeting doesn’t necessarily translate to a promising opp, it should have a minority share in your success measurement. At Falkon, we use meetings held within our ICP as 30% of BDR compensation.
Sales accepted opportunity
Show us the money. When a deal moves past that initial held meeting to become a sales accepted opportunity, a deal value is assigned. Now real potential revenue is associated with BDR activity.
Because a sales accepted opportunity represents a deal on the horizon, we use it toward 70% of our BDR compensation.
The crown jewel of metrics, pipeline influence is assigned once the deal closes and revenue is realized. We pay Falkon BDRs 1% of the deal value to celebrate their direct influence over that revenue.
Pipeline influence is often tracked at mature organizations. Young companies should use it, too, not only to measure BDR success, but to show the return on investment for the team as a whole. Generally, pipeline influence per quarter should total at least three times a BDR’s salary.
The productivity metrics that matter
While output KPIs are the best measures of success, activity inputs matter, too. They validate that the right work is happening and help diagnose performance shortfalls. Where a downturn in output KPIs signals a need for coaching, activity KPIs show you where a particular rep is falling short.
What number of emails does it take to create an opp? What’s the right mix of calls and emails? How many booked meetings does it take to feed your pipeline goal? For activities to be useful, they must be benchmarked against historical successful deals.
Using historical success to set benchmarks also validates your quotas. If you set goals based on what you wish could happen or what you think is possible, and then nobody hits them, they’ve served no purpose except to make reps feel defeated.
Activity KPIs should be tracked toward weekly goals because they represent the work that happens every day. If output KPIs are like the measure of how much more muscle mass you have in June than in January, activity KPIs are the things you do at the gym all winter and spring.
Dials and emails
Your list of activities to track may include inbound and outbound components dependent on your business and team structure. The key is that daily activity benchmarks should be assigned per rep based on their individual success on past deals. If it has taken Sally Seller 10 answered phone calls and 8 sent emails to book a meeting, those are her goals (within ICP, of course!).
For new reps, you should have a clearly defined set of ramping metrics based on increasing percentages of team-level historical performance per deal category (your target for enterprise prospects is likely different than mid-market, for example). This way, BDRs start by striving to do what actually works.
Meetings booked is a useful measure mainly as an input into what comes next. What percentage of booked meetings become held meetings? Sales accepted opps? If you know the volume that feeds your pipeline well enough to meet your goals, you know if you’re tracking toward it on any given day.
Even if all you measure is meetings booked, make it more meaningful with an ICP score. An ICP score is an objective indicator of whether a BDR booked a meeting with the right person at the right company. If not, don’t count the meeting.
ICP scores also help BDRs internalize your ideal customer. We attach a score to every account, then we look at the percentage of each BDR’s accounts that score within the acceptable range. When the ratio is low, we know to coach on ICP.
More than a buzzword, multithreading takes a BDR from a world where they may or may not be talking to the right person at a company to one where they know they’re in touch with multiple people who have input into a buying decision. Reaching out to the right accounts is a good start, but knowing enough of the right contacts are being engaged is great.
ICP scores at the contact level validate that the contacts are on point. Creating contact-level scores is more difficult than account scoring because it’s more nuanced. Start by layering departments and titles on top of your account score criteria.
How to use activity KPIs
The data we’ve outlined tells a story you may want to look at from start to finish: calls being made, then meetings booked, then SQOs, etc. Or you may want to start at the punchline and work backwards to understand how the finish-line metrics like pipeline influence came to be.
How you choose to order the information is up to you. Either way, gather it all in one place that refreshes daily with a forecast based on current performance. A view as close to real time as possible helps catch and correct shortfalls before issues snowball.
You’ll need a view of the team all-up to check at-a-glance status, as well as views of each BDR that you can deep dive into when necessary. A month-over-month view will help you see trends so you know where to focus coaching.
Shameless plug: Falkon built detailed BDR productivity and efficiency monitoring into our sales team platform.