What you don’t track you can’t improve. Without the numbers, it’s hard to detect what’s holding you back as a software sales rep, and therefore impossible to fix it. To accelerate your ongoing march towards SaaS sales mastery, you must track and evaluate your performance, and make tweaks to your approach and day-to-day activity when something looks off. So here are 6 software sales metrics that all SaaS sales reps should track:
- Cold Calls Made: How many cold calls you’ve made over a certain period of time — typically calculated each day.
- Cold Emails Sent: How many cold emails you’ve sent to leads over a certain period of time — usually calculated each day.
- Opportunities Opened: The number of opportunities you’ve opened in a certain timeframe.
- Demo No-shows: The percentage of prospects who fail to show up to your demo and don’t give prior notice.
- Number of Sales Conversations: How many conversations you have with potential buyers each day.
- Win Rate: The percentage of total closed sales opportunities that you close/win throughout a specific timeframe.
Let’s go into each metric more in-depth.
1. Cold Calls Made
Cold calling is still one of the most effective ways to generate leads for SaaS solutions. Every sales rep should tally how many calls they’ve made each day. It can be motivating to keep the number nearby and in view, such as on a notepad or CRM dashboard. Watching it increase as you plow through your work lets you know where you stand.
When I was a business development representative, I used to keep the number on my Salesforce dashboard, right next to the number of meetings I’d booked this quarter. It was nice to see myself progress toward my 50 call goal.
Some reps like to use pen/paper and fill in a bubble or strike a tally whenever they make a call. The physicality of it can be psychologically satisfying, and make you want to do it again. Consistently hitting your cold calling numbers keeps your pipeline well-fed.
How Many Cold Calls a Day Should a SaaS Sales Rep Make?
Aim to make 50 cold calls a day, or, engage in 2 hours of talking time with cold leads. This is a winning formula for you to beat your competition. 100 calls are too many, and honestly, quite demotivating. It also forces you to rush through your pre-call research. 20-40 calls are just not enough volume to win the numbers game of hitting a lead who actually picks up the phone and is also interested enough to accept a meeting.
Pro Tip: Separate research time from calling time. And do your cold calls in 45-minute blocks. This way, while you’re cold calling, you’re getting into and staying inside the right mindset. You start to enter a flow state where talking with leads becomes easier. You’re more agile and in the zone.
2. Cold Emails Sent
Cold emailing is an incredibly cost-effective way to book meetings for your SaaS product. It works well in tandem with your cold calls. Usually, the goal of the cold email is to book a phone meeting or demo with a lead. Software sales reps should track how many emails they’ve sent out each day, as well as other email-related metrics that help them improve the conversion rates of their emails.
Here are some other email metrics to track:
- Email Open Rate: The percentage of people who open your email.
- Email Reply Rate: The percentage of recipients who respond to your email.
- Email Conversion Rate: The percentage of email recipients who become opportunities.
To find the most effective cold email, you’re going to need to AB test different subject lines against each other. Blast out two emails with different subject lines to a few hundred leads over a week-long period. The subject line with the highest open rate is the winner.
Once you have your chosen subject line, follow this same process with the body copy of the email and pick the one that creates the highest reply rate. As time progresses, continue making small adjustments to the opening of your copy, the pain points mentioned, the call-to-action, and other elements of a cold email. This ensures you’re iterating toward optimization.
How Many Cold Emails Should a SaaS Sales Rep Send Per Day?
SaaS sales reps should aim to send 40 cold emails per day. This number is small because it enables you to focus on personalizing the cold email to the responsibilities, company, and title of your lead. And personalization increases conversion rates.
Now, you could go a little bit higher than 40, especially if you’re using sales engagement software with email templates, which allows you to edit and personalize small chunks of the pre-written email copy for each new lead, thereby speeding up the process.
3. Opportunities Opened
In SaaS sales, the metric opportunities opened usually refer to the number of demos a rep has booked with qualified leads over the course of a certain timeframe. Tracking the number of opportunities you’ve created each week and month is a great way to ensure that your pipeline is receiving a healthy influx of new revenue potential. Keep in mind that different companies have different standards for what counts as a sales opportunity.
Some might be more relaxed with their standards for what makes an opportunity, letting in just about any lead who raises their hand, while other companies will be more stringent and force the lead to go through a thorough qualification process before they are considered an opportunity. The majority of SaaS companies will create opportunities after the first discovery call has revealed that the lead is a good fit for the solution.
How Many Opportunities Should a SaaS Sales Rep Open Each Day?
A software sales rep should aim to create at least one new opportunity each day. This is a solid and attainable goal that if met can propel you to the top of your team. However, keep in mind that the quality of opportunities matters as well. All things equal, creating five $1,000 MRR opportunities a week is less valuable than creating one $10,000 opportunity.
Consider asking your sales manager to work with you to find a specific opportunity-related goal, whether it's the number of opps created or revenue-based, that’ll help you reach your quota.
4. Demo No-Shows
A demo no-show is when a lead misses a scheduled software demo, without informing you they can’t make it. It’s like being stood up on a date. SaaS sales reps usually deal with a no-show rate of about 10-20%. As the meeting-setter, this metric indicates how well you are qualifying your leads on their interest and fitness levels before scheduling a demo with them.
It happens. Some leads just don’t feel like showing up or forgot about it. But, a no-show rate of above 20% means you should perhaps do more discovery before locking a lead into a demo. No-shows can be huge wastes of time since preparing to personalize a demo can be laborious.
Not to mention, it can be pretty awkward if you’re an SDR who has to hear their AE say, “another one didn’t show.” I remember how anxious I sometimes got when shadowing an AE’s demo if it had been ten minutes since the scheduled time and the lead’s line was still silent.
How Can a SaaS Sales Rep Limit No-Shows?
There are a few things you can do to ensure your no-show rate hovers around the 10% mark.
- Limit Any Confusion: Some people won’t show up just because they’re confused about what’s going to happen on the demo. Is it automated or with a real rep? Before the demo, tell them who’s going to lead it, how long it will last, and what it will cover.
- Send Email Reminders: Send the prospect an email reminder the morning of demo day.
- Qualify The Lead: Go down a list of questions during your call that assess if the individual is a good fit for your SaaS product.
- Try to Schedule Demos Within Three Days of the Outreach: The longer the duration between when you set the demo and when it occurs, the more likely the lead is to miss it.
Sometimes an absent prospect might’ve just forgotten that you had a meeting scheduled. So after the no-show shoot them an email and try to reschedule.
5. Number of Sales Conversations
The number of sales conversations refers to the count of substantial talks (at least 7 minutes long) about your solution or industry that you’ve had with a potential buyer throughout a day’s time. These talks could be anything from a discovery call or a demo with a new lead to pricing negotiations with one who’s about to close. Now, why should you track this metric?
Well, besides aiding you in reaching your revenue targets, engaging in a healthy number of sales conversations every day keeps your mind and sales skills sharp. Through conversations with potential buyers, you learn new things about them and practice talking about your product in different ways. You come across new business situations and needs and are forced to spin your messaging to fit them. You also become more and more of an expert in your industry.
Also, if you’re a BDR or SDR, when you track conversations you give yourself another way to win the day. If you fail to book a meeting/demo, but you’ve had 5 conversations you’re proud of, consider the day a success and go grab some nachos. This helps you level out the emotional ups and downs of the job.
How Many Conversations Should a SaaS Sales Rep Have Each Day?
Try to have at least 5 sales conversations a day. Even if only one of them ends with a positive result, at least you have moved one deal forward. If you’re having a tough day and struggling to find five people to talk with, consider getting creative to hit your target.
Consider calling a current client and asking them how everything is going with the product. Or call an industry peer and talk with them about a new industry trend you read about. Networking for the sake of hitting your five sales conversations goal might reap unanticipated rewards. For instance, the person in your network may give you the name of someone who might benefit from your software solution.
Worst case, get some practice in. I remember as a new AE I was coming up empty-handed during my cold outreach, and I had no meetings on my calendar. Frustrated and bored, I decided to just call up my manager.
I asked him if I could just practice with him doing a quick discovery call where he pretended to be the type of client I had rarely interacted with (RE developers). Even though no new business came from it, I still got my reps in and learned something new.
6. Win Rate
Closed/won ratio, or win rate, is the percentage of closed sales opportunities you successfully win over a period of time (often calculated each quarter or month). A SaaS sales rep can calculate their own win rate by dividing the number of opportunities closed and won by the number of total closed opportunities (lost +won) during that time frame.
For example, imagine a rep had 12 active opportunities during the quarter. 10 of them closed. 2 are still active and flow into the next quarter. Of the 10 closed opportunities, the rep won 6 and lost 4. Therefore, the closed/won rate is 6/10 or 60%.
Win rates are most telling when looked at over time. If your win rate has been steadily increasing quarter after quarter, all else (product, price, etc.) held constant, it’s likely that you’re improving as a sales rep and closer. The same would be said for a tennis player whose record continues improving year after year, while they're still in the same league facing the same level of competition.
Software Sales Metrics Bottom Line
Software sales reps should track the above six metrics in order to stay on track to hit their revenue targets and to consistently improve as sales professionals. Not to mention, having these numbers in your back pocket can be used as evidence that you’ve been executing and improving as a seller. This data can come in handy when asking for a promotion or interviewing for a new high-paying SaaS job.