Setting the Scene
“Try again. Fail again. Fail better.” —Samuel Becket
Sales may not have been Samuel Beckett’s vocation, but these 6 simple words certainly resonate with the world of outbound sales. The science of sales analytics boils down to 2 fundamental components: experimentation and testing. What works on one target audience may not work on another. What worked in the past, may not still work in the present. Outbound sales is a fluid process that thrives when you are constantly innovating. If you want to succeed long-term, you need to use the data at your disposal to drive smart decision-making.
Sales analytics provide you with the insights that you need to identify key trends and define what is and isn’t working. You can also use them to decide which tests to run and which improvements to make in order to repeatedly smash your monthly and yearly targets on a consistent basis.
There are 4 main facets of effective sales analytics:
- Descriptive Sales Analytics: Study past sales data such as “% Email Open Rate,” “# of Meetings Set,” and the other sales metrics that you decided to track in the module Build an Outbound Sales Process: Metrics, to identify key trends in your current approach.
- Diagnostic Sales Analytics: Deep dive into your sales metrics to draw conclusions as to why outcomes may have happened. Could a sudden increase or decrease in meetings set be due to the time of day or year that you are reaching out? Could a drop in open rates mean that your subject line needs work, or that your domain is at risk? The more you question and analyze your existing approach, the easier it is to replicate your successes and reduce risks.
- Predictive Sales Analytics: Learn from your historical data to make informed predictions about the future results that you can hope to achieve. Are you setting realistic goals based on the data from your current and previous outreach campaigns?
- Prescriptive Sales Analytics: Evaluate all data to draw up a comprehensive plan of action that will help you take the right steps to continue enhancing your outbound sales process. What actions are you going to take to reach the goals you have set and overcome the challenges you may be facing?
The first ingredient to successful sales analytics is volume. There is a fine line between too much interaction and too little. When starting out you need a big enough sample size to be able to test different approaches. But you must be careful not to ramp up your efforts too quickly. Do so, and you risk ending up in your contacts’ dreaded SPAM box, with little to show for your efforts except for a sprinkle of regret and a tarnished domain!
Here are some key sample metrics to aim for when first starting out:
|Quality of Activity||
When you launch your first campaigns, begin by sending 200 emails per day, per rep. This should give you a large enough sample size to start testing different approaches every day without putting your domain reputation at high risk.
Worried about SPAM raining on your parade? Patience you must have, my young padawan. In the next module, we cover this topic in more detail.
As you test different approaches with each of your target personas, you can use the open, reply, and interest rates from each sequence as a key indicator to gauge whether or not you are targeting the right contacts and accounts, with the right message, at the right time.
Check the results regularly and ask yourself:
- Are you achieving an open rate of at least 30-40%? If not, is your subject line and approach appropriate and relevant to your target audience? Have you considered testing a different target group or trying alternative tactics to gauge more interest from the subject line?
- Are you achieving at least 0.5% email interest rate? If not, have you followed the RRRR messaging approach? Do your words resonate with your target audience? Did you include a call to action that will encourage a response? Did you align your target with your messaging?
Once you start to find your footing and your % interest rate rises above 0.5%, you can gradually start to increase the volume of emails you send out per day.
Use Apollo to Analyze Your Outbound Sales Approach
Apollo analytics provides you with a variety of metrics and insights into the performance of your sales outreach. For access to the basic metrics from each sequence, you can head to the Sequences page and view the open, reply, and interested rates for every campaign you run.
Or you can click into a specific sequence and view the metrics for each of the messages within that campaign, as well as the overall results of the sequence.
If you want a more holistic view of your results, you can head to Reports and view your funnel on a per contract or per email basis. You can also identify which target audience you currently engage best with and view and compare the metrics per title, seniority, department, and company size to easily identify what does and doesn’t work.
For further information about Apollo Reports, check out the “Build and Access Reports in Apollo” article.
Finally, for more detailed insights, you can leverage pre-built Apollo Dashboards. From here, you can view the most and least effective sequences, messaging, and steps. You can also visualize which personas, titles, and industries tend to respond best, and you can gain perspective about what does and doesn’t lead to optimal performance and conversion rates.
For further information about Apollo dashboards, check out the “Build and Access Apollo Dashboards in Apollo” article.
It’s time to draw your own conclusions! Let’s start by looking at the statistics below:
Answer the following questions:
- How well do you think this sales rep is doing?
- Which statistic(s) match the industry averages?
- Which statistic(s) do the rep still need to improve upon?
- Is this rep ready to start increasing the number of emails they send out to 600 per day?
- Why or why not?
- What do you think this rep should test next?
The answers lie within you, but just in case you’re feeling uninspired, they also lie within this page too! If you’re having trouble answering, browse back through the information in the Setting the Scene section above.
When you have your first month of data at the ready, you can set up your own reports and dashboards in Apollo. Follow the instructions in the articles linked below and prepare to compare and analyze your data so that you can test, experiment, and fine-tune your outbound sales approach:
Now that we covered the basic principles of sales analytics and learned how to test and analyze within Apollo to improve sequence conversion rates, it’s time to take a closer look at a few final considerations that you need to keep in mind when building the ideal outbound sales process for your company. Head to Build an Outbound Sales Process: Additional Considerations to find out about how to avoid SPAM, the differences between the high volume vs. high touch approach, and to get ready for some sweet and successful sales action!