There are two schools of thought when it comes to prospecting effectiveness. One school focuses on quality and maximizing the yield of the process. "Let no good lead go unconverted" is their philosophy.
The other approach focuses on volume, thinking "What we lack in effectiveness we can make up in volume." As a result, they hire more reps, make more calls and send more emails, continuously ramping up velocity to hit their targets.
Unfortunately, both camps are wrong, and, well, they're kinda right.
Your connect rate (the rate of attempts a salesperson or sales development rep makes to “connect” with their intended target) is the most important metric to use when assessing the effectiveness of the customer acquisition process.
The connect rate focuses on the biggest bottleneck in the sales process, capacity. The limiting factor for salespeople is time, and if your connect rate is too low, it means too much time is wasted. Be careful though, because if it’s too high it may also mean that too much time is being spent here, as too much effort (and time) may be spent in an attempt to reach a lead that could be better spent elsewhere.
In the end, the use of connect rate should solve for maximizing the output of right-fit leads entering the next phase, based upon the limited-resource capacity you have, which is selling time. Note that this output is represented by a hard number, not a percentage. I’d rather have a connect rate of 17% that generates 125 right-fit leads than a 38% connect rate that yields 67.
Identifying your optimal connect rate range (balancing quantity with quality) should be of the utmost strategic imperatives for your sales leadership team. Once this range is determined you can turn your attention to testing ways to enhance it.
To get your started, here are the 7 most common areas that we’ve identified in our work that lead to material improvements in connect rates and right-lead throughput.