The 2016 Sales Metrics Report: 355 B2B Sales Orgs Spill the Beans

2016 Sales Metrics

Today we bring you a preview of our Sales Development 2016 report. We collected and analyzed survey data submitted by 355 B2B companies covering just about every aspect you’d ever want to know about a modern, high-performing sales operation.

The numbers illustrating various aspects of Sales Development are at times fascinating, encouraging, surprising, and even alarming in some cases. Whatever your overall impression about the direction of the data, we believe the possible applications for it are virtually endless.

New in this year’s report is something we like to call the Pipeline Power Score, referred to hereafter as PPS. Click here to learn more about how we calculated the PPS.

Mind you, this is just a preview. Our team made its own interpretations of different data points and offer suggestions for how to take this information and use it to grow as an organization. We encourage you to take a look at the full report, but first we’d like to share a few can’t-miss highlights.

Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Required Experience Hits All Time Low

Demand for candidates has risen since 2010. Average required experience is now just 1.3 years, a staggering 18% rate of annual decline since 2009.

Not unexpectedly, required experience rises with a company’s average sale price. Complex solutions require complex conversations. Even with the downward trend, it still takes time and experience to achieve comfort selling at that level.

Worth noting: Groups that require 2+ years experience scored a 12% higher average PPS.

We can’t help but think this is a rather difficult thing to achieve in today’s growing market. SDRs with 2+ years experience and an interest remaining within the SDR role will always be smaller than the pool of green candidates. Rep retention and experience will be a key ingredient for many organization in the future which leads us to our next topic.

Average Tenure is Down Sharply

Tenure has reached an all time low of 1.4 years on average. Only 5% of reps stay on board for 3+ years compared to 38% in 2009.

Average Tenure Sales

This trend significantly impacts the key metric of months at full productivity (tenure minus ramp time). Average months at full productivity is now just 14.

Career Path Matters

We’ve discovered three types of promotion tracks:

  1. Step Promotions (Junior SDR, Associate SDR, Senior SDR)
  2. Promotion across teams (Inbound, Outbound, Enterprise)
  3. Intro a quota-carrying role (SDR to AE, etc.)

Career Path by Revenue

Defined career paths have a 2% average higher PPS. But companies with step promotions had 6% higher PPS.

Interestingly, companies with a defined SDR-AE path fared worse with a 9% average lower PPS. My take on this metric, we are rushing our SDRs into an AE role with little to no preparation.

This is critical information worth exploring as a sales org. Clearly, the type of promotion track your company decides to go with matters, but to what extent and why?

Monthly Quotas Are Up

Quotas are 27% higher than in 2014. But these vary widely. Quota for an outbound SDR with an ASP of $100K+ went as low as 3 opportunities per month. 68% of reps in a given group are hitting quota.

Average Dials and Conversations Down Slightly

We found an average of 46 dials per day with actual quality conversations per day coming in at 5.8. The percentage breakdown of email-centric or phone-centric teams was about 50-50. However, in a win for all the stalwart defenders of dialing, phone-centric teams reported 26% more quality conversations per day.

Average Dials Per Day Graph

There was no statistically significant variation of PPS between phone-centric or email-centric groups, but those who averaged 7 or more quality conversations per day had a 17% higher PPS. Bumping up the 46 dial per day average to achieve that 7+ quality conversations could prove to be a worthwhile endeavor for teams with the capability.

More Attempts Per Prospect Up 46% since 2012

SDRs on average make 8.2 attempts per prospect. Companies making nine or more attempts per prospect saw a 16% higher average PPS.

All that great content floating around about the effectiveness of late-round touches seems to be being heeded by sales teams, and it’s paying off according to our data.

So there you have it, a small sampling of the treasure trove of great insights we discovered throughout our research. What interpretations do you have about our current data and what did we overlook that we should try to include next time? Be sure to check out the full report and give us any feedback you have.

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      6 years, 2 months ago

      Incredible insights, Trish- especially into metrics on tenure and Average Required Experience! We focus on hiring top sales talent for B2B businesses, specifically software startups, and have noticed average tenure for SDR roles dropping more dramatically recently, as well.

      With the growth of ABM to break into targeted, specific new business opportunities, and what seems to be a decrease in outbound prospecting efforts evidenced above, we can only see how the qualification ability and product knowledge of an SDR will become more crucial to converting those conversations to potential prospects and eventually won deals- which does not bode well for organizations if average tenue, and more importantly average months at full productivity, are dropping.

      To tie into your next point on career & promotion paths, we often see SDR candidates leave opportunities for “comparable” SDR roles in terms of responsibility and compensation, but with better defined career paths. Using Salesforce.com as an example, a path from Sales Representative (inbound) to Business Development Representative (outbound) to Enterprise Business Representative (enterprise) could take a candidate 3 years to a quota carrying closing role versus a 4-6 month track if a startup sees explosive growth, but candidates seem to be drawn to the security of a historically defined promotion track as they shop their options to jump the hurdle and secure a closing role later on.

      “Interestingly, companies with a defined SDR-AE path fared worse with a 9% average lower PPS. My take on this metric, we are rushing our SDRs into an AE role with little to no preparation.”

      We love your take and agree that far too often companies are rushing their sales talent, even top SDR performers, into quota carrying roles without the preparation to successfully navigate the deal cycle. Add the responsibility of managing outbound prospecting to hunt for new deals on top of now driving scheduling, discovery, demo’s, and closing, and leaders seem to be creating a recipe for lost revenue and slow successes out of the gate.

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