Sales Metrics Smackdown: Are These 3 Inside Sales Metrics Overrated?

Are you sure you’re tracking the right sales metrics? In this post, we’ll talk about which metrics sales leaders can use to evaluate sales reps.

RELATED: A Winning Sales Culture Starts With the Right Sales Metrics

In this article:

  1. Do Sales Reps Care About Sales Performance Metrics?
  2. Inside Sales Metrics Sales Reps Consider the Least Useful
    1. Length of the Sales Cycle
    2. Appointment Setting Speed
    3. Percentage of Hot Transfers

Sales Metrics Least Useful for Evaluating Reps

Do Sales Reps Care About Sales Performance Metrics?

What metrics do you use to track your sales team effectively? Is the data you’re gathering contributing to your team’s sales performance?

To get the information you need, you can set up a sales metrics KPI based on your organization’s needs. But, it’s not always as easy as it seems. The trick is to monitor the meaningful data without losing sight of what’s really important.

That’s why XANT has invested in research to identify the most actionable inside sales metrics. And we’ve created a free cheat sheet called “12 High Velocity Metrics that Actually Increase Results.”

All 12 provide valuable information for sales leaders, as long as you have an effective way to keep track of them. However, your reps might have a hard time seeing the value of some of them.

We asked our reps which metrics they think are the most overrated. Their answers offer a powerful glimpse into their thinking. These insights reveal common sticking points where you may want to spend more time educating your team.

Overcoming internal objections and keeping your staff motivated is at least half the battle.

Inside Sales Metrics Sales Reps Consider the Least Useful

1. Length of the Sales Cycle

Businessman businesswoman meeting | Sales Metrics Smackdown: Are These 3 Inside Sales Metrics Overrated?

Reviewing sales cycle length with a sales rep

If you’re tracking the overall length of your sales cycle, some on your team might be thinking:

  • “The sales cycle can really be influenced heavily by the client and the company size and can vary dramatically from company to company.”
  • “Although it would be interesting to know, it won’t help me improve my performance in any way.”
  • “It’s out of my hands.”

Your sales people may not think much or even care about the average sales cycle. What they don’t know is tracking this can help them shorten their sales conversion rate since they’ll know which potential customer they should spend more time with.

How to Address This: Ask your reps how they think they compare with their peers. Then, show them the data.

This will help your reps see that your top performers find ways to shorten the sales cycle with the exact same types of leads and prospects.

This should squash their belief that it’s out of their hands.

Teach them new techniques they can use to create more urgency. Once they start to see their results improve, they’ll naturally get more excited about this metric.

2. Appointment Setting Speed

If one of your inside sales metrics is how soon your team books appointments, you might hear these comments from time to time:

  • “If you book an appointment too soon, you may not be qualifying the lead.”
  • “I think everyone pretty much books them as soon as possible. There usually isn’t much you can do if the lead needs a later appointment.”
  • “This is irrelevant. It’s not up to the sales team.”

There is a need to measure how fast sales reps schedule appointments. Not doing so may risk overlooking responses from clients, losing opportunities to set meetings and possibly, close deals.

Maybe they’re still hitting their goals even without measuring this metric. Then again, seeing how much time they spend in between appointments may push them to set meetings faster.

How to Address This: Again, you could illustrate how some reps consistently set appointments more quickly than others, if your reps think they can’t influence this metric. You may also just want to remind them that momentum is everything in sales.

The faster they set appointments, the more momentum they’ll inject into your funnel. The longer they let things linger, on the other hand, the more sales they’ll lose.

RELATED: Essential Tools and Tips for Time Management in Sales

3. Percentage of Hot Transfers

CEO executives meeting working on new project | Sales Metrics Smackdown: Are These 3 Inside Sales Metrics Overrated?

At XANT, we know it’s important to measure what percentage of your appointments come from hot transfers, or same call progression.

Hot Transfers Definition: Also known as live or warm transfer, this is when a potential customer agrees to be transferred to a sales representative while on a call.

But some of your reps might struggle a little with the importance of this inside sales metric:

  • “Most VPs and managers of bigger companies don’t actually have very much time without planning ahead.”
  • “Irrelevant for a salesperson to track. Good for management, though.”

How to Address This: Ask your reps how many of their appointments pull no-shows. Then, ask how many of their hot transfers don’t show up.

They’ll surely see that 10 minutes with a prospect right now is more valuable than 45 minutes scheduled for some future date.

Identifying which sales metrics are the hardest for your reps to get excited about can help you improve your operations by addressing their concerns head-on with indisputable data.

Once you’ve figured out the sales team metrics you need to tweak, you’ll be able to inspire your reps to go beyond their quota.

Which sales metrics template are you using? Are they effective in boosting the revenue your sales team is pulling in? Share your take on the key sales metrics you can’t do without in the comments section below.


Take a look at all 12 metrics that actually drive results by downloading the free cheat sheet below.

12 High Velocity Sales Metrics That Actually Increase Results

Free Cheat Sheet: 12 High-Velocity Metrics

Learn the 12 sales metrics that every inside sales team should measure to increase results. Get Cheat Sheet Now

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Sales Metrics Smackdown: Are These 3 Inside Sales Metrics Overrated?

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 4, 2013, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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