Knowing Your Numbers: The Math Behind the Successful SDR

There always seems to be a debate on whether sales is a numbers game, or a people approach. It's too simplistic to label it one or the other. There should absolutely be a people focused approach. But unless you understand the math behind it, you're going in blind. 

If you aren't measuring it, you can't improve it. 

So, as an SDR, you should always know the level of activity it takes you to be successful. 

What I mean is a little bit of basic math behind your numbers. It's important to understand the impact of your activities and what leads to meetings booked, pipeline, and sourcing customers.

Why Does it Matter?

Finding these numbers can help you in two key areas. 

First off, you can figure out how much work you need to do each day to make sure you're able to hit/exceed your quota, drive pipeline, and generate revenue.

Do you know how many calls you need to make or emails you need to send to book 1 meeting? What's your conversion of meetings booked to meetings qualified?

Second, once you understand your numbers, you're able to easily highlight areas of improvement. Nothing can replace hard data when you're analyzing how to improve aspects of your process. 

For example, maybe your connect rate is low, so you need to change the quality of your data, or the times you call, or the titles you call. Maybe your rate of qualified meetings is low. There's no silver bullet in sales development, but knowing your numbers can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses, and give you a baseline of what you need to improve.

Let's Talk About the Math

For the purpose of this post, we're sticking with call metrics. You can do some analysis with emails, but we'll cover that later. 

Where do you start?

The numbers you need to start off, you can typically find in your sales engagement tool or CRM. 

  • Qualified Meetings
  • Meetings Booked
  • Calls
  • Connects
Personally, I track this month over month, but you can take any time period, just stay consistent. 

The Basics

To get the numbers we need, we just need some basic division skills:

Qualification Rate = Qualified Meetings / Meetings Booked
Book Rate = Meetings Booked / Connects
Connect Rate = Connects / Calls

*you can skip over these details if you just want to know how to hit your quota, but it won't help with the second point I made above. 

An Example

Let's pick some easy numbers and walk through an example. 

Qualified Meetings: 10
Meetings Booked: 20
Calls: 1260, 60/day
Connects: 126

Use these to figure out your rates:

Qualification Rate = 10/20 = 0.5 or 50%
Book Rate = 20/126 = .16 or 16%
Connect Rate: 126/1260 = 0.1 or 10%

Now let's say our quota is 12 qualified meetings, then:

Quota / qual. rate = # meetings we need
12 / 0.5 = 24

We need 24 meetings to hit our quota with our current number. 

Next, we need to know how many connects we will need to have to book those meetings:

Meetings needed / book rate = connects we need to make
24 / 0.16 = 150 connects

We need 150 connects to get 24 meetings. 

Now we need to know how many calls we need to get 150 connects:

Connects needed / connect rate = calls we need to make
150 / 0.1 = 1500. 

1500 calls to make our quota. If there are 21 business days, then:

1500 / 21 = 72 calls a day

So if our ability doesn't change, we know if we do 72 calls a day, we should be able to hit our quota. 

What can we learn from this?

I think we can all agree that we'd like to be able to make less than 72 calls a day to hit our quota. 

If we look at the rates and compare them to team averages, or industry averages, you can understand if you're above average, average, or below average. 

Qualification Rate 

Typically you want to aim for 70%+, so we can look at this and say our calls aren't being qualified as much we would like. 

Meet with your account executive(s) and your manager, talk with them about how your calls are going, see some of the things you can look for in your calls to help them book more qualified calls.

If you can bring that number up to 70%, that's 14 meetings, and you've exceeded your quota with the same amount of work. 


Now that you've broken down your numbers, you know what calls you need to commit to each day to hit your quota. And now you have a good idea of which parts of your soft skills and cold call game you need to focus on. Of course, you can get more granular on which parts of your call you need to work on to help book more qualified leads, but the purpose of this post was to show you why the numbers are important, and how to get them. 

I hope you followed along, found your numbers, and were able to learn something about your cold call game. Let us know your takeaways from this post. 

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