Why You Need to Understand the Sales Capacity of Your Business Development Reps

Do you really understand the sales capacity of your business development reps (BDRs) or outbound lead generation reps? Well, if you don’t it’s time to start figuring it out!

Why is it so important to understand your sales team’s capacity?

  • Because you need to know when to add additional headcount of your team.
  • Because you need to understand when your BDRs need additional leads, or new campaigns to target.
  • Because you need to make sure that reps are truly executing your designed touchpoint strategy against a specific/prioritized list of leads.

If you don’t understand your sales capacity, then you are likely going to experience three key problems:

  1. You will be adding reps to your team blindly.
  2. You may give your reps new leads that they may not be able to give proper attention to (because they don’t have the proper bandwidth).
  3. Your reps are likely mishandling and letting the “less desirable” prospects (in their opinion, for whatever reason) fall through the cracks.

In order to understand the capacity of your team, you need to first understand a couple of other things. First of all, what are your team’s conversions rates, and what is the end goal, ie. how much pipeline are you expecting this team to generate?
Conversion Rates:

  • Call to conversation
  • Conversation to Appointment (MQL, Discovery Call, etc)
  • Appointment to Opportunity
  • Opportunity to Close

Okay, so working your way backwards, you should be able to figure out the number of calls total it will take to get to your goal. If, based on your historical data, it is going to take 450 calls a day to get you to your pipeline goal then you are probably going to need 4-5 reps on your team.
So let’s say that your reps are capable of making 60 calls a day (which I honestly think is the appropriate number if you don’t have a dialer tool). How many leads does that mean they need each week in order to maintain that rhythm?
Remember, these 60 calls a day total are going to be a combination of first touches, second touches, third touches, and (hopefully) fourth touches. Whatever your touchpoint strategy is, you need to figure out — how many NEW leads do I need to give each rep each week team each week?
I’ve seen some of our companies give each BDR 100-115 new leads EACH week. At these companies, it was the rep’s responsibility to get to the bottom of this list and make the first touch point against every one of those 100 leads. That being said, every follow up task scheduled for that week with leads from previous weeks’ batches of 100 needs to be executed against, as well.

Your Job as Sales Manager

As the manager of this team, you need to be reviewing the follow up task list for each of your reps, as well as the open lead list. Is your rep getting to the bottom of both lists? If not, it is typically due to either one of two issues:

  1. Your rep needs additional training or support when it comes to daily management and organization.
  2. You are putting too much on your rep’s plate, and need to consider expanding your team.

For more information on this, please check out our eBook Get More Customers! How to Build an Outbound B2B Lead Generation Team that Drives Sales (page 16 in particular).

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