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How Many Leads Should Sales Reps Work Per Month?

How Many Leads Should Sales Reps Work Per Month?

Determining how many leads a sales rep should handle per month is a critical data point for growing revenue—the answer affects forecasts and hiring. Too many leads and not enough SDRs (sales development reps), and you’ve wasted valuable marketing dollars. Too many BDR’s (business development reps) and not enough leads, and you’re paying hefty salaries and getting little if any ROI.

Uncovering the right amount of leads per month per rep to make business decisions for revenue growth is a key metric and is often more “guess-work” than data-driven. The below formula may help solve this riddle for you, but before we get to that, one of the significant factors that will adjust your numbers up or down is your company’s preferred sales cadence.

Sales Cadence

A sales cadence is the number of attempts the company wants each sales rep to make per lead over a specific time.

There are all sorts of data out there on which formula is best; however, there is no perfect answer or one size fits all. You will have to use your company’s history to determine which is the right cadence for your sales team – but if you need a jump start, I like YESWARE’s report. See the image below.

It’s important to know that your company may have multiple sales cadences depending on the type of leads. For example, you will want a much shorter cadence for warm inbound leads, while a slightly longer one for outbound will make sense.

Now, on to the question of “how many leads per month should my sales reps have?”

# of Leads Per Month Per Rep

Here’s a formula that will help you determine how many leads each sales rep should work per month.

There are roughly 262 business working days in a year.

 262 working days divided by 12 (months) = 22 days a month. 

 Now you have to answer two essential questions:

  1. How many dials per day, realistically, do you want your team to make?
  2. How many attempts per lead do you want them to make?

You will have to know the answers to those two questions to identify how many leads per month your reps will need.

If we ask for 60-dials per day and want each lead called 4X within 30-days, you’re looking at 330 leads.

 60 · 22 = 1320 ÷ 4 = 330 leads

 So, the formula is this:

 X (# of dials per day) · 22 (days) = Y (total number of dials per month) ÷ Z (# of attempts) = N (number of leads per month)

 Here’s another example:

 40 (# of dials per day) · 22 (days) = 880 number of dials per month ÷ 7 (# of attempts) = 125 (number of leads per month)

Here’s one more example:

30 (# of dials per day) · 22 (days) = 660 number of dials per month ÷ 3 (# of attempts) = 220 (number of leads per month)

Sales Paralysis by Analysis

I would caution anyone looking to solve the “how many leads per month” riddle not to overanalyze.

There is a science to sales, but it isn’t rocket science. Often, “close enough” is needed when it comes to leads to sales rep ratio.

Some reps will have better phone sales skills than others and get a higher conversion rate etc. 

You don’t need to hit the bullseye; you need to hit the target, and using the formula above will help you get your baseline going.

Once you have your baseline number, your sales reps need to fill that lead list with prospects that match your ICP (Ideal Customer Profile)

The secret to successful prospecting is knowing who your target audience is. Only add leads that match your targeted audience. Go deep, not wide, when building the lead list.

Let’s say you have small, mid, and enterprise-level clients. You might want to consider having SDR/BDR #1 focus strictly on small businesses, SDR/BDR #2 focus on mid-size, and SDR/BDR #3 work on enterprise-level accounts.

When an SDR/BDR (or even an ISR – inside sales rep – a sales rep that handles the sales process from “phone cradle to grave”) knows the number of leads they need to start the outbound sales process, it’s essential to know that attrition will occur, and what to do about it.

Sales Lead List Attrition

Sales lead attrition is when leads are removed from your master prospecting list. What causes sales lead attrition?

Usually its three things:

  • The prospect was converted to a client (we like this one the best) 
  • The prospect was contacted and did not want to be contacted again
  • The sales rep drops the prospect from the list for any number of reasons (too many attempts, with no response is one example)

Preparing for attrition is simple if you plan for it. Most sales reps spend their days using the “hunt and peck” sales prospecting method. This is not an efficient use of sales time-management

Searching for a lead, calling it, leaving a voicemail, sending an email, and searching for another lead to call is a bad sales practice.

When one sales rep has taken the initial time to build their targeted lead list, they can now focus on their outbound activities.

A sales rep that uses the hunt and peck method during calling hours makes fewer outbound calls and will often miss their target quota due to them investing more time searching for who to call rather than making the calls.

A sales rep that builds their list and uses “calling time” for their outbound calls and then schedules time to replenish leads lost to attrition are far more effective and profitable.

The best sales manager I ever had taught me to build my targeted lead list before making any sales call, followed by scheduling 20-minutes every Friday (before it was time to hit the phones) to prospect and replenish the lost leads to attrition from that week’s dials.

Building a targeted prospecting list combined with knowing precisely what to say when you get the gatekeeper, voicemail, or prospect on the phone is how you grow new revenue.

– Michael Pedone

Michael Pedone teaches inside sales teams how to pick up the phone and close business. He is the CEO/FOUNDER of SalesBuzz.com – An online sales training company offering on-demand sales training and consulting.