Conversational sales has quickly become a must-have strategy. But adopting a new strategy means you have to adopt new performance measurement tactics. Enter sales KPIs.
What Is Conversational Sales?
Conversational sales (also known as SMS sales) encourages teams to focus on answering inbound lead messages. It emphasizes the use of person-to-person chats to help leads find the products and services that are right for them. The strategy emphasizes the importance of encouraging leads to message in, answering their queries quickly, and ensuring they consider your conversations valuable.
Why Track Conversational Sales KPIs?
As we mentioned, conversational sales has key tenets. You need to adhere to them to get the most out of the strategy, and one of the best (and most objective) ways to make sure you’re doing that is to measure certain metrics.
The metrics you measure—and prioritize—need to take into account important world-wide events. After all, the strategy is all about catering to leads’ current needs, and what’s going on in the world affects them. After you identify your metrics—your key performance indicators (KPIs)—you can start tracking them. (Your messaging platform should automatically do this for you.)
Then you can periodically take stock, identifying which conversational sales KPIs are performing well and not-so-well. Finally, you can take action to make improvements. It’s important to keep repeating the process to continually improve your lead communications.
The Six Conversational Sales KPIs You Need
So where do you get started? Here are the six conversational sales KPIs you should be focusing on:
First Response Time
First response time is simply the average amount of time it takes your sales team to answer a lead’s initial message. Conversational sales emphasizes the importance of convenient, responsive messaging—so if you’re doing it right, this sales KPI will be short. If your first response time is high, you may need to make some changes. Consider holding a training on your messaging platform’s efficiency features or even increasing your sales team’s size.
Average Response Time
Average response time is the average amount of time it takes your sales team to answer any lead message. This metric should be short, too—and is one of the most useful sales training KPIs. Conversational sales is all about messaging conversations that mirror in-person chats. Exchanges should be fast—and if they’re not, it’s important that your team figure out a way to answer leads faster. That could mean ensuring team members are well-informed about all of your products (including new ones) or, again, increasing staffing.
Longest Wait Time
Longest wait time is a metric that tracks the kinds of queries or times of the day/week that lead to long wait times. Tracking longest wait time is critical. As we mentioned before, conversational sales aims to encourage chats that are quick and seamless; long wait times diminish that effect. Use this metric to determine which topics require more team training or which times of the week you should ensure your entire staff is working.
Inbound Message Volume
Inbound message volume is the number of messages that leads send in. Remember: conversational sales is all about encouraging leads to write in. This metric shows you how well you’re promoting the channel. If you see continually low inbound message volume, you need to get the word out better. Make sure you publish messaging entry points across your websites, social media channels, and any email newsletters or other sales and marketing content.
Messaging Volume By Channel
Messaging volume by channel is the number of messages leads send through each channel. It’s closely related to inbound message volume, but it helps you determine which channels leads prefer to use to ask questions about your products or services. This tells you a lot about customer habits, and can even help you decide which channels to use for advertising campaigns—and which channels you should promote better.
Unsubscribed contacts is the number of contacts who have asked to be removed from your contact lists. Leads have to opt in to text you, and it’s important that they have a great experience with your team. They should want to remain on your SMS list, and expect your future messages to be useful. This metric should be low. If it’s not, revisit the tenets of conversational support. Make sure you’re centering leads’ questions, having authentic conversations, and personalizing each message.
Customer Sentiment: An Emerging KPI
More advanced business texting platforms may allow you to track customer insights and sentiment. This means they use machine learning to scan the messages in your system, and classify them into different sentiment categories.
For example, your platform may label a conversation full of positive emojis, exclamation points, and words of affirmation as “Happy” or “Very Happy”. Meanwhile, a conversation with a disgruntled customer would be classified as “Unhappy,” and straightforward conversations with “yes” or “no” answers would be “Neutral.” You can also use this tool to label certain types of conversations based on their keywords (e.g., ones about a specific product, a topic like pricing, or a customer service issue).
You can use this advanced feature to track your sales conversations’ impact on lead sentiment. Monitor your Happy, Neutral, and Unhappy chats, and which message topics tend to lead to each. This can help you predict how to manage more difficult conversations, and understand what approaches lead to positive ones.
Tracking Related B2B Sales KPIs
When you adopt conversational sales, you shouldn’t just track messaging-specific metrics. There are plenty of other KPIs for sales reps that you should consider—particularly B2B sales KPIs.
For example, you’ll want to track:
- Demo attendance rate
- Demo conversion time
- Proposal sign time
Why these metrics? Conversational sales helps guide B2B buyers along the sales funnel. If you’re using the strategy right, you should be able to boost demo attendance, demo conversion time, and proposal sign time with regular SMS reminders.
Want to learn more about messaging sales KPIs? Check out our blog.