The Secret to Increasing Win Rates: It's Not Dials

Do more dials actually equal more sales? We look into whether quantity is the metric you should really measure.
Lina Eroh

You’ve hired the best reps. You’ve trained them on your script and armed them with the latest sales tools in the industry. Yet close rates are still lagging.

What’s the deal?

What if we told you that your focus on quantity of dials was hurting your team? Would you believe us?

We looked at two different sales organizations, both aiming for 100+ dials a day, to see whether we could find proof that quantity hurts.

The short answer? For both organizations, we saw diminishing returns after 65 dials and a sweet spot of 40-60 dials a day. Reps who “failed” to meet the quantity target actually closed the most deals and brought in the most revenue.

Are you surprised? When you think about it, you shouldn’t be. Longer calls by definition take more time, which means fewer calls a day.

Longer calls also lead to more deals. When we calculated the total length of calls that lead to won deals compared to lost deals, we saw that calls leading to won deals were 1.8 times longer. In other words, reps making winning calls should be making only half the number of calls of other reps, since they’re on the phone for double the length of time.

Of course it’s not just the call that counts. It’s what said on the phone–or as we like to think of it, the quality of the conversation.

Call quality is the mystery variable in sales analytics because measuring the quality of a conversation is far from a straightforward task. Outside of listening to each call, it’s nearly impossible to train reps to have better conversations. Yet quality is a key metric when it comes to improving sales efficiency. Ignoring it affects your bottom line.

That’s where we come in. Using a process we call Conversation Science™, we make it easy for managers to measure and track the quality of a pitch. We look at several measures to compute the quality score, including cadence mirroring and filler words, but today we’ll focus on adherence to scripts or call guides. After all, you spend tons of time writing these for your reps. Do they actually work?

The good news is yes! Our data shows that using the keywords from a well-written script leads to longer conversations. In fact, calls that progress down the funnel use 2.5 times the number of keywords! The best conversations use 3.8 keywords a minute, and using keywords at the very beginning of calls leads to longer calls–which as you know by now, leads to more wins.

The bad news? Our data shows that over 30% of calls did not use any keywords. Considering the fact that keywords increase your chance of a closed deal by 3x,

One of the key benefits of TalkIQ is that we can quickly show you which of your reps are and are not using keywords. But a side benefit is that you can see exactly what your best reps are doing–and saying.

I’ll end on a story. After one month on TalkIQ, one of our clients noticed that their best salespeople were not the ones using the most keywords. When they looked at the transcripts, they also noticed that they were not sticking to the call guide. So they took a gamble and rewrote the guide for the rest of the team to more closely mirror the tactics used by the best reps.

The results were astonishing–the close rate increased 41% when reps used the new script versus the old one. Yet the managers wouldn’t have known to change the script had they not seen the stark contrast.

What would you do for a 40% increase in win rates?

Here’s our answer: stop focusing on quantity.