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The Outbound Sales Process (OSP): The Right KPIs

We know that when it comes down to it – sales is all about the key performance indicators (KPIs).  You can say you have the right contacts or the right email message – and that you are automating everything, but if the KPIs aren’t going in the right direction – you are dead in the water.  People will ask – What is your Open rate?  What is your Reply rate?  What is your Bounce rate?  These are the KPIs that you must track in order to understand if your outbound sales process (OSP) is successful or not.  There are certain thresholds of these KPIs that you must hit to know if success is happening – to know if your email content is working – to know if your email subject line is right.  These numbers do not lie and, in fact, can help you understand the truth about your OSP efforts.  These KPIs can be your best friend if things are going right or your worst enemy if the numbers are heading south (which in the case of bounces is a good thing!).  Therefore, wrap your head around these numbers quickly and start tracking them in your automated email system ASAP!

What are the right KPIs for a successful OSP?

Let’s get down to the nitty gritty – what are the KPIs that we must observe in the OSP and what are the right thresholds of these KPIs for a successful OSP.

Here are the main KPIs –

  1. Open Rate – The rate at which your sales emails are opened
  2. Bounce Rate – The rate at which your sales email bounces (not reaching the inbox)
  3. Reply Rate – The rate at which your emails get a response – good or bad

Here are the thresholds for success –

  1. Open Rate – Must be 15% and above to know that your subject line working correctly
  2. Bounce Rate – Must be below 15% to keep you on track and out of the SPAM folder
  3. Reply Rate – Need to start hitting 5% and above in a short period of time

Why do KPIs matter in the OSP?

We now live in a world of data and from that data we measure every aspect of our personal and business lives.  As we become more dependent on data and what this data means, we look to see how this data can improve our lives.  We all want to succeed and we know that data can help us achieve greater success.  Every industry, every sector, every business process uses data to push to greater heights.  This cannot be more true for the OSP.  We must measure every step of the OSP so that we can understand what is right and what is wrong.  We now have technology that can use sales data to reveal KPIs at each stage of the OSP.  We have clear indicators and thresholds that point us in the right direction – that keep us on track and help us correct our mistakes.  

As an example, if the Open rate is too low, then we must change the email subject line.  We can run A/B tests with different subject lines to find the right one – the one that pushes the Open rate KPI above 15%.  Same with the Reply rate – they might open the emails but not reply.  This means that the email content is off a bit and needs to be adjusted.  This can be time consuming – finding the right email format and the right email content to drive that Reply rate up above the minimum threshold of 5%.  The Bounce rate is the easiest to fix, but you must know the right mix of sales language and links in your email message (or lack thereof!) 

How do you improve OSP KPIs?

To improve the OSP KPIs, you must analyze every component of the OSP.  This means making sure that you are hitting the right contacts and using verified email addresses that won’t bounce too much.  This will allow your emails to get through to the right people, keeping your OSP KPIs on track from the start.  You must then find the right email format that will drive up the KPIs, above the aforementioned thresholds for success.  You must then determine the right cadence or schedule of outbound emails, to make sure you don’t follow-up too soon or too late.  All of these components must work together in perfect harmony to improve the OSP KPIs.  One slip in any of these areas could lead to the process breaking down and the KPIs dropping off the chart.

Bottomline: KPIs are more important to a successful outbound sales process than ever before.  With the maturity and gained knowledge of the OSP, combined with new technologies in automated sales platforms, you can now identify what it takes to create a successful OSP.  Actually, the most important KPI is at the end of the process – the sales opportunity.  The OSP with the right KPIs will create sales opportunities and ultimate success.

Oppaday is a proven outbound sales process system.

The Oppaday system provides the knowledge and foundation to build an ongoing successful outbound sales process.




Tyler Toby, Founder, brings over 20 years of experience with 4 successful startup exits and repeated success building out sales systems.

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