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Savvy sales managers know that high activity rates don't necessarily translate into more sales. It's great if a rep makes 50 calls in a day, but what if those dials don't result in a single live conversation? Their colleague who only made 20 calls but spoke with 10 decision makers probably has a better shot at making quota.

Connect rates are generally a better indication of sales success than activity. Too bad that the number of meaningful conversations reps are having per day is on the decline.

According to The Bridge Group's 2015 Inside Sales for SaaS report, salespeople at Software as a Service companies engage in an average of 6.6 conversations per day. This is nearly a 34% decrease from 9.5 conversations per day in 2012.

What's to blame for the decline? The report doesn't offer any insight, but it does stress the significance of this finding. 

"We aren’t willing to offer a cause for this drop. But we will caution -- this matters," the Bridge Group states. "This year and in each other report we’ve produced, we have found that more conversations per day is correlated with higher quota attainment." Indeed, the average percentage of reps making quota fell from 74% in 2012 to 67% today.

The study also revealed a drop in activity. While reps were making an average of 38 calls per day in 2012, this number has dropped to 33 calls per day in 2015 -- a 13% decrease. 

One potential explanation for this last finding could be that reps are bogged down with non-selling duties. Docurated's 2015 State of Sales Productivity Report found that 20% of salespeople's time is spent on reporting, administrative, and CRM-related tasks.

What do you think of this data? What's the cause of the decline in conversations in your opinion? Share in the comments, or tweet a response with the hashtag #HubSpotSales.

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Originally published May 13, 2015 7:30:00 AM, updated February 01 2017

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