Top Outbound Call Center KPIs

If you’re managing an outbound call center, the issue isn’t really whether or not to measure operations. Rather, the issue is finding the right types of key performance indicators (KPIs) that are going to be relevant to your unique operation. If you routinely measure and fully understand how to interpret your KPIs, then achieving a successful outbound call center operation will be easy.

The KPIs below outline key metrics used by the industry’s most successful outbound call centers. Using these KPIs will provide you with proven results-driven metrics that you will need to manage and improve the performance of your outbound call center.


1. Conversion Rate

Conversion rate (measured as a percentage) is the calculation of the percentage of calls that resulted in a successful sale or in some cases, can also mean a successful contact with a customer. The higher your conversion rate percentage is, the better. A low conversion rate increases your cost per lead and ultimately impacts your company’s overall revenue. If your conversion rate isn’t where it needs to be or fails to improve over time.

Although, the following KPIs are all important–there is no question that on face value conversion rate is one of the most impactful KPIs that are affecting your outbound operation everyday.


2. First Call Close

The First Call Close (FCC) metric indicates the number of sales that were made on an agent’s “first call” or contact with the customer. While closing a sale on the first call may be difficult for some business types and offerings, the ability to do so will not only drastically improve your business’ overall  efficiency, but will ultimately allow you to generate more revenue, faster.

You may not find the solution to FCC immediately. However, it is important that you are identifying trends that have led to successful sales; constantly tweaking and optimizing your campaigns to account for those factors. The best way to improve this KPI is by providing your sales reps/ agents with a well thought out guided script that will not only help build your agents’ confidence, but will also guide them through the success-proven process of a sales call. A call center software that provides dynamic scripting, for example, will give the agents a very calculated approach to building rapport on the first call.

3. Calls per Record

The calls per Record KPI tracks the total number of attempts made to reach a prospect in a specific campaign. Calls per record attributes to the sales cycle to certain leads. For calls per record, managers should take a very hard look at how you define your sales cycle.

In sales, not every first call is going to be a sale. However, if many leads need a multitude of calls to arrive to a cold lead/sale this can be an indicator of inaccurate reporting on the behalf of your agents.

To combat bad reporting, call center managers should look into a platform that streamlines dispositions and post call status. Many, cloud contact centers integrate your favorite CRMs and make custom reporting much easier for your agents.

4. Calls per Agent

Calls per agent defines how often your agents are on task. Are your agents on AWAY or simply ignoring potential new customers? As a manager, you know the daunting task of keeping all of your agents constantly on task. Unmotivated agents in your call center can result in an environment where your agents lack of productivity is hurting campaign efforts. Combat low Calls per Agent by integrating motivation & incentivizing your call center.

However, if your agents are normally on task– the issue can also be the system you use. Hand dialing is extremely tasking. Automatic dialers, can truly optimize any call center by making the process of reaching customers one that is automated & efficient.

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5. Hit Rate

Hit rate is defined as the number of sales of a product divided by the number of customers who go online, call, or visit a company to find out about the product. For call centers, calculate the Hit Rate by dividing the number of calls made by an agent by the number of those calls that were answered by a customer or prospect. If this rate is low, your list is not as accurate as it needs to be.

Understanding hit rate means you are understanding who your target persona is. If you have a low hit rate– your data is likely inaccurate or you are reaching the wrong people in the wrong fashion. Use your dispositions to rate the customers you are reaching & when entering a new lead into the system always make sure you have appropriate info.

Importantly, you also must make sure your sales effort are compliant with the law.

6. List Penetration Rate

List penetration rate measures the number of prospect records closed versus the overall number of records in the campaign. Each record represents a cost of acquisition. Therefore, it’s important to know if the team is making efficient use of the list.

Overall, list penetration helps assess the accuracy of your lists. Oftentimes, managers without clean data will see weak list penetration since they are either calling: Cold leads, members of the DNC list, or simply inactive peppers. For more info on the importance of list penetration check out this vendor seek article.

7. Total Agent Call Connects

When this KPI is low, it indicates that your call center agents aren’t connecting with enough prospects or customers, and therefore aren’t maximizing their potential output and productivity levels. A low number of total agent call connects  typically stems from using a contact list that isn’t accurate or improper dialing procedures. Automated outbound dialing systems will drastically help your call center operation increase the number of live call connects per agent.

8. Average Hold Time

Average hold time is a newer metric referring to outbound calling. Due to automated dialing systems, many customers are sometimes stuck on hold waiting for an agent to sell them a product or receive a certain deal. Prospects should not need to wait on hold before an agent answers an outbound call. It leads to call abandonment and reduces overall profitability.

If you see that your customers are waiting too long in queues, you will likely need to reduce your dialing level.

9. Average Call Length 

How long do you like sitting in on a sales call? Probably not too long...and your customers will definitely be feeling the same way. If calls are taking too long, you likely will need to streamline your scripting efforts. A call center solution that offers dynamic scripting will allow your agents to flow to common questions or even flag an area that is giving them trouble in a sales call.

10. Occupancy Rate

Occupancy rate refers to the time an agent spends on calls versus the time spent between calls. This KPI directly covers how productive your agents are. Increasing job productivity within any industry is a difficult task, however there are many options out there for you to increase productivity within your call center. Gamification is a proven method within call centers to increase agent productivity.

Another option for call center managers is to get a solution that allows for real time monitoring for live agent status monitoring.

11. Call quality analysis

Call quality analysis is one of the most important KPIs in the call center industry. Simply enough, what is the quality of your calls? Are your customers happy? Are your agents at times lost in calls with customers or providing inaccurate information?

Looking at call quality is one the best ways to improve your outbound operation. Analyzing call quality will give you a peek into what your customers deal with every time they are on the phone with your agents.

At the end of the day, call center solutions are just a tool to increase the quality for your customers. However, all the tools that call center solutions offer can only help to an extent. It is up to you to use all the methods available to you to increase the quality relationships you have with your customers.

12. Abandoned Call Ratio

Abandoned call ratio calculates the amount of callers that answer but leave the queue prior to connecting to a live agent.

To calculate Abandoned Call Ratio:

Abandonment rate % = [Number of Calls offered – Number of Calls handled] / [Number of Calls offered] * 100

It is common practice to exclude the first 5 seconds of calls to remove customers that were reached incorrectly: accidently picked up or answered but under the wrong contact/wrong number.

Abandoned call ratio is an extremely standardized KPI that is measured industry wide. Typically your call center should have somewhere between a 2-5% abandonment rate. However, anything over 5% needs to be examined and based on industry averages is not an acceptable.

To fix abandonment look at fixing your call forecasting. Your outbound efforts might be too effective at certain times–leaving customers without a live agent to talk to. You should constantly be upgrading your messaging if you see your customers leaving during their IVR or in-queue messages.

Once you have a good history of tracking these types of KPIs, you’ll be able to plan marketing campaigns more effectively and profitably. You’ll be able to choose the right prospect lists, scripts, sales approaches, staffing, and automated systems to meet your next set of goals.

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