How to improve SQL Meeting attendance
September 12th, 2018
[ This article is inspired by the commentary from a thread composed by members of the Modern Sales Pros community — an exclusive, invite-only, group of sales operations, enablement, management, and leadership experts. We are sponsoring membership for any of our readers who want to join the community — apply for community membership here and put us “MoData” down as your sponsor. ]
Across the industry, what all Managers agree upon is that a 100% SQL Meeting attendance is a white whale. The reasons could be many, ranging from a dithering prospect to something as simple as forgetting when a meeting was scheduled for to something as annoying as a misread lead. Whatever the reasons, managers across have developed their own formulae for maximizing attendance. And while the general industry standard for attendance seems to hold steady between 60-80%, although some managers claim to have cracked a formula that brings that number up to a whopping 96%.
So let’s look at some of these formulae, shall we?
Some of the popular ones that everyone across the industry seems to agree upon when it comes to inbound SQLs seem to be:
- Reminders: Reminder text messages or emails the day before or the day of. Some have set up automated systems for these and some do it manually, but all seem to agree, that this is quite effective in bringing down poor attendance performances. Some managers feel that text messages a few minutes or even an hour before a meeting is by far their most effective stratagem to reduce the chances of a no-show.
- Contact Capturing: Capturing the prospects cell phone number at the time of making the appointment works like magic. This is usually the handiest resource to dig out and besides allowing you to send him a text message reminder as mentioned above, it helps you make personal contact, provided you agree to use it only to set up appointments and respect that boundary.
- Plan-B: Ensure you put into place, a no-show meeting protocol with relevant attendance fields and reports. Don’t just let the prospect slip away without having a proper back-up plan.
- Short Courtship: Set short intervals between your first call and the next scheduled meeting. Ensure the meeting can happen in the next few days. Too long a gap and you’ll lose urgency. If it is unavoidable, set reminders to the beginning of the week of and the day prior.
- Hot Transfers: Some managers think you should consider hot transfers. If there an AE available on the spot, use that to flip the deal live.
Measures to Improve SQL Meeting Attendance
- Drive the Process with strength and confidence: Ensure your SDR keeps the closing language strong – this is especially important on outbound teams where cold conversations were being converted into confirmations. Confidence was found to be key when comparing the exec with the best and the poorest conversion rates. For example – Leading and securing the date of the next meeting rather than leaving it open ended and putting the ball in the prospects court.
- Relevant Follow-up Engagement: Ensure your reps send a minutes email with their perspectives and next recommended steps, locking in the lead to confirm the details after their initial call, helps improve show rates. It gets the prospect to buy-in further by creating a more professional and urgent experience that makes it harder for the prospect to slip away.
- Personal Attention: While scheduling a reminder for the meeting, the rep should ask questions that makes the lead feel like your firm is invested in him, for eg:, “What point do you want me to research so we can come up with a solution that better suits what you need. This subtly reminds the prospect of the meeting in terms of what they will get from it, rather than leave him feeling like he is being pushed or annoyed and establishes credibility for the salesperson. He will feel like the firm is taking the time to get to know him and cater to his needs.