Most salespeople think about meetings in terms of purpose, frequency and pipeline. But there’s one critical areas that most sales professionals overlook, and it’s often the area that’s most tied to revenue.
Here are the typical sales questions when it comes to meetings:
1) What’s the purpose of the call?
Is it an explorational first meeting? A product demo? Or is the call scheduled to review a proposal and close the sale?
2) How many do I have scheduled this coming week?
Salespeople know that the percentage of deals they’re likely to close, and roll up those estimates into the number of meetings they schedule. For example, if you need to close 5 deals this month, and have a 30% close rate, you’ll schedule 5 calls/week.
3) What’s the quality of my pipeline?
Is this a qualified lead? How great is the perceived pain? What’s the timeline for a decision? Does this person have the power to make the final purchase decision?
All of these concerns are important to maintaining an effective sales process, but research shows that your chances of achieving what you want in a meeting rise and fall with your ability to start the meeting on time.
Wainhouse Research estimates that 50% of all meetings start late—or never start at all. Most of time the time, it’s because meeting attendees are either:
- Scouring their email for the call-in number or access code
- Have entered the umpteen-digit access code incorrectly, and have to hang up and call again
- Are stuck waiting for meeting applications to download. This is especially a problem if you’re at a hotel with slow internet
- Can’t make the meeting at all because you’re caught behind company firewalls and can’t download the meeting app—or because it’s malfunctioned
- Miss the meeting because you forgot to enter the meeting into Outlook or iCal
In fact, I just talked to a woman who had scheduled a web call to demo a new tool to 300 prospects. Over 150 showed up, but no one could see her presentation because the meeting application malfunctioned. They had to cancel the presentation.
Stop for a minute. How likely do you think it is that that woman will be able to reschedule with all of those prospects? Chances are, she’s lost her chance with many of them.
Say you have 10 sales reps, and each one schedules an average of 10 calls each week. Your average deal size is $10,000. If 50% of your meetings start late or not at all, you are putting $500,000 worth of revenue at risk each week.
Sales departments have put up with clunky virtual meeting technology because there’s been nothing better. But those days are over.
If you’re using archaic tools that require access codes, call-in numbers and downloads, it’s time to upgrade. As you start to consider new options, make sure you look for:
- Instant access to meetings. You don’t even remember your mom’s phone number anymore, why should you have to remember call-in information for meetings you have every week—let alone download the same meeting app over and over? Just like you call Mom on speed dial, look for options that let you and your guests simply visit the same URL online.
- Easy content management. Think drag and drop files.
- Notification functionality. You’ll never be late for a meeting again if you receive email or text reminders
- Predictable costs. Watching your minutes (so you don’t exceed your budget) is a hassle. Look for simple billing and licensing structures, so you can know your costs in advance.
The last common concern that salespeople always have is to explicitly ask for the close. Well, I’m a salesperson myself, so here it goes:
PGi just launched GlobalMeet 3.0, which offers all of the above options and more. Will you schedule a demo today?