You can’t fill your calendar with meaningful meetings if prospects don’t show up—here are 6 effective strategies for improving your show rate in B2B sales.
The meeting is set, you’ve spent time preparing, and you can feel the excitement already—a closed deal is upon you. You’ve worked hard for this, and the partnership seems like a perfect fit. The only thing left to do is pitch the prospect and close the deal. It may seem like that’s all there is left to do, but the salesperson still has one more thing to worry about: getting the prospect to actually show up to the meeting.
It’s something that a lot of B2B sales reps don’t think about until it happens to them; the possibility that a prospect might cancel last minute or not show up at all. As a salesperson, nothing punches you in the gut quite like getting ghosted. It’s the only thing worse than getting rejected because in this case, you wasted valuable time preparing and blocked out time on your busy schedule. Getting rejected in the first place would be preferable compared to that.
So, how can you avoid this? It may seem totally out of your control, but fortunately, there are things you can do to increase your show rate and avoid those dreaded no-show appointments.
How to Improve Your Show Rate In a B2B Appointment Setting Program
Every no-show in B2B sales not only represents a lost opportunity, but it also slows productivity. The more no-shows you have, the less you’ll sell as an organization. Plus, your sales reps will get burnt out and lose motivation if they’re not consistently pitching. This is why it’s so important to develop strategies to improve your show rate in a B2B appointment setting program.
Here are six effective strategies for improving your show rates.
1. Decrease Time Between Setting the Appointment and the Pitch
The number one thing you can do to increase your show rates for virtual meetings is to decrease the time before the meeting. When a prospect expresses interest in scheduling a meeting, try to get a time on the calendar no more than two days later. If a Sales Development Representative (SDR) can ‘live transfer’ the prospect to a B2B Account Executive—even better!
In a study involving 1.25 million online sales leads, it was found that firms who tried to contact potential customers within an hour of receiving a query were seven times more likely to qualify the lead (have a meaningful conversation with a key decision-maker) compared to those who tried to contact the customer even an hour later. When compared to companies who waited longer than 24 hours to contact leads, they were 60x more likely to qualify a lead.
Leads go cold fast, and it’s important to pitch a prospect shortly after you have piqued their interest.This means making the window of time between scheduling a meeting and pitching a prospect as short as possible. If a prospect is already taking time out of their day to speak with you about scheduling a meeting; chances are, they have 30 minutes to talk with a sales rep about your products or services. Have your SDRs locked and loaded with a well-thought-out technical process on how to live transfer leads over to an open B2B Account Executive; this way, you can easily hand off leads and complete more pitches!
2. Ask if Other Decision-Makers Need to Join the Meeting
When SDRs schedule an appointment, make sure they are asking if any other stakeholders need to be on the call. More people joining the call gives you a higher chance that at least one of them will show up. Not only that but when two people from the same organization are both on a call, they’re both more likely to join because they don’t want to feel like they’re wasting their colleague’s time. Suddenly, it’s more about them and not so much about you. Make them feel like this is their meeting just as much as it is yours, then, they’ll feel more obligated to show up.
This is also why it’s so important to familiarize yourself with the types of prospects you sell to. For example, if you often speak to HVAC leads, you should know the types of decision-makers you’ll be speaking with. Ask if a Facility Manager, Plant Manager, and Maintenance Manager can all join the call. In fact, you might even ask if a higher level executive employee can join the call (a manager or director). Explain to the client that the more people who join the call, the better. It will make the presentation more collaborative and more informative for everyone involved.
3. Set Up Automated Confirmation and Reminder Emails
Simple yet effective, setting up automated confirmation and reminder emails is a great way to increase your show rate. Potential customers are busy people just like you; and without a reminder, a meeting might slip their mind. This is why it’s important to send a confirmation email (confirming the time and date of the meeting) and a reminder email (reminding them of the meeting one day prior or on the day of the meeting).
Your Account Executives should be the ones sending out confirmation and reminder emails since they will be the ones pitching. Make sure they always ask a question in the body of the email. For example:
So I can better prepare, what are you looking to get from this meeting?
Prepping for our meeting.. is there anything specific that I can clarify for you?
I’m doing some research on your company to prepare for our meeting, is there anything specific about us that you’d like to cover the most?
Asking questions in reminder emails gets the prospect thinking about the meeting and keeps your organization top-of-mind.
4. Call to Confirm Every Morning for the Pitches You Have That Day
If you have a high-functioning SDR team to back your sales team, you should have pitches scheduled every single day. Part of an SDR’s job should be to call and confirm every morning for the pitches scheduled that day.
Email reminders are great, but they can get lost in cluttered inboxes. Calling a prospect is just one more touchpoint you can use to ensure they haven’t forgotten about you. If the meeting is in the AM, call in the morning to leave a voicemail. If the meeting is set in the afternoon, wait until the afternoon to leave a voicemail. Always try to catch a prospect shortly before the meeting.
5. Don’t Forget About Prospects That ‘Canceled’ Because Something Came Up
Sometimes, prospects cancel meetings—it’s inevitable. This doesn’t mean you should forget about them. A lot of times, SDR teams will make a conscious effort to call back no-shows and reschedule meetings, but place no emphasis on companies who canceled (it’s because SDRs think they aren’t interested). In reality, they didn’t reschedule because they weren’t interested, something legitimately came up and they didn’t have the time to reach back out and get a new time solidified. Make it an initiative for your SDRs to not only focus on no-shows but also focus on reconnecting with your ‘canceled’ bucket.
6. Have a Solid Appointment Pitch
The sales development team plays an important role in B2B sales; SDRs are the last person to speak with a prospect before a meeting. Make sure you have a solid appointment pitch; leave them with a sense of urgency at the end of the call. Think of this as ‘the pitch before the pitch.’ Your job is to get the prospect excited and leave them with nuggets of information that will have them thinking for hours, maybe even days, about this meeting. Also, always ask them to accept the calendar invite on the call.
“We just hit 98% to goal in pitches for the first time ever in Abstrakt history because of utilizing a combo of these tips. We realized that our talk track displayed urgency, but our actions didn’t. We became proactive versus reactive in shortening the time frame on a pitch, practicing live transfers that added to our overall pitch number, and ultimately two live transfers also resulted in deals! Instead of picking one practice at a time to implement, we ultimately threw all of them at once as an expectation on our team and they picked most of them up seamlessly and worked together as a team to increase our show rate by 10% and hit a number of virtual pitches we’ve never seen before!”
Amie MilnerSenior Director of Sales Enablement | Abstrakt Marketing Group
Take it from a group of B2B appointment setting experts who have consistently improved their show rates month after month—our strategies WORK. Keeping your calendar filled with meaningful meetings is extremely important. But to do this, you need to not only book meetings, but also be actively implementing strategies that will increase your show rate. Only then will you achieve true B2B sales success. To learn more about B2B lead generation and business growth, contact Abstrakt Marketing Group today.