Published by Calendly - April 19, 2018

How to book better (and more qualified) meetings

Insights from three SaaS sales leaders.

As simple as it may seem, one of the biggest opportunities sales teams miss out on is booking high-quality meetings.

“It’s not the sexiest topic—we all want to know how to close the deal, how to negotiate massive contracts, about the latest automated hack.. but the mechanics of booking a meeting are foundational and fundamental to success.” – Steli Efti

Our director of sales Rachel Williams recently participated in a panel webinar with SalesHacker’s head of sales Scott Barker and Close.io’s CEO Steli Efti. Here are some helpful insights for sales teams looking to book better, more qualified meetings.

How do you convince a prospect to agree to schedule a meeting with you in the first place?

As a sales rep, you’re often tasked with sending cold emails. How can you stand out among the tens of other cold emails your prospects are getting each day? It’s simple, really—get right to the point and pitch the meeting itself, not just your service.

Acknowledge that you know the person you’re reaching out to is busy and tie your meeting back to what’s in it for them. If you do your research up front, personalize your messaging and keep it concise, you’ll be ahead of the other emails in their inbox.

“Always try to get inside the mind of your potential buyer and what keeps them up at night.” – Rachel

What to avoid? Don’t include paragraphs of content about what your product does—your prospect doesn’t have time to (and likely won’t) read that. Instead, focus on what they will get out of joining a demo with you and how it will help them meet their goals.

“You need to sell the meeting before you sell the product or service. It’s just as important because if you don’t get the first meeting, you can’t explain the value prop.” – Scott

How do you get a prospect to show up once they agree to schedule the meeting?

We understand that a poor no-show rate can make a massive impact on meeting your quota each month or quarter. There are a couple of tricks you can implement as a sales rep to make sure your prospects show up for demos and other sales meetings:

  • Send a high-level agenda so your prospect knows what to anticipate, helping to show extra buy-in on your side that you care about the customer and are putting in extra work. “I’ve always been given feedback that the extra details here and there really do add up.” – Rachel
  • If you have an automated scheduling tool, you can include automated email or text reminders in the cadence of your choice. For example, Rachel sets her Calendly email reminders 24 hours and then 4 hours ahead of time, which not only reminds the prospect, but gives them the opportunity to reschedule (instead of drop off) if a last-minute conflict comes up.
  • Never schedule too far in advance. “If the decision to meet and meeting are too far apart, your prospect will never remember why they wanted to meet with you or even who you are—try to book meetings as close to your pitch as possible.” – Steli

After the meeting, how do you keep in touch with prospects to move the deal forward?

The deal typically doesn’t end with the call. The panel stressed the importance of setting expectations for follow-up.

Every call should end with a future commitment and transparency on the timeline. Sharing next steps at the end of each call helps keep things moving.

Scott likes to get creative and share video recaps with his prospects. In the video, he highlights the main points covered while focusing on those that are most relevant to the team and their needs. This tactic helps transition your point of contact as an internal salesperson when sharing with other key decision makers.

A challenge often faced by reps during this time period is that there can be a significant amount of time that goes by before a decision is made. Rachel shared the importance of a value exchange throughout this process.

“If you have a week or two gap without interaction, you must find a way to keep your prospect engaged. This is a great time to share content that will resonate with them—holding on to these assets until you need to follow up is a great re-engagement tactic.”

Rachel, Scott and Steli share more insights like effective meeting formats, how to make the most important details stand out among distractions, the fine line between good research and over preparing, and more.

Listen to the webinar recording to learn more!