Table of Contents:
- Understanding the Low Meeting Activity situation
- Diagnosing Possible Root Causes & Resolving Them
A low level of customer facing meeting activity can be an indicator of a variety of issues, but is a serious issue and typically needs resolution. Customer facing meeting activity is the fundamental unit of selling activity - so a deficit of customer meeting volume will generally result in undesirable wins and bookings outcomes. It’s typically a high criticality issue to address.
Understanding the Low Meeting Activity situation
A low number of customer facing meetings can have a number of root causes.
- Low opportunity counts offering insufficient “targets to shoot at”
- Low second meeting volumes indicating issues advancing commercial conversations
- Scattered attention being spent on things other than customer facing activities
Diagnosing Possible Root Causes & Resolving Them
These are some of the most common root causes of an undesirable amount of customer facing meetings - figuring out the likely issue at hand will allow for applying the correct solution and fixing the problem.
Low Opportunity Count?
Metric(s): Opportunities Owned
Action Item: Increase the rep’s opp count.
A common root cause of insufficient customer facing meeting volume might be a low number of opportunities owned by a given rep. If a rep doesn’t have deals to be having meetings with…that may make it difficult.
This can be diagnosed by looking at their total opp count over the time period in which you observe the low customer facing meeting volume, and comparing it to peers.
If a given rep is underloaded with respect to opps, then it may be necessary to prioritize them in a round-robin assignment, or assign more prospecting focus to them.
The secondary investigation would be to sort out what the root cause of the low opportunity ownership situation. Is it driven by a lack of new opportunity inflow? Or does the rep have the same levels of opportunity inflow as others, and instead is more prone to closed losting them at a faster pace?
Prescription: In a low opportunity count situation, the first step is to increase opportunity counts. This may entail prioritizing them in a round robin or assignment more prospecting focus.
Longer term, the results of the secondary investigation (where did the low opp counts come from?) may point to another set of prescriptions to solve the problem on a longer term basis.
Low Second Meeting Count?
Action Item: Coach on advancing to next steps.
Another common issue with customer meeting activity is an absence of “second” meetings. That is, each first meeting with a potential client typically represents a string of incremental meetings, assuming an effective first meeting is conducted with good-fit prospects.
If first meetings are not conducted effectively, this will often prevent follow-up meetings - typically showing up as a lack of those follow-up meetings in activity.
Since backfilling that activity with first meetings can be challenging, this will often impact overall meeting volume.
This can be diagnosed by looking at meeting volumes split by meeting type, or also looking at “Follow Up Meeting” ratios as well.
Prescription: Addressing a second-meeting deficit isn’t straightforward. Typically it indicates a problem with the effectiveness of discovery meetings.
The simple version of this can be as basic as coaching reps to always ensure there is a next meeting on the calendar before concluding the call they’re on (assuming they are likely not doing this).
More advanced version of this would be listening to a good number of first calls to identify how they are being conducted in a way that is not driving prospect engagement, interest, and excitement, and fixing whatever is discovered.
Action Item: Focus rep on customer activity
A rarer case can be when a rep is spending their work hours on non-customer facing activity. That is, they don’t have an opportunity ownership deficit, but rather they’re filling their day with things that don’t involve customer engagement in the form of meetings.
A way to diagnose this is to inspect the rep’s calendar to see what they are spending their time on. Large blocks of unallocated time typically indicates this issue.
Prescription: Redirect the rep to spend their time on customer facing activities.