Coaching for Improvement - Follow-Up Meeting Ratio
One of the metrics that many AE managers find useful as an early precursor to win rate is the Follow-Up Meeting Ratio. Most teams operate within a band when it comes to the ratio of follow-up meetings to first meetings, and deviation from that ratio tends to indicate something is up that’s worth paying attention to.
A low follow-up meeting to first meeting ratio may be an indicator that an AE is having trouble moving deals down the pipeline and, as such, may warrant a coaching conversation around how to set clear next steps and ask for the next meeting.
What the follow-up meeting ratio tells you is how much of a rep’s total meeting effort is being put towards top-of-funnel engagement versus continued interaction with an account to move a deal towards close.
So, if this metric is lower than where you’d like it to be, what do you do?
- Check to make sure that follow-up meeting ratio isn’t low because of meeting overload
When you see that follow-up meeting ratio is low, do a quick check of the meetings card to confirm that too few follow-up meetings is the real issue. It’s possible that someone could be having more total meetings than their peers and a lot more initial meetings. If that’s the case, it may be that the person with the low follow-up meeting ratio has a capacity problem rather than, or in addition to, a skill problem. This might look like rep MV, who is having more total meetings on a higher number of initial meetings:
This is still an issue you want to address! If an AE is having fewer follow-up meetings because they’re having 20 meetings a week while everyone else on the team is having 15, and they’re also having 13 initial meetings to everyone else’s 6, then you’ll want to dig into how and why that imbalance is happening. Are they taking too many initial meetings that aren’t fully qualified? Are they benefitting from a lopsided territory that is getting a disproportionate percentage of the inbound opportunities? Are they struggling to convert initial meetings to follow-up meetings and trying to solve for their own skill gap by demonstrating a higher level of effort in prospecting for new deals? Whatever the cause, it’s likely something that needs to be addressed, unless it really is just a short-term blip that resulted in higher initial meetings for a short time.
If the AE with a lower follow-up meeting ratio is having the same number or fewer meetings as the rest of the team, then that’s more likely an issue that can be addressed by one of the steps below.
- Ask the AE to schedule follow-up meetings with Untouched Opps
One thing about the Untouched Opps card that’s nice is that we don’t count an opportunity as untouched if there’s a meeting on the calendar in the future. You can pick a reasonable number of days since last touch - maybe you choose to set it at 10 - so that you can see all opportunities without a touch in the past 10 days and with no meetings on the calendar in the future. You can look at this card and ask the AEs to set follow-up meetings with these specific opportunities.
- Listen in on initial calls for AEs who are struggling with their follow-up meeting ratio
If you have a solution like Chorus or Gong, you can do this with call recordings. Many of the videoconference providers, such as Zoom, also have a recording feature available. You can also do this by joining calls live.
Either way, what you’re listening for is what’s blocking the AE from being able to get a second meeting - Are they not communicating value appropriately to generate sufficient interest in that second meeting? Are they not creating a compelling event? Are they just not asking for the second meeting or not setting next steps on the call?
This is where human managers are required - software is great, but Atrium is telling you where to look. You still need a human to do the last piece of diagnosis as to what specifically may be blocking them and create an action plan to improve that aspect of their pitch.
As with all performance conversations, remember to document the conversation! Make sure you and your AE are both clear on what the issue is and what steps you’re taking to address it so that you can revisit during future 1:1s to ensure that, once this problem is fixed, it doesn’t recur.
Again, addressing performance issues early and often is key, as discussed in Atrium’s “The Problem with Sales Performance Problems” note.
Of course, feel free to reach out to your Atrium Sales Strategy Success Manager if you need any help on using these metrics, or implementing any of these coaching strategies. We’re here to help!