The Most Important Appointment Setting Metrics

6 minutes

The Most Important Appointment Setting Metrics

Whether you're outsourcing your appointment setting efforts or conducting them inhouse with a sales development rep (SDR) team, it's important to track the right metrics so you have visibility of their effectiveness. The metrics in this article are what we consider to be the main metrics worth tracking.

# records touched

The number of records touched (or engaged with) is the easiest way to measure how productive your appointment setters are. It gives you a quick indication of how many conversations have been started.

You'll notice that we've said 'touched' and conversations. The reason for this is because tracking the number of email and cold calls isn't a good measure of appointment setting performance. A good measure is the number of connections that resulted in some form of conversation.

Therefore, it's important to measure this metric in a way that focuses on how many conversations your appointment setters or SDRs are having. Low connect rates is a reality of appointment setting, but conversational issues like problems finding the right point of contact are challenges that can be overcome with better training and tools.

Touches not dials

A question we get from our clients during our sales process is the difference between a 'touch' and a 'dial' or 'email'. A phone call is a touch, so is an email, a LinkedIn message and an SMS. These are all touches.

However, to illustrate how we measure this, let's look at an example touch cadence borrowed from our article on Different B2B Prospecting Strategies.

Example Cadence (Email, Cold Call, SMS and Voicemail)

Step 1: Voicemail & Email

Step 2: Phone Call & SMS

Step 3: Phone Call & Email

Step 4: Email

Step 5: Phone Call, Voicemail, SMS & Email

Leave 2-3 business days between each step. In the event you go through an entire cadence block without a response, repeat all steps three weeks later. Repeat the cadence block two times total before removing the contact from your prospect list.

At Fide, when we talk about the number of dials or emails an appointment setter has made, we're referring to each periodic attempt an appointment setter makes to reach each prospect. The difference for us is that we include each touch - the voicemail, email, SMS etc. - within one attempt or 'dial'.

A big reason for this is because we need to differentiate between dials and touches as it allows us to track not only how many prospects are being reached out to but if they're using all the channels available to them.

# touches over time

Whether you're solely cold-calling or using a multi-channel prospecting approach, another metric to look at is the average number of times a record is touched. It gives create into your prospecting strategy and lets you know:

  1. How long it takes on average it takes for a prospect to engage (have a conversation)
  2. How long it takes on average for a lead to become a sales-qualified lead
  3. If your appointment setters are being proactive with their prospects

This metric on its own is enough to tell you if your appointment setters or SDRs are not maintaining a proper cadence.

No matter the cadence your team uses, it's important that they follow the steps. This way, with all other variables the same, you get better insight into which cadences work best for you plus how receptive your prospects are. For example, if you find that touching prospects six times over two-weeks gives the highest engagement rates, you'll want to update your cadences to match this new benchmark.

Touch frequency can also be combined with another dimension like 'lead source' to determine if certain sources are easier to engage for your company. For example, you might find that leads sourced from content downloads are receiving the same amount touches as trade show leads but not converting as well. Therefore, you may decide to adjust the frequency being used for content download leads or identify if there are issues in your messaging.

Therefore, touches over time is worth tracking as it helps both determine your ideal cadence per lead source along with where your most promising leads are being sourced from.

% of appointments completed

There's typically a huge focus from B2B companies on the number of appointments set. However, anyone who has been the industry for more than a month understands that you're likely to get a number of no-shows - prospects that book an appointment but never show up. It's Fide's opinion that you should be more concerned with how many appointments are completed.

By tracking your completion rate, you're able to get insight into the quality of leads, SDR performance and the nature of the target industry. All three of these are also factors that can cause a low appointment completion rate.

A 90% completion rate may seem overly optimistic but keep in mind the rate varies depending on the buyer persona, sales cycle and average selling price of the solution. Similarly, completion rates should be higher for marketing qualified leads versus cold leads.

Either way, if you notice this rate dropping over time, we suggest taking a big look at some of the variables within the qualification process.

Lead Quality

If you've had experience with cold calls, you've definitely encounter the prospect who sets an appointment with you just so they can get you off the phone. This is typically the result of poor lead quality - you're offering doesn't resonate with the prospect, their needs and pain points.

At Fide, we always recommend investing time into creating a tested buyer persona and to use an account-based selling approach where you're narrowly targeting prospects. If you start seeing a significantly lower meeting rate than expected, it's time to revisit the quality of your leads.

No matter how good your SDRs or appointment setters are, it's very unlikely that a lead will book an appointment and eventually buy your solution if they're not a good fit.

Target industry

Assuming you're contacting the right leads and qualifying them properly, a low appointment completion rate could be the result of the prospect's industry. As an example, industrial prospects who are typically on the road or working out in the field are harder to get in touch with than those in an office all day. Nonetheless, we've included some ways you can improve your completion rates:

  • Send meeting invites immediately whilst still on the phone with the prospect or straight after you send an email
  • Confirm that they've received the calendar invite ahead of time and accepted
  • Contact the prospect the day before to confirm their attendance

Quantity and Quality

Although the easiest way to measure appointment setting efforts is by the quantity of appointments set, it's important to take it a step further to ensure your efforts can be improved over time. Looking a volume is usually a good start, but it's important to look at the quality of your outreach and qualification process. Remember, sales is process driven and processes need data for refinement and optimisation. If you're interested in outsourcing your appointment setting efforts, get in touch with Fide today.

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