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Mike DamphousseMike
Damphousse

Green Leads' Founder, CEO and CMO, Mike Damphousse, writes frequently about b2b marketing, demand generation, appointment setting, lead gen, and marketing in general.


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The ROI of Conference Calls vs. Face to Face Meetings

  
  
  

b2b appointment settingEver wonder if your enterprise sales team should be on the road heading to an introductory first meeting with a prospect?  I was recently in the UK for business and saw sales reps investing a half day or more traveling for 30-60 minute meetings.  Do the results differ if they were to have taken those introductory meetings by phone?  Many would say yes, but the data begs to differ.

Green Leads measures the sales outcome of our client's b2b appointment setting programs.  We do this to gain an immediate measure of the program as opposed to waiting out long sales cycles to show true ROI.  By measuring this immediate outcome, it brings short term metrics to the program.

We measure sales outcome of the meetings in three ways:

A) Immediate Sales Activity: the meeting results in immediate sales activity (proposal, trial, second meeting, addition of other decision makers to the process, etc.)

B) Nurturable Activity: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, and it has potential, but needs nurturing over time.  A portion of these will convert to sales activity over time.

C) Not a Fit: the meeting was with a prospect that had the right decision maker profile, but one or both parties decided there was not a fit, the lead is closed out.

With 5 years of data, the overall distribution of meetings is roughly a third, a third and a third:  

Phone Meetings vs Face to Face ABC

It's marginal, but the resulting outcome between phone meetings and face to face shows that phone actually has a higher percentage of immediate sales activity. 

Don't get me wrong, the value of face time is huge, but isn't the value of having an active sales process more important?  Things to consider:

  • Sales reps can conduct more meetings if using phone, and more meetings converting at an similar rate to face to face means more efficiency.
  • Reduced travel costs impacts the budget with phone meetings.  
  • With the advent of technology, web meeting capabilities, and trends in time management, more prospects are inclined to take introductory meetings by phone (poll results).  This may result in sales reps being able to have more conversations with prospects they might otherwise not have been able to.

One drawback to phone meetings, they are more likely to blow you off.  It's easy to miss a phone call, it's harder to say no to someone sitting in your lobby.  Our data shows that phone meetings reschedule/cancel 20% more than face to face. 

Me?  I would much rather have a sales rep prove to me in a 20 minute phone call why he should come visit and use my face time.  You?

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