The last thing any sales representative wants is to spend valuable time setting up sales meetings with prospects, only for them not to show up at the last minute. Unfortunately, this is a very common situation, as no-show rates in scheduled sales appointments and demos range from 10% to 50%.
In another blog article, we’ve already focussed on strategies you can use to boost show rates in your sales meetings, namely how to communicate with prospects through different pieces of content, how to simplify the whole process with your tech toolkit, and which channels to reach out through for the best results.
While in that article, we briefly mention the importance of having tools in place that help automate key aspects of your appointment scheduling process, we didn’t delve too much into how you can do that through conversational AI.
But that changes now! Keep reading to learn more about how Generative AI can help you every step of the way to a successful sales meeting.
Common Reasons for No-Shows
Why someone would not show up for an appointment they booked might not be easy for everyone to understand. However, it’s something that businesses continuously struggle with.
There can be a lot of different reasons why prospects don’t show up to sales meetings. They might lose interest or engagement from the first contact up until the actual meeting; they might be too busy to attend or forget about the meeting altogether; they might be trying to join, but face technical issues; business priorities might change, and the meeting is no longer necessary.
Understanding why prospects don’t show up to meetings helps sales managers take the necessary steps to increase show rates. However, that is only one side of the coin.
On the other end, you have your sales professionals who (even with the best of skills and intentions) often struggle to:
- Respond promptly enough: Slow responses to lead inquiries pose significant obstacles, risking missed opportunities.
- Schedule appointments efficiently: Complications that arise from manually coordinating and arranging meetings with leads can undermine your sales team’s efficiency and productivity. According to Salesforce’s State of Sales report, sales representatives spend an average of 72% of their time on tasks other than actually selling, including preparation and planning, and manually entering customer information.
- Share information and data: Data silos, despite its many known dangers, are still prevalent. Inefficient systems, such as those relying on manual data entry, cause sales agents not to have access to the most up-to-date information. In fact, according to the same Salesforce report, 82% of sales professionals say alignment with other sales reps is challenging.
- Access & leverage technological resources: Implementing new processes involving technical know-how, such as AI implementation, is often quite complex, leading to restricting the adoption of innovative solutions sales representatives could benefit from to become more productive and close more deals.
How Generative AI Can Help You Address Common No-Show Reasons
It’s your responsibility as a sales or business manager to make sure both sides for no-shows — from your leads’ and sales reps’ side — are addressed in an effective manner.
You should do this by taking into account the three core areas we’ve already discussed in this article — content, technology, and channels.
When it comes to content, sales representatives should focus on sending out tailored messages to their prospects that address challenges and pain points, instead of focusing solely on the product’s or service’s features. In the pre-meeting phase, they should send out interactive content such as articles, videos, infographics, or presentations that highlight the product’s value proposition. This way, they’ll be both educating and generating interest to keep prospects curious about the meeting. Finally, salespeople should send out effective meeting reminders that further emphasize benefits, and showcase the team’s unique expertise that will be shared during the meeting.
The technology that comes into play here is one that allows sales representatives to automate the sales appointment process, so that they can focus on adding value to the meetings. You can already see how conversational AI comes into play here. It can be used to answer FAQs ahead of the meeting or demo, collect prospect data for more effective lead scoring and avoiding fruitless meetings, and streamline appointment scheduling. But more on this later.
As for the channels, selecting the right communication channels is key to increasing show rates. Among the many to choose from — email, text messages, website chatbots, WhatsApp, social media, and more — the most important thing is to tailor the approach based on your prospects’ preferences, the message urgency, and the meeting context.
Addressing no-show reasons further requires sales professionals to take proactive steps, such as:
- Sending timely reminders about the upcoming meeting;
- Confirming meeting details, including time, date, and agenda, in advance;
- Clearly communicating the meeting’s value and benefits, to keep the prospect engaged and excited about it;
- Offering flexible scheduling options to accommodate the prospect's availability or any emergencies that might come up;
- Maintaining clear and effective communication throughout the sales process, before, during, and after the meeting.
As mentioned earlier, sales reps spend a significant portion of their workday focusing on administrative and manual tasks, such as the ones above, with just 28% of their time remaining to actually close sales.
The good news is, they don’t have to. Generative AI, in particular conversational AI, comes into play here as a helpful assistant in your sales processes that can contribute to minimizing no-shows.
Leveraging Generative AI for Effective Meeting Scheduling with Landbot
As briefly mentioned above, Generative AI–especially in the conversational form—can be a valuable tool to increase show rates for sales meetings.
But how, exactly?
With Landbot, you can pick from three AI Assistants:
Each of them is as simple to use as this: sign in or create an account, pick your use case, feed the bot with the prompt, and generate your assistant! Even though they’re AI-powered, Landbot’s assistants require no coding skills to launch, so even non-tech-savvy people can easily take on this task and build an assistant that’s most suitable for their use case.
And if you’re wondering which one you should choose, you don’t have to, since all three AI assistants can be a part of your sales appointment scheduling process.
AI Appointment Assistant
The AI Appointment Assistant allows you to provide a smooth, conversational booking experience to leads. By automating the meeting booking process through conversational AI, your leads can book appointments at their convenience, reducing the friction of having to wait to hear back from a sales rep and increasing the likelihood of attendance by having the appointment scheduled on the spot.
With just a few clicks on Landbot, you can connect your Google Calendar to your assistant and set up your meeting availability. This way, you won’t have to worry about coordinating and arranging time slots with leads, as they’ll select from a free time on your calendar. The AI Appointment Assistant further allows you to customize your meeting type, duration, and any other parameters you’re allowed to change on Google Calendar.
Next, you’ll have to define the questions to ask the lead ahead of the meeting, customize the AI Assistant as you please, and define the notification email to send the information gathered by it. And that’s it!
Additionally, if you launch an AI Appointment Assistant for WhatsApp, you can set up automatic meeting reminders to be sent through WhatsApp Campaigns that further ensure leads will be reminded of the meeting and show up to it.
AI Sales Assistant
Landbot’s AI Sales Assistant is a true game-changer for sales teams. It has a variety of use cases, including automatically qualifying leads, identifying the best sales opportunities, and increasing show rates to meetings by passing on to your sales team only the leads who have a high buying intent and, so, are more likely to show up.
So, how does that work?
Similarly to the FAQ bot, you can launch an AI sales rep on your website or on WhatsApp. However, instead of feeding it with a prompt that includes your prospects’ most frequently asked questions, in this case, you’ll fill in the smart questions you want the bot to ask to qualify your leads.
Alternatively, you can select from a list of pre-set use cases that will speed up your bot creation process:
As you can see, you can select either the “Ask for meeting based on qualification criteria” or the “pre-meeting discovery chat” options to help you qualify the leads and either, offer to book a meeting for the most likely to attend ones, or have the bot ask them any relevant questions to prepare for the meeting and make sure expectations are aligned beforehand.
AI FAQs Assistant
If you’re wondering: aren’t FAQs intended for customer support? You’re not wrong. However, as a sales representative, don’t you also come across certain repetitive questions from prospects?
An AI-powered FAQ bot can just as well be used in your sales operations to answer common lead inquiries. This way, you’ll ensure they’ll be getting their answers in real-time, which not only improves their experience, but also helps build trust and excitement, increasing the likelihood that the prospect will attend the booked meeting.
AI FAQ bots also help in maintaining that human touch that is very much needed to close sales. They can provide human-like responses, but can just as easily handover the conversation to a sales representative whenever needed.
With Landbot, you can easily and quickly build and launch an FAQ bot for both web and WhatsApp, and use it to engage with leads during the time between they have booked a meeting and the actual appointment.
Improving show rates for sales meetings is pivotal for sales representatives, and leveraging conversational AI solutions can be the biggest difference maker in leads showing up to booked appointments.
By integrating conversational AI into the sales process, sales representatives and leaders can overcome challenges associated with no-shows, enhance engagement, and ultimately increase the likelihood of successful sales meetings. As businesses continue to embrace technological advancements in the AI landscape, the adoption of conversational AI emerges as a strategic and effective solution in increasing show rates and, ultimately, closing more sales.