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Welcome to NCM's Up to Speed Blog

Your Sales Appointment System is Failing You

Written By: Alan Ram
Posted on July 07, 2016

It’s Friday morning, and a Manager is paging everyone in the sales office, reminding them to get their appointments for the day on the board.

Sound familiar? Unfortunately, this bad management practice is a common one. What if only half of the sales force logs appointments for that day? Now that Manager is flipping out and yelling for everyone to get on the phones and, “Call anyone we haven’t made a deal with! Any phone-ups that haven’t shown up! Call your mom, call your third grade teacher—call everyone! We need some appointments today!” This is panic management at its finest.

Today started yesterday

Here’s the problem: Today is too late to do anything about today. Today should’ve been taken care of yesterday, the day before that … and the day before that! By worrying about today, today, you’ll just end up finding out that you’re screwed in advance.

A good Manager will ask, “How many appointments have we set up for today?” If every day your sales staff is setting up enough appointments, whether they’re appointments for today, tonight, tomorrow or the weekend, every day will end up taking care of itself.

That isn’t to say that you don’t want to know how many appointments are coming in today; of course you want to know that! But, where you keep your foot on the gas pedal is knowing how many appointments your staff has set up today, not scrambling to fill the board.

Make every day a competition

Now, let’s talk about logging appointments on a board versus simply putting them in the CRM. At one time, a friend of mine, Dan Clara, Market Director for a huge automotive group, explained to me that when his team just logs appointments in the CRM, rather than having an actual whiteboard, appointments go down.

Why is that? Because salespeople, at least the good ones, are naturally competitive. If one team member sees another salesperson writing appointment after appointment on the board, he or she will want to set up more. It’s also an in-your-face way of seeing what you’ve accomplished, as you accomplish it, throughout the day.

Simply logging appointments in the CRM tends to take the clear, visual competition out of the equation. Use the natural competitiveness of your salespeople to boost the amount of appointments your team sets every day.

Ready to get your sales team back on track? Check out General Sales Management training from the NCM Institute, and Alan Ram’s Management by Fire course.

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