The Daily Briefing: April 7, 2020

April 7, 2020

Shawn Parrotte

On today's Daily Briefing, Todd Abbott, COO and President of InsightSquared, joined Jim Benton to discuss meeting volume and productivity - which fell 11% last week.

Here are the numbers:

  • Meeting volume fell 11% last week.
  • 20% drop in Collaboration & Project Management segment last week, though is still way up from the baseline
  • Volume dropped in markets across the country. Except for NYC.

Meeting volume dropped across the board: segments and markets affected #

The data tells a more complete story this week. Meeting volume fell 11%, across nearly every segment. Collaboration & Project Management, which is still up significantly from the baseline, was down more than 20% week over week.

Two segments that bucked the trend were Training & Education and Data & BI companies - which are behind the baseline but up week over week.

When asked if this data rings true for him, Todd agreed and added, “Your data reflects what we’re seeing. We’re also seeing call center and telephony companies having a boost.” Especially because of infrastructure. “Everyone is pivoting online,” he said, “ Tech stack consolidation is a big driver of some of these negatives here.”

“Up until this week, cold call volume has held steady. Connect rates are still holding consistent,” explained Jim. “More prep time, and less volume perhaps? We’re going to continue to look into the data.”

How should sales leaders apply this insight?

“Dial it back,” Todd advised. “We’re dialing back from the hard sales approach to one that is much more empathetic.”

Jim agreed. Pivot to a compassionate approach. Understanding that there is less certainty and less wiggle room in budgets, shift to education and insights. When things return to normal - or what the next new normal will be - the relationships that you’ve nurtured may be more open to additional opportunities.

“It’s still too early to declare victory with this approach,” added Todd, “but when you take the edge off when you’re selling, you’re able to just educate. This approach anecdotally has opened up new opportunities.”

Jim wholeheartedly agreed. “This is human connection at its finest moment. When you can engage people in a more empathetic and authentic way, it’s more effective because it’s just about helping people.”

The Daily Briefing Most segments are down

Most segments are down when measuring meeting volume.

Markets match the segments, meeting volume dropped

As with the segments, we saw volume down consistently across markets. Except for New York City, which is slowly starting to recover.

Boston continues to struggle, and is now at 72% of baseline after falling another 10% last week.

“It is great to see the data this way,” said Todd. “Maybe New York really has flattened the curve there. I need to take a look at our data based on this graph because this is an interesting way to see it. Boston, where we’re based, has been on the forefront of things. But California is where we do most of our business and we’ve been hit hard by that dip in the market there.”

Ultimately, it is positive to see New York showing strength. Jim ensured that Chorus will continue to look deeper into the data there.

What this map really shows is the impact and importance of remote team management. The more data and visibility you have into the activity of your remote teams, the more likely you’ll be able to hold and recover in this market.

“It’s important to know the activity profile of today, and how it differs from last quarter,” said Todd. “If there was ever a time when the science of sales was critical to navigate the waters of the market, this is it.”

As always, the Daily Briefing is here to put real data into the hearts, minds, and hands of Sales Leaders. Making decisions based on data - not simply a hunch or opinion - is how you hold steady.

“Empowering the leaders to leverage data,” Jim said, “is the way you can get rid of opinions and lead the way into the future of sales.”

The Daily Briefing How did meeting colume change

How did meeting volume change since last week?

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