The round robin meeting method is a technique for more efficiently distributing sales leads and accelerating lead response time.
It’s also incredibly simple and a strategy that’s used by many businesses that field inbound sales calls and meetings.
Here’s everything you need to know about round robin meeting scheduling and how you can use it to facilitate more effective, productive, and intelligent meetings.
“A round robin contains a list of sales reps and will assign leads to reps based on their position in the list,” explains Matthew Solomon of inbound marketing and sales platform New Breed. “Once everyone has been assigned a lead the rotation begins again.”
Incredibly simple: everyone takes turns.
To use a metaphor, it’s a bit like dealing cards.
Say you’ve got four players. Using the round robin concept, you would deal a card to player 1, then a card to player 2, player 3, player 4, then repeat the process until the entire deck of cards has been dealt.
Here’s a visual representation of what a round robin meeting looks like.
Using a round robin meeting system, leads are distributed in a rotational manner where reps take turns.
Rather than manually deciding which rep gets which lead, the process is automated, giving everyone a chance to interact with promising prospects.
So what’s so great about using the round robin meeting model?
There are four salient benefits.
First, and most importantly, it increases your speed to lead time.
As you’re probably aware, the faster your sales reps respond to leads, the better their chance is of converting.
And in this day and age, you need to be lightning quick.
Respond within one minute, and the chance of converting increases by 391%.
Wait one hour, and it drops to 36%.
Wait one day, and it’s down to just 17%.
Research has also found that nearly four out of five deals go to the first vendor that responds.
So it definitely pays to have an ultra-fast sales routing system in place. And that’s exactly what round robin meeting distribution offers.
For instance, with Chili Piper, inbound meeting distribution is done by cycling through a group of sales reps whenever a new meeting is booked.
Then, the prospect is routed to a sales rep so the rep can capitalize on the opportunity and have meaningful interactions when the prospect’s interest is likely at its peak.
In some cases, that will be right away just after a prospect has filled out a form, and leads can have a real-time call if they want.
In other cases, it will be at a later time that’s more convenient for the prospect — maybe later that week.
The bottom line is that reps can jump on leads while they’re hot and make the most of them.
Considering that it takes more than half of companies (55%) at least five business days to respond, businesses that use round robin meetings can gain a significant advantage over the competition.
There are several different lead distribution models to choose from, with each having its own subtle nuances.
But when you break it all down, there are two main models — round robin and cherry picking.
As I discussed previously, round robin is where leads are assigned to reps in rotational order.
As for cherry picking, it’s where leads are manually assigned to reps based on specific criteria like their expertise, experience, location, commonalities with leads, and so on.
Although cherry picking has its own set of advantages and is the right distribution model in some situations, it’s not always the most fair way to go about distributing leads.
For example, it inherently favors sales reps with more experience and can create an imbalance where newer reps may not get the same quality of leads as senior reps.
This can potentially create friction among team members in the long run, and it can inhibit a new rep’s growth if they’re not given the right opportunities.
Another major advantage of round robin meeting distribution is that it’s designed with fairness in mind.
With Chili Piper, there’s zero bias involved with lead distribution.
Reps who book meetings only see the availability of the assigned account executive based on the rules you have configured, and Chili Piper counts the number of meetings each rep receives.
If your primary goal is to give everyone an equal opportunity and level the lead distribution playing field, the round round meeting system is a great way to go about it.
Another factor that must be considered when distributing leads is the availability of sales reps.
For example, a rep may be out of the office for the afternoon and unable to take meetings after 2pm.
Or maybe they’re on vacation for the week and can’t take any meetings at all.
In situations like these, it’s helpful to pause lead routing so reps don’t get leads they can’t handle.
This ensures there are no disruptions to meetings and leads aren’t left hanging.
Fortunately, pausing lead routing is another feature you’ll find with round robin meeting platforms like Chili Piper.
For times that reps aren’t available for meetings, they can reserve specific blocks directly into their calendar. No sweat.
Here’s an example.
A rep can use vacation rules for round robin on Chili Piper where they modify their regular working hours by enabling Vacation Calibration.
Let’s say this is what their normal working hours look like.
If they need to pause incoming leads, they can simply click the box for “Enable Vacation Calibration.”
When Vacation Calibration is enabled, it says “OFF” besides the rep’s name in the Round Robin History.
That’s all there is to it.
Having the right metrics in place is essential for running a successful business.
This is a particularly acute need for SaaS businesses that are pulling in digital analytics from a wide array of sources.
“If you know how to act on key metrics, then SaaS reporting will allow you to foster significant growth in your business and exceed your expectations,” writes Patrick Campbell of ProfitWell. “That only works; however, if those metrics are reliable and readily available.”
One additional feature of Chili Piper that is beneficial is round robin reporting.
This allows sales managers and revenue operations to keep tabs on key information including:
In turn, you can gain critical insights into the effectiveness of your round robin meeting assignments and identify areas of improvement.
You can also use it to gauge the overall performance of individual sales reps to see who’s getting the biggest results.
At this point, I’ve explained how round robin distribution works and what its core benefits are.
Now, let’s get into the nuts and bolts of how to actually get started with round robin meeting distribution.
Although the concept is easy — everyone takes turns — there are a lot of variables that require configuration.
Thankfully, with tools like Chili Piper that automate the process, it’s not complicated to do so.
Here are the basic steps to follow when getting set up.
The first step is to configure routing rules based on the specific rules within your company.
For example, you can set it up so the platform will credit back an assignee if a lead is a no-show or a meeting is canceled.
You can also allow a re-assignment on events.
Or, you can assign different weights for each assignee based on their experience level and other factors.
Also, note that there’s “flexible round robin,” where a user can skip the suggested rep and select other users to book a meeting instead.
And there’s “strict round robin,” where a user can’t select other users, and they can only select the next user in the queue to book a meeting.
This allows for plenty of customization so you can distribute leads based on your own unique preferences.
You can get more details on how the round robin algorithm works for Chili Piper and how to configure routing rules in this guide.
You’ll likely have changes in personnel at some point where you may bring on new sales reps, downsize or have shifts in responsibilities.
So you’ll need to update your platform whenever making changes like these.
Luckily, this is simple and straightforward to do with Chili Piper, and it can be done with just a few clicks.
In turn, this creates more scalability, and you don’t have to deal with any onerous spreadsheets.
From there, leads will automatically be routed based on your rules whenever they complete a particular action like clicking “submit” to request a demo.
As I mentioned earlier, with Chili Piper prospects can have calls with reps in real-time.
Or, they can choose to book a meeting at a later time that’s convenient for them.
Chili Piper’s Concierge gives leads the opportunity to do either, which you can learn more about in this video.
I should also point out that offering this level of convenience is a vital part of the sales process and makes it easier to close the deal.
Regardless of whether someone wants to talk right away or at another point in the near future, this creates a framework where your reps are pouncing on qualified leads, thus increasing their chances of making a conversion.
Also, note that you can set up automatic reminders with Chili Piper where prospects can be notified through different mediums like email and text to minimize no-shows.
Finally, you’ll want to pay close attention to your data to gain a bird’s eye view of what’s happening every step of the way.
For instance, Chili Piper allows you to track every stage of the meeting process.
You can gather information on:
This type of reporting will enable you to spot overarching trends, gain a better understanding of your inbound lead conversion and pinpoint strengths and weaknesses.
So over time, you can make gradual improvements to optimize the process and maximize your conversion rate.
Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about round robin meetings.
Leads are sent to reps in a rotational manner based on their position in a queue. The process is done automatically based on configured routing rules.
Cherry picking is done manually where leads are assigned to reps based on specific criteria, such as experience, expertise and location.
Round robin meetings are rotated without these types of criteria being taken into account, creating a more level playing field.
If reps are unavailable, Chili Piper pools the availability of the reps within the round robin queue to cater to the customer.
If a rep is at a deficit of meetings, their availability will be prioritized so they are the most likely to receive a meeting.
If a rep is unavailable then Chili Piper continues to count the number of meetings in the round robin so the rep is prioritized.
This ensures fair distribution while still catering to the needs of when a customer wants to meet.
In summary, it’s no problem if a rep is out of the office, on vacation or simply too busy to handle new meetings.
Platforms like Chili Piper have robust analytics that are built-in, allowing you to monitor all aspects of lead distribution and meetings.
Your lead distribution model heavily impacts the number of sales you get.
Or as Amy Copadis of Cooper Chronicles puts it, “Distribute your leads right and watch your sales increase.”
Round robin meeting distribution is one of the more popular models for doing so.
It can be huge for increasing your speed to lead, while at the same time developing a fair system where everyone gets a chance.
And of course it can be tweaked so that it always meets the current needs of your business.
Put this all together, and it’s a model that offers a ton of benefits and one worth serious consideration.
Want to learn more about how round robin meetings can create a more efficient sales process?
Check out Chili Piper round robin assignment for sales.