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  •   8 mins read

Round Robin Scheduling: A Method for Setting Meetings Efficiently


ByJanani H

Published November 3, 2023

Round Robin Scheduling

In today's fast-paced business environment, efficiently distributing sales leads and accelerating lead response times can make all the difference in closing deals. 

One effective technique for achieving this is round robin scheduling. Whether you're assigning meetings, tickets, tasks, accounts, contacts, or leads to multiple team members, round robin scheduling can streamline the process and ensure equal distribution.

What is Round Robin Scheduling?

Round Robin Scheduling is a scheduling algorithm that assigns prospects, meetings, or other tasks to sales or business development reps in a cyclic fashion. 

The "round" in round robin refers to the rotation of assignments among team members. For example, if you have 10 sales reps in your North American region, round robin scheduling will assign leads to each rep in the order they come in. Rep A gets the first lead, and Rep B gets the second lead, and so on.

To visualize this concept, imagine dealing cards in a round robin event. You have four players, and you deal a card to player 1, then to player 2, player 3, and player 4, and repeat the process until the entire deck is dealt. Similarly, in round robin scheduling, leads are distributed in a rotational manner, ensuring every team member has a chance to interact with promising prospects.

The Benefits of Round Robin Scheduling

Implementing a round robin scheduling algorithm offers several benefits for businesses:

1. Better Conversions

Speed is crucial in converting leads into customers. Research shows that the faster your sales reps respond to leads, the higher the chance of conversion. Round robin scheduling enables lightning-quick response times, increasing your speed to lead. 

For instance, with the round robin meeting scheduler, inbound meeting distribution is automated, allowing sales reps to capitalize on opportunities and have meaningful interactions when prospects' interest is at its peak. By promptly responding to leads, you gain a significant advantage over competitors.

2. Reps Aren't Routed Leads When They're Unavailable

It's essential to avoid scheduling meetings with reps who are out of the office or on vacation. Outplay's round robin scheduling system takes into account rep vacation time and allows them to reserve specific blocks directly into their calendar. 

This ensures reps don't receive leads when they're unavailable, preventing disruptions to meetings and ensuring leads aren't left hanging.

3. Accelerate lead response time

Believe it or not: Response time can make or break a sale. When a prospect has shown interest in your brand or product, you need to move fast to keep their interest.

However, data suggests that most companies fail to do so. The average lead response time is 47 hours, enough time for a prospect to approach a competitor or lose interest in the product or service altogether. 

LeadSimple suggests calling the prospect within five minutes is likely to lead to real conversations. If the communication falls prey to 30 minutes, the chances of selling are reduced.

Round robin meeting scheduler can help you to accelerate the lead response time. With its powerful routing system, you can reach out to the prospect the minute they’ve expressed interest in your product/service. Depending on the prospect’s availability, a call can be immediately scheduled or at a later time that is convenient to them.

Remember: Fast responders win up to 50% of the sales, and you want to be one of them.

4. Give everyone an equal opportunity

There are two ways to assign leads to the team members: manually or through an automated sequence (i.e., round robin distribution).

Sales leaders can assign leads manually to the reps based on their expertise, location, and other variables. But this approach comes with its own set of challenges.

First, managers and sales leaders have to spend a lot of time deciding which leads to assign to whom. Then, there is a possibility of bias where leaders may prefer certain employees to work on advanced leads while others get the remaining cases. This can create friction among team members and lead to a toxic work environment. 

The round robin meeting scheduling tool hits two birds with one stone. It frees up managers' precious time and assigns leads equally to everyone on the team. With custom read routing rules, the managers can set up more meetings across various stakeholders without having to liaise with the sales reps to know the open slots on their calendars. 

If you want to improve everyone’s chances of becoming a better salesperson, a round robin meeting is a fair and effective way to go about it.

5. Manage routing for unavailable sales reps & different time zones

People take days off from work. It can be because of vacation, sick leave, health issues, or other reasons. Round robin assignment takes this into account and gives the option to pause lead routing for those who are unavailable or busy. But that doesn’t mean the prospects should sit idly or unassigned. The software assigns the lead to the next available agent.

Another thing that round robin scheduler makes easier is dealing with prospects in different time zones. This is especially important for global companies who need to be responsive at all times to serve their customers. Round robin online meeting software deploys sales reps to different time zones when they can be responsive to customers and make the approach sustainable in the long run.

6. Gain insights through comprehensive reporting 

It’s important to have data in place to weed out organizational inefficiencies and double down on strategies that work well.

Although this functionality can be limited to a few meeting scheduler tools, having an integrated reporting dashboard can streamline goals between the team and management and help to answer the following questions:

  1. The criteria that define the round robin distribution
  2. The total number of leads the sales reps reached out to
  3. Sales reps who are unavailable or busy
  4. The next rep in the queue to serve the prospects

This data helps to understand the overall team performance and also how an individual is performing. Based on the insights, you can restructure the team’s alignment, eliminate poor strategies, and ensure everyone gets an opportunity to prove their mettle.

How to Set Up the Round Robin Scheduling

Now that you understand the concept and benefits of round robin scheduling let's delve into how you can set up the algorithm for your team. 

While the basic idea is simple, there are variables that require configuration to optimize for equal distribution and availability. Tools like Outplay simplify the process and automate the algorithm. Here are the basic steps to follow when setting up round robin scheduling:

Step 1: Configure Routing Rules

The first step is to configure routing rules based on your company's specific needs. These rules determine how leads are assigned and can be customized to suit your preferences. 

For example, you can set up the platform to credit back an assignee if a lead is a no-show or a meeting is canceled. You can also assign different weights to each assignee based on experience level or other factors. 

Additionally, you can choose between a flexible round robin, allowing users to select different users to book a meeting, or a strict round robin, where users can only select the next user in the queue. These rules ensure that leads are distributed based on your unique requirements.

Step 2: Combine Round Robin Rules Across Teams

If you have multiple round robin queues for different teams, it's essential to ensure fair distribution across all teams. 

Outplay allows you to combine your round robin counter across queues, optimizing for equal distribution across your entire team of reps. This ensures that no matter which round robin queue a team member is included in, they receive a fair share of leads.

Step 3: Optimize for Equal Distribution and Availability

Within Outplay's round robin scheduling, meetings are "counted" for a specific period of time, usually resetting every month. A team member receiving a meeting is called an Assignee, while a team member booking a meeting is called a Booker. 

By default, Outplay suggests the team member with the fewest number of meetings for the selected time period. If the next assignee is unavailable, you can click on "Availability for All" to provide availability for all reps, allowing the prospect to choose the most suitable time slot. 

The round robin algorithm picks the team member with the fewest meetings available, increasing conversions and shortening the sales cycle. Offering more availability improves the chances of finding a suitable time slot, leading to quicker deal closures.

Step 4: Set Up the Round Robin Event Type

Outplay’s meeting scheduler makes it so much easier.

Prospects can easily book a meeting when they visit the website, courtesy of the embeddable calendar. Just generate a code and embed the calendar that shows your availability to the prospect. 

You can create custom lead routing to set up meetings across various stakeholders. Our sales scheduling software auto-distributes the leads as per the open slots of team members on the calendar, minimizing back and forth and saving time for the sales managers.

By completing these steps, you'll have successfully set up your round robin event type in Outplay.

Automate Round Robin Scheduling with Outplay

Automating the round robin scheduling process can save time and ensure equal lead distribution among team members. By using pre-emptive algorithms and a context-switching method, round robin scheduling ensures that no process is left behind or unfairly allocated. 

Tools like Outplay simplifies the automation process, allowing organizations to optimize time slots and ensure every rep receives an equal share of leads.

By automating the round robin process, businesses can gain a better understanding of their capacity and optimize events for availability and equal distribution.

With our meeting scheduler, you can effortlessly create and schedule meetings, sync everyone’s calendars, and set up your team for success. Interested in learning more? Check out Outplay or book a demo here.

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