If you’ve ever had a bad experience with an appointment setting company, then this blog is for you! And if you’re already convinced of the value of appointment setting then we hope you also find some food for thought, or even inspiration, in the six factors we’ve identified below.
Typically B2B appointment setting is an outsourced activity – and with good reason. As a business owner, it is expensive to recruit, train and retain business development representatives. It is far better to invest your time in selecting the right B2B appointment setting partner, whom you can hold accountable for the results they generate.
And when it comes to setting targets, we recommend that you are as realistic as possible and that you make sure you find out – and deliver – what your outsourcing partner needs to be successful. Building a strong partnership with your appointment setting company is probably the single most valuable piece of advice we can offer.
If appointments were easy to generate, then you’d hire a graduate or several and wait for the results to roll-in. In fact, it takes relationship-building skills, the ability to build rapport with senior decision makers, an understanding of your product or service offering, as well as market dynamics, to name just a few of the most important qualities we look for in our recruitment activities.
However, we digress. Let’s get back to listing the factors which make appointment setting important – or even essential for fast-growth B2B technology companies.
Most businesses invest resources and budgets into developing leads, from multiple sources. Not all these leads are of equal quality and the majority are not qualified. It is vital that you have a process in place to follow up on every lead, and qualify live opportunities. These should be passed to your sales team as soon as possible, so they can close the sale.
Your appointment setting team will have the communication skills and tenacity to deliver appointments with genuine prospects, who have Budget, Authority, Need and a clear Timeline.
Not only that but your appointment setting team should be able to give you a clear indication of the quality of leads that comes from each of your sources, helping you to invest wisely in future lead generation activities.
We’ve talked elsewhere about the importance of an effective and efficient inbound sales strategy. But do not rely on these alone. However, you need to cast your net wide when it comes to pipeline development, if you intend to meet your targets consistently across your Financial Year.
Not only is appointment setting a great way to qualify your leads, it can also identify new prospects who fit your ideal customer profile. This activity takes a level of sophistication that not all B2B appointment setting teams have, which is something to bear in mind when you are considering the selection process for your sales outsourcing partner.
The right partner will show an active interest in your company’s proposition, the dynamics of the market in which you operate and the characteristics of your most valuable customers. They will then embark on a deliberate strategy to go out and find you more of these prospects, some of whom have probably slipped through your lead generation net.
An appointment setting partner can be particularly valuable if you are entering a new region or market sector or maybe looking at moving from a focus on SMBs or mid-market to the enterprise sector.
Again, make sure you find an appointment setting team with the leadership required to provide the experienced perspective, strategic insight and focus on generating results that you deserve.
This point is often made by appointment setting companies and that’s because it is borne out by the evidence.
Consistency across four quarters is key to meeting your annual target and this level of performance does not happen by accident. It requires a deliberate and steady focus on pipeline development, something that in-house sales teams find notoriously difficult and with good reason.
It may sound obvious but a strong pipeline needs a steady stream of qualified sales leads throughout the year. It can take time and effort to qualify leads – in our experience 30 ‘touches’ over a period of several months is not unusual.
Few sales teams have the luxury to focus on this lead qualification activity, alongside the need to close sales and meet short-term targets.
By having an appointment-setting team dedicated to this activity, you are much more likely to achieve consistency and avoid the ‘feast and famine’ that many sales teams experience throughout the year.
In all honesty, measurable ROI is not necessarily a given and we believe it’s important to acknowledge that. Appointment-setting is not a panacea for all sales ills and we don’t think it should be used as a Band-Aid or sticking plaster either (although there are times when that might be unavoidable.)
However, if you take the time to select the right sales outsourcing partner and have open, honest dialogue with them, then it is possible to achieve ROI beyond your wildest dreams. One invaluable piece of advice we would like to offer: do not judge ROI by number of appointments alone; pipeline value and business won should also be built-in to your metrics.
We also prefer to build long-term partnerships where both sides have invested ‘skin in the game’. You only have to look at the failures of successive governments to see where short-term thinking can lead!
If you are providing your sales team with a regular flow of qualified leads, they will close more deals. It really is that simple. We could say more here, but that would only dilute the point we want to make.
This point is often overlooked, but we encourage you to give it due consideration. Most B2B sales databases are made-up of largely inaccurate, incomplete and outdated information. This means that a lot of your marketing and sales resources are falling on stony ground.
A great appointment setter will update your records and schedule follow-ups, so that no lead goes to waste. In our opinion, it is factors like this that separate the highly successful from moderately successful sales teams.
In all honesty, we are only scratching the surface of what we believe a good appointment-setting partnership can deliver in this blog. If you’d like to explore the topic further over a cup of coffee, virtual or face-to-face, please get in touch.
When choosing your appointment setting services, you need to look for a number of things. The right appointment setting agency will have a team of experienced professionals who are experts in building rapport with target clients and nurturing relationships with key decision makers.
There are many appointment setting services available on the market, so it is important to choose one that is reputable and has a good track record. What do their clients say about them? Do they have a good reputation within the industry?
Finally, you should look at the wider range of services that your appointment setting agency can offer. Can they qualify and generate leads as well as set more appointments? Can they help you with your B2B development plan or manage your inbound leads too?
If you are looking for a reputable and experienced team of appointment setters, then look no further than Pace Digital Sales. As a B2B development agency, we have a wealth of experience in appointment setting and lead generation, and we can help you to maximise your sales pipeline potential.
From making the initial contact and setting appointments with key decision makers to creating your sales pipeline and nurturing potential leads along it, we can help your organisation grow.