B2B appointment setting is an essential stage in every company’s sales process and lead generation strategy . It can be arduous and time-consuming, but it is also a crucial task in a strategic, intelligent sales system. Once a target audience and a prospect within that audience is identified, it is vital to reach out to that prospect and make them aware of your company, products, and services that will address their daily challenges and pain points.
Appointment setting is the step in the sales process that must provide valuable information quickly. This information must be relevant to the prospect – so relevant that it motivates the prospect to say “yes” to an appointment with a salesperson from a company who targets them as a potential buyer.
To set an appointment, you need to impress your prospects and capture their attention in a very short amount of time. A human being’s attention span today is now calculated to be 8 seconds. In an initial sales call, you likely have no more than 10 seconds to capture their attention enough to continue the phone call. It is at this time the calling agent must provide the prospect with all relevant information they need to know about the products and services your company can provide to them.
Appointment setting is the relationship building step in the sales process. It is the step that personalizes communication with a prospect. It also may provide the first window of brand awareness to a prospect about your company. In today’s business environment, time is of the essence and finding solutions quickly to daily business challenges is a top priority. Personalized communication can be a differentiator is a crowded field of competitors.
Experience is key factor in the success of your appointment setting efforts. It is one of the most significant factors of success in this part of the sales process. The impression that prospects develop about your company starts with the initial, first phone call they receive from the calling agent representing your company, whether this is an internal employee or an outsourced service company. Knowing and understanding how to best speak to your prospects, who are often the decision-makers or part of the decision-making process, is essential. Experience, training, and a full understanding of your products, services, and company are factors that cannot be overlooked or minimized. You only get one opportunity to make a great first impression.
A huge consideration for a significant cost saving for B2B companies is hiring an outsource appointment setting resources to manage this stage of the sales process. Companies can avoid the overhead costs and added internal resources needed to execute this important task successfully. Additionally, the experience of an outsource resource whose sole expertise is focused on this one service can far outweigh the experience of an internal team with far less experience, skill, and knowledge.
B2B appointment setting plays such a vital role is sales for every business across multiple industries. It helps to fill a company’s sales pipeline with potential leads and keep that sales pipeline always ready to go with qualified prospects. A consistently full sales pipeline is the only way a company can keep the sales cycle operating smoothly with no pauses at any time in each phase of the process.
One of the most important benefits of appointment setting is that it allows sales professionals to concentrate on one task with a singular, top priority focus – closing the sale. This one benefit cannot be overstated. Time is money and closed sales is the single goal of every sales professional and team.
Management must consider every aspect of their sales process and ask the following questions:
When these questions are considered, management may find that productivity and effectiveness of their sales professionals can be improved. And B2B appointment setting may be the perfect solution for them.
B2BAppointmentSetting.com offers exactly that – appointment setting services for B2B companies who have prioritized their goal to drive revenue. If your sales team, and especially your top salespeople, are spending too much time researching qualified leads and trying to schedule appointments with prospects and qualified leads, it may be time to consider outsourcing the appointment setting function of your sales process and planning.
B2BAppointmentSetting.com’s services help companies with their business development efforts and provide revenue driving opportunities to their sales team.
Articulating your value proposition to key decision-makers and addressing the challenges your prospects face on a daily basis in their business is vital to reaching your prospects in a meaningful way.
A B2B appointment setting system and methodology can vary greatly from vendor to vendor, or company to company if you execute this function internally. When done properly, quality sales leads are provided to your salespeople on a regular, consistent basis. And a company’s sales pipeline is unfailingly full, allowing sales professionals to always have a collection of prospects and leads to work.
Let B2BAppointmentSetting.com qualify your list of prospects, determine if they are truly a qualified lead, and schedule the prospects for a telephone or face-to-face appointment at a designated time and date.
It cannot be stressed enough. B2B appointment setting is not easy. The process is time-consuming. It requires a good number of dedicated hours per week to be done properly. Otherwise your sales team will experience a great amount of wasted time. Eliminate that demotivation which can be felt by sales professionals and equip your team with truly qualified leads. Your commitment to appointment setting activities will surely impact sales and revenue positively.
Relationship building is such a big part of B2B sales, especially for companies and sales professionals who have long sales cycles. This is where B2B Telemarketing comes in and should be a part of every company’s marketing and sales strategy and planning.
Establishing relationships is an important component of B2B sales because the audience is generally far smaller and far more specialized audience in comparison to B2C selling. Couple this with longer sales cycles, and relationships must be part of your selling strategy.
Outbound telemarketing is so much more than simply a cold call. Your company may be marketing and selling products and services, but in order to be successful in those endeavors, establishing strong relationships is a key component to success and driving revenue growth. For your sales team to successfully close sales, they must rely heavily on the relationships that are built before, during, and after the sales cycle.
Why use B2B Telemarketing as part of your marketing and sales strategy:
Cold calling should always be part of a sales plan. It is an effective method of introducing your company to new prospects and your products and services. Telemarketing allows salespeople to focus on closing the prospects who are in the sales pipeline while the telemarketing agents can managing the process of filling the sales pipeline. This allows sales teams to concentrate 100% of their efforts on closing sales. It is a win-win-win – telemarketing agents help sales professionals close sales. Salespeople close the sales and hit their sales goals. And the company experiences revenue growth.
Customer service is important to customers who are currently working with your company as well as prospects who are considering working with you. An inbound call center receives incoming calls from a variety of contacts – customers, prospects, partners, and other businesses.
This business center can be utilized for a variety of purposes:
An exceptional customer experience has become a differentiator for companies in today’s business environment, particularly for B2B companies. Providing excellent is one very important way that a company can be memorable, gain customers, and retain customers – all factors in helping B2B businesses drive revenue and growth.
There are many variations of the definition of B2B appointment setting. This explanation characterizes perfectly what B2B appointment setting means to our company.
B2B appointment setting is a sales development activity at the prospecting stage of the sales process. Ideally the sales rep has experience in cold calling, follow-up, nurturing prospects, and either qualifying the prospect to a lead or eliminating that prospect from consideration.
Appointment setting can incorporate multiple channels including cold calling, email, and social media (most likely LinkedIn). An experienced appointment setting professional is skilled at speaking with executive level decision-makers and is confident in delivering relevant information and a company’s brand message to the prospect.
The goal of B2B appointment setting is for sales reps to set qualified sales appointments, either face-to-face or by telephone, and deliver the scheduled, confirmed meeting to another sales rep. The job of this sales rep is to deliver a more detailed sales pitch and, ultimately, close a deal.
B2B appointment setting is measured a success when the sales rep is able to schedule appointments with qualified leads. This sales development activity can be executed by an in-house team or an external third party resource, who sets appointments on your behalf as an extension of your sales team.
In one very simple sentence, employing B2B appointment setting as part of your sales process is smart because you want your salespeople selling – only selling, 100% selling so that they can close the deal. It is a vital part of the sales funnel.
You do not want – your salespeople performing time-consuming tasks like researching prospects, trying to wrangle them by telephone, and setting appointments for the formal pitch. When they are performing these tasks, it takes away from actual selling activities that lead to closing the sale.
Create a sales process that utilizes the talents of every member of the team. Assign specific functions of the process to people who have a talent for that task and give them the time to perform their job. Let your salespeople do what they do best – sell and close. Do not burden them with the arduous tasks that take them away from selling and closing. You can motivate them when they are given the full opportunity to perform. More sales and commission for them. More revenue growth for the company. Increased market share. And happy customers who have their daily business issues solved and pain points addressed. It is a win on several fronts.
Simply stated – give your sales team every opportunity to sell, reach their full potential, and close the sale.
B2B appointment setting is a specialized skill that requires excellent communication skills, a comfort with speaking to management level executives, and business experience. Our customers are B2B companies, often they are Fortune 500 companies with very busy sales teams that are urgently in need of assistance with their sales process.
However, not all B2B appointment setting companies are equal. You will find, as you search for an appointment setting vendor, there are many factors to consider, and you will find a wide range of skills, experience, and capabilities.
As you research B2B appointment setting vendors, keep in mind that you must ask questions and inquire about the level of experience of the calling agents they hire. A lack of experience or a staff filled with a lower level of experience (or no experience) in appointment setting may not be reflected in the pricing, therefore comparing vendor pricing may not be comparing equivalent services. Additionally, if the pricing is substantially lower than other vendors, it may be an indication that their staff is a lesser experienced team or a team with no experience.
Appointment setting is a difficult, challenging job – it is necessary that the calling agents working your campaign are comfortable and more importantly, skilled in speaking intelligently with upper management or C-Suite executives in high-revenue companies. A calling agent with business experience is skilled and capable of critical thinking, using their experience to answer unexpected questions, and making their part of the sales process be seamless so that the agent is a true extension of the sales team, like an internal employee. The appointment setters represent your brand and experienced professionals are the people who can best represent your company.
It will be difficult to truly know what level of experience the appointment setters have that are assigned to your campaign. You will need to ask tough, thorough questions to try to determine if a vendor is the right fit for your company and individual needs.
You will need to look closely and what you see and hear. Scrutinize the information given to you and make sure all your questions are answered to your satisfaction.
B2BAppointmentSetting.com only hires calling agents who have a minimum of 3 years’ experience in appointment setting, lead generation, business development, or sales, and speak fluent English. We carefully look at their business experience and the industries in which they have experience to be sure they will be able to manage the campaigns we work for our clients. We take great care in the interview process, including a role play and testing. We also make a thorough effort in preparing each agent for the campaigns they work. Experience plays a big part in the preparation, understanding a client’s brand values, and the ability naturally fit in with the company they are representing. We feel strong that the business experience of our agents play an important role in the success of a campaign. And we will always have a stringent process for hiring our staff.
What to look for when you are considering a B2B appointment setting company.
B2B appointment setting companies are not hard to find. They are plentiful and advertise themselves in numerous different ways. There are twenty five year old industry giants (not many) and there are companies who claim to provide B2B appointment setting services that started last week in someone’s basement. Clearly, a buyer looking to find the right appointment setting companies have many choices. And that makes choosing the right one a difficult task in many instances.
The first thing a buyer of outsourced B2B appointment setting services must decide is if they require a US based vendor or if they are willing to risk using an offshore provider. This is not to say that there are not successful offshore vendors because there are. What it is meant to evoke is some considered thought about how you present your company to your possible prospects. B2B appointment setting can be found in a variety of flavors. Are you comfortable having someone in a foreign country who does not know the American culture and speaks with a strong accent representing your company until you take the hand off? Some are, but many companies are not.
At B2BAppointmentSetting.com, we take very seriously our duty to promote our clients in the most professional way possible and part of that is having English speaking, mature individuals to act as the face of our clients’ company during the initial outreach period. Our clients demand that, and we provide that for them. In the world of B2B appointment setters, we look for the top 1% who understand that B2B appointment setting is more than dialing a number or sending an email. Beware: not all B2B appointment setting companies are alike.
Another key factor for a buyer of B2B lead generation and appointment setting services is a vendor’s area of focus and expertise. Some companies focus on certain industries and have developed a niche for themselves. Many B2B appointment setting companies will take any type of business that comes their way. At B2BAppointmentSetting.com, the first thing we attempt to identify is the potential return on investment (ROI) for the client. We turn away more business than we take because in many cases, we don’t see the potential for a reasonable ROI. But we are also very careful about the industries in which we work. That is why a buyer seeking B2B appointment setting companies in the USA should ask the question to determine the provider’s level of experience in their specific market.
This is not to say that it is mandatory that your vendor have years of experience calling into your specific target market. Top companies have a proven process to onboard their clients that can ameliorate the need for years of experience calling into a specific market. And finally, it is that level of experience that each company looking to initiate a B2B appointment setting campaign should identify in their due diligence. This is critical as B2B appointment setting is not an exact science and when a challenge arises (and it will), an experienced team can solve it quickly and successfully to not constrain the potential success on your campaign.
There are all kinds of companies that offer B2B lead generation and appointment setting services. But there is only one B2BAppointmentSetting.com and we are very proud of our 22 years of success helping our clients drive significant revenue and 22 years of superior client support on behalf of our valued clients.
In the past couple of decades, businesses have experimented with using B2B appointment setting services that utilized offshore agents, generally in Asia or India. The hope was that those offshore B2B appointment setters would be able to deliver quality appointments at a lower cost than if using B2B appointment setting companies in the USA.
The results that have been generated over the years on those campaigns have generally resulted in one of the two objectives being met, which is low cost. However, the quality of the appointments, which is at least equally as important as cost, has generally been uneven.
This is not to necessarily impugn the caliber of the offshore agents as a whole but, regardless how much training they have been given, the language barrier that they have to try to overcome has proven to be too big a hurdle when they finally are able to reach the decision makers in the targeted prospect companies. As a result, most of the campaigns involving offshore agents involve the agent using a script rather than having a conversation with the prospect using only the relevant talking points.
As you would already know, reading a script is not the best way to engage a prospect. If an agent is reading, they are generally not able to listen as well as they might (especially if the script they are reading is not in their native language). If an agent isn’t listening, they aren’t really able to know if they are hitting the key points that matter to the prospect and/or if the prospect’s needs are able to be met with the product or service the agent is representing.
It has been noted by many of the businesses that we work with who have tried offshore B2B appointment setting services that the results generated from those campaigns were not as expected, or advertised. It turns out the cost of each qualified appointment was actually much higher than expected, especially when adding in the opportunity cost of their sales representatives wasting valuable time following up with unqualified prospects and/or chasing down no shows.
When evaluating B2B appointment setting services, it is important to consider more than just the cost per hour of doing the calling on the campaigns. Getting qualified appointments from any B2B appointment setting effort should really be the primary objective of any campaign and, in many cases, you will find that working with B2B appointment setting companies in the USA will result in lower cost per qualified appointment. In addition, one of the key metrics in any campaign is the incremental cost of the B2B appointment for each closed sale…which allows the ROI of the campaign to be calculated.
At the end of the day, if the ROI of a B2B appointment setting campaign is good, and meets our client’s target, they tend to run campaigns for a long time…some for many years. If the ROI of a campaign is not good, and falls below the target, then continuing that campaign is generally a poor business decision.
Many of our clients who have run unsuccessful campaigns using offshore agents have come to us after realizing they really should be working with B2B appointment setting companies in the USA. That trend would indicate that low pricing is only part of the equation…and that delivering good value to clients always wins out in the long run.
B2B appointment setting companies come in many flavors; US based professional B2B lead generation and appointment setting services companies, off shore vendors, marketing companies doing B2B appointment setting as a way to increase revenue from existing clients, performance based vendors who receive compensation when they set a successful appointment, and B2B appointment setting companies in the USA that charge by the hour.
But which of the above options is the best for your company? For the purposes of this discussion, we will focus on the differences between performance based companies and those that charge by the hour, including blended compensation models. Suffice it to say, we do not recommend off shore vendors nor companies whose focus is not strictly on the art of B2B appointment setting. And make no mistake about it, anyone who has been successful at B2B appointment setting or worked for B2B appointment setting companies understand the art form it is.
If you are looking for appointment setting companies in the USA you will have no problem finding them. They are plentiful and springing up every day due to the low barrier to entry. There are a number of successful performance based providers who have been in the business for many years. There are fewer hourly rate B2B appointment setting companies with over 20 years in the business. It is hard to say definitively why this might be, but one theory that makes perfect sense is that the performance based companies build in a higher profit margin for the risk they take. Companies that use performance based vendors absorb that margin for the privilege of paying for only what is produced for them.
B2BAppointmentSetting.com is an hourly shop and we believe that model offers most (not all) clients a significantly better value for their money. The reasons are as follows: B2BAppointmentSetting.com deploys mature B2B appointment setters whose expertise is specifically providing B2B lead generation and appointment setting services. They are not commissioned salespeople who earn the majority of their compensation when they set the appointment. That model has and can lead to uncomfortable conversations with your prospects who may not be ready to schedule a meeting but are pushed to do so by the salesperson often times leaving a very poor impression of the company the sales person is representing. That type of call does far more harm than good. Further, once your prospect is on the phone, valuable information can be gathered to assist in marketing to these companies whether an appointment is set or not. Commissioned salespeople have no time to collect that vital information and moreover, they are not paid to do this. We feel the client is short changed by not having access to that information.
At B2BAppointmentSetting.com, our agents know that their mandate is to promote and protect the client’s brand first and foremost. The agents never push a meeting prematurely because that is not how they are paid. We understand that we are the face of your company until we turn the lead/appointment over to the client. This approach also favorably impacts the “show” rate of the appointments set. Equally important is the marketing intelligence that can be collected during the course of the call. B2BAppointmentSetting.com clients find this extremely valuable and something that most, if not all B2B appointment setting companies in the USA do not offer.
There are many factors to consider when choosing B2B lead generation and appointment setting services. Before you decide if you should work with a B2B appointment setting pay per appointment vendor or an hourly provider, talk to B2BAppointmentSetting.com and find out why for 22 years, we have been known as the Business Connection Company.
When talking with prospective clients about our services, we find that the terms B2B lead Generation and B2B appointment setting are often used interchangeably. That turns out not to be the case and the differences can be significant as it relates to your business development process and results.
As we design the campaigns that our clients ask us to run for them, B2B lead generation and B2B appointment setting efforts always begin the same way. The prospect list that is used for both types of campaigns is the same, as is the content (we call it our Call Guide) that we put together for the agents to use to prepare for their outreach efforts.
The big difference is what takes place once our agent has a conversation with a prospect and finds they are interested in a follow up discussion with our clients’ representative.
In a B2B lead generation campaign, we work to find the correct person to talk with in each targeted organization, understand their needs and make sure they are a qualified prospect. If there is an interest in a subsequent discussion with our client’s representative, we send the relevant information to our client and let the prospect know they will be getting a call within a specified time frame.
In a B2B appointment setting campaign, we use exactly the same process until we find there is interest in a follow up discussion. Once we know there is indeed interest, and that we are talking with the right person and the opportunity is qualified, we ask them to open their calendars and select a date and time for the follow-up conversation. Since we have access to the calendars for our client’s representatives, we only schedule calls for times that are open on all calendars and immediately send out a calendar invite to lock in the date/time. A day or two before the appointment, our agents also make a confirmation call to assure the scheduled date and time still work.
So, as you can see, the big difference between the two types of campaigns is the amount of time and effort it can take for our client’s representative to get to the prospect back on the phone when a lead is generated vs. just picking up a phone (or initiating a video call) at the scheduled date and time in an appointment setting campaign.
Since an appointment virtually eliminates the need for our client’s representative to play telephone tag to track down a lead, B2B appointment setting campaigns are generally much more efficient and effective. Unless your salespeople don’t have online calendars, which are kept up to date (not the easiest of things to make happen), then a B2B appointment setting campaign will generally be the best option to get qualified prospects into your pipeline.
We do, however, successfully execute both types of campaigns for our clients…and some just prefer to have us generate leads vs. book appointments. The verticals that we target for our clients are varied but, over the years, we have worked a large number of campaigns in healthcare, technology, manufacturing, financial services, education, logistics and consulting.