B2B Appointment Setting is Crucial to Grow Your Business
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.
- Is their sales process as efficient and productive as it can possibly be?
- Are the talents of their salespeople being utilized to their maximum capacity?
- Are there tasks that can be delegated and assigned to others that can allow them to focus exclusively on sales?
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.
What you need to know about our successful appointment setting campaigns
- Reliable volume of leads – the absolute key to successful sales is a full sales pipeline. With our appointment setting services, a full sales pipeline is the result while your salespeople focus on one task at hand – closing the sale. The time-consuming task of calling prospects and qualifying them as a quality lead is managed by our experienced, knowledgeable calling agents.
- Quality leads – our company stands for quality over quantity, and this is particularly true for the leads we provide to our clients. Our agents are experienced and skilled in determining the qualifications of prospects and only those who are qualified to advance to the next stage are scheduled for an appointment. B2BAppointmentSetting.com only schedules calls and meetings with the right people, the decision-makers your sales team has targeted and wants to reach. High quantities of low quality leads does not help accomplish your goals and therefore, does not accomplish our goals as well.
- Established parameters – our agents qualify prospects based on parameters that you set. The parameters must make sense to you, and not be based on convenience for us. Success will only happen when the qualification process is based on the parameters that work for your business. B2BAppointmentSetting.com’s clients always receive a custom designed campaign – no one-size-fits-all campaigns in our portfolio.
- Diligent qualifying – no quotas, no scripts, no commissions for our knowledge calling agents. Their experience allows our agents to build relationships, represent your brand proudly, ask the right questions, and understand the unique needs of the prospects they speak with. High quality agents are the difference between high a consistent volume of quality leads and a deceptively large quantity of substandard leads.
- Follow-up process – appointments that are set by our calling agents are always confirmed prior to the appointment date. This ensures that every call or meeting is attended by the prospect. Time is valuable and your salespeople do not have time to waste. Not every appointment setting company goes above and beyond to be sure that the set appointment will be attended by the prospect. This is important and is motivating for the sales team to have such high quality appointments with real, potential customers.
- Weekly meetings – as the campaign is in progress, it can be discovered during the weekly progress meetings if any adjustments need to be made to the campaign. B2BAppointmentSetting.com does not want to waste time and budget on activities that are not optimizing success. It is imperative that the right techniques and processes are employed for every campaign to allow for the highest potential for success.
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.
What is Business-To-Business Appointment Setting?
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.
Why should Professional Appointment setting be part of your sales strategy?
There are 4 fundamental components of B2B appointment setting:
- Prospecting – this stage is one your company should delegate to professionals who specialize in this activity. Whether it is an in-house team or an external vendor resource, get the best, qualified leads delivered from the most talented professionals who can execute this task. And again, let the sales team spend 100% of their time selling and closing.
- Follow-Up – a communication with a prospect may take more than one reach-out attempt. It may require several attempts. Even if the appointment setting professional does reach the prospect at the first endeavor, the prospect may not be ready to engage and purchase. The act of following up is crucial to success. Some interesting statistics:
- It takes an average of 8 cold call attempts to reach a prospect.
- 80% of sales require 5 follow-up calls after the meeting.
- 44% of sales reps give up after 1 follow-up.
- Appointment Setting – scheduling meetings for your sales team provides great value to the company, the sales team, and it contributes to driving revenue and growth. It is one of the most essential steps in the sales process. The quality of the prospects that become qualified leads dictate the success of the current sale and the possibility of a future, long-term customer relationship.
- Closing – Every company want to maximize sales and the talent of their sales team. Empower them to sell. To concentrate their entire focus on selling. To spend their full workday on selling and closing the sale. When you empower them to sell, you motivate them to do their best for the company and for the customer. That is the best foundation for a healthy, dynamic sales process that leads to increased revenue and growth.
What to Look for in an Outsourced 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.
Why You Should Consider B2B Appointment Setting Companies in USA
Drive Revenue Growth with B2B Appointment Setting Services
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.
B2B Appointment Setters
What Skills Do B2B Appointment Setters Need to Be Successful?
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.
Why is it important to hire a company who has experienced appointment setters?
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.
Why is it important to vet the companies you are considering hiring?
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.
- Try to determine if the vendor provides custom campaigns or if they follow a templated approach for all their clients.
- Examine industry directories to see where the company rates in comparison to other top appointment setting companies.
- Check their website for testimonials.
- Read the case studies that describe the challenge face by the client, the solution, and the tactics and strategies utilized to result in a successful campaign.
- Ask for reference.
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.
What is the minimum number of years’ experience we believe is necessary for appointment setting professionals in a successful appointment setting company?
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.
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:
- Brand awareness – if your company has a new market or niche it is trying to reach, B2B telemarketing is an effective method to get the word out.
- Lead nurturing – it often takes more than one communication to get a prospect interested in your company’s product and services. Keep your company top-of-mind. This is not a sales attempt at this stage. It is a focus on their needs and being available to them.
- Follow-up – if a prospect did not make a purchase, your company should stay in touch with the customer and remain a valuable contact for them. And with a direct mail or email campaign, an outbound telemarketing call is the perfect way to implement a multi-channel touch with the prospect.
- Account profiling – the best way to stay informed about your customers is to gather information about their changing needs and any other challenges they may be facing. B2B telemarketing is effective at this time.
- Event telemarketing – if you have an event, whether it is online or an in-person event, driving attendance and awareness to the event is vital. One of the most effective activities to confirm their intent to attend and answer their questions about the event and agenda.
- Gathering information – talking to interested prospects or customers who have already purchased a product or services, your company can gain valuable information like marketing/advertising effectiveness, what people are purchasing, and from whom they are purchasing. Telemarketing provides a wealth of market and competitive information.
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.
Inbound Call Center Services
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:
- Ongoing customer support – a sale does not end with the sale. It ends with a happy, satisfied customer. Answering questions, addressing issues a customer may be having, and focusing on new or continuous needs are essential to customer satisfaction. Smart companies look for ways to retain current customers.
- In response to a marketing campaign – often a promotion or marketing campaign has a specific call to action. This is where inbound call center services can help and are a helpful resource to both the marketing and sales teams. This service can measure the success of a campaign as well as help the customer or prospect.
- Sales support – a salesperson may not be readily available on a daily basis but having a team member who receives inbound calls allows a company to be responsive every day, in real-time. Customers appreciate the availability of a sales team who can respond to questions and issues quickly and effectively.
- Lead generation – an inbound call center representative can also serve as a lead generator. A prospect may call with questions, in response to a marketing campaign, after a visit to the company website and is ready to talk immediately.
- Appointment setting – for whatever reason a prospect is calling into your company, perhaps it is in response to a marketing campaign or the download of a content piece, this is an opportunity to capitalize on the contact that is made. An inbound call center representative can gather pertinent information – name, company name, job title, phone number, email address, and the prospect’s needs. An appointment now is the perfect next step.
- Upgrade/renewal inquiries – closing deals are important but equally important are upgrades and renewals in any company’s revenue numbers. They are true sales opportunities with most of the hard work already completed. This service can take the burden off your sales development representatives and let them concentrate on being closers of new sales.
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.
B2B Appointment Setting Pay Per Appointment or By the Hour – Which is More Effective?
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.
Understanding the Difference Between B2B Lead Generation and Appointment Setting Services
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.