How to set achievable appointment setting goals for your sales team

Stephanie Trovato
Author
Stephanie Trovato
Yuriy Boyko
Reviewed by
Yuriy Boyko
Updated:2024-02-06
Reading time:12 m
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One of the biggest mistakes management can make for a sales team is aiming for metrics that trade quality for quantity.

It’s flashy and appealing to seek out a giant number of appointments per week. But poor appointment-setting goals aren’t just going to be left undone; they might cause some damage, too.

“Not only will [employees] be at risk of severe burnout in a few months, but they won’t be able to make conversations meaningful. Therefore, it is better to avoid pursuing unrealistic goals if you want to get perfect results in the long run.” — Michael Maximoff, Managing Partner and Co-founder of Belkins 

The solution? A structure that guides your goal development towards results. Let’s dive in.

What are appointment setting goals and why are they important?

Appointment setting goals are the goals related to your sales team’s appointments and the performance of the meetings themselves. These goals could include tracking appointments, performance metrics, and outreach efforts like cold calling and emailing. They may be assigned specifically to appointment setters or be distributed across the entire sales team.

Traditionally, they focus on quantity, expecting each sales team member to pursue X amount of appointments. But we argue they should be deeper than that.

Great goals can have all sorts of benefits, including:

  • A boost in sales through targeted lead generation
  • Strengthening relationships with potential customers
  • Enhancing the efficiency of your sales pipeline
  • Streamlining appointment scheduling with new business sales opportunities
  • Successful conversion of sales leads from potential clients to loyal customers
  • Facilitating the sales process and empowering your sales reps

Likewise, poor goal-setting can lead to employee burnout, high rates of turnover, and low-quality leads that don’t turn into sales.

Appointment setting goals examples

Out-of-touch leadership might be inclined to set a number across the board for each member of a sales team. If they hit the number, they’ve done their job, right?

Wrong.

Shallow, quantity-driven appointment-setting goals can cause harm to team members and overall business performance. Setting strong goals, on the other hand, can set your team up for success and create a more effective sales funnel.

Bad examples Good examples
Schedule 20 appointments per day. Increase appointments with qualified leads by 10% this quarter.
Ensure each appointment lasts 30 minutes or more. Increase appointment conversion rates by 15% in six months.
Achieve 100% conversion rates. Schedule 75% of appointments with prospects who match our ICP this quarter.

The bad examples above are quantity-driven, based on external or random statistics and expectations. These goals are either unrealistic or disconnected from actual sales results. A scheduling quantity goal may drive sales team members to waste time on unqualified leads, and a 100% conversion rate is nearly impossible to attain.

The good examples are quality-driven, based on historical data and company values. Relating improvements to the last quarter or year is a great way to create realistic goals. Also, referencing the ICP is a strong way to make sure appointments are qualified for your specific business.

How to set measurable and achievable appointment setting goals with frameworks

The best way to consistently achieve strong goal-setting is by using a scientifically proven framework for success. There are many frameworks to choose from, and each offers a structure for developing goals that are measurable, realistic, and related to your actual desired outcomes. 

Here are a few of our favorite frameworks to apply to your appointment setting strategies:

SMART

The SMART goal framework is one of the most approachable and well-known goal-setting frameworks available. According to this framework, a great goal is a goal that meets the following criteria:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant
  • Timely

For B2B sales teams, these five characteristics are great elements of a SMART appointment-setting goal. When you refer to the examples above, each sales goal checks all the SMART boxes. You can also see clearly why the bad goals aren’t so good — they all miss a few different SMART parts.

πŸ“Œ Example of a SMART goal

To increase the number of qualified appointments set by the sales team by 20% over the next quarter, ensuring at least 80% of these appointments are with decision-makers in our target industries. This goal is aligned with our strategic objective to expand our market share in the technology and healthcare sectors.

OKR

The OKR framework refers to Objectives and Key Results. This framework emphasizes zooming in on your goal outcomes, ensuring that they are both specific and measurable. 

In reality, the OKR gets more specific than just goals and results. Goals are supposed to be:

  • Clear and motivating
  • Limited in number
  • Action-oriented

Key results, on the other hand, are supposed to be:

  • Measurable
  • Time-bound
  • Ambitious but achievable

πŸ“Œ Example of OKR

Objective: Significantly enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our appointment-setting process within the next fiscal quarter.

Key results:

  • Increase the number of appointments set per week by each sales representative by 30%.
  • Improve the conversion rate of appointments to qualified opportunities by 15%.
  • Achieve a 25% reduction in the time taken from the initial contact to setting an appointment.

WOOP

WOOP is another acronym for goal-setting. It refers to:

  • Wish
  • Outcome
  • Obstacle
  • Plan

While SMART goals and OKR goals define key goals and how they’ll be measured, WOOP is more process-oriented. As you set the goal, you’ll identify some issues that may arise and what your sales team will do to overcome them. This is a great framework to use alongside OKR or SMART.

πŸ“Œ Example of WOOP

  • Wish: To improve the sales team's ability to set high-quality appointments with key decision-makers.
  • Outcome: A consistent increase in monthly sales meetings with a 40% improvement in the closure rate from these appointments.
  • Obstacle: Potential clients' hesitation to commit to a meeting due to a lack of understanding of our value proposition.
  • Plan: Develop a tailored communication strategy for the sales team that highlights case studies and ROI evidence specific to each prospect's industry, thereby overcoming hesitations and securing more appointments.

KPI goal methodology

This framework isn’t terribly complex and is likely to be used in conjunction with one of the first three approaches. This method refers to assigning specific Key Performance Indicators to goals to track quantifiable outcomes over a specific period of time.

These are the goals that, when not set correctly, can be intensely unrealistic and demotivating. Make sure that your KPIs are in line with historical data and industry benchmarks so they are realistically achievable, even if ambitious.

For example, SDRs make 23.1 appointments monthly. Slightly over 70% of those appointments move to the next stage of your funnel. Take a look at your company’s data alongside these benchmarks and set an appropriate KPI goal.

πŸ“Œ Quick sidenote. There’s no simple answer to how many appointments you should set each day. While it’d be easier to have such a number, the actual amount of meetings should be based on the larger goals of your company and historical data.

Balanced Scorecard

The balanced scorecard idea is a more high-level approach to goal-setting, compared to the first four frameworks. It ensures that your goals relate to four perspectives of your business:

  • Financial
  • Customer
  • Internal processes
  • Learning and growth

It’s easy to set goals that hone in on one outcome without considering the other important sides of the company. The balanced scorecard makes sure your goals have a wide impact.

How to choose which framework is right for your organization

A framework is key to having consistency in your appointment goal setting. Matching the framework with your organization is an important step. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Understand your organization’s needs and high-level direction
  • Assess your culture
  • Determine the level of employee autonomy
  • Consider time frame
  • Evaluate tech stack integration
  • Conceptualize stakeholder support

Yuriy Boyko, the Head of Account Management at Belkins, provided some insight into Belkins’ appointment-setting process.

“It’s all based on the business model and basic sales numbers. Ideally, we review current numbers for leads from inbound and project them onto cold outreach with a few amendments. The main concept is that the sales cycle is two times longer than for inbound leads, while the conversion rate is lower. Hence, by knowing the conversion rate and the time it takes to close the deal you can now calculate the number of appointments you need to get per month and how long you should wait until you get the deal closed.”

Tips for making the most out of your appointment-setting goals

Once you’ve selected the right framework for your organization, here are a few tips for getting the most out of your appointment-setting goals.

  • Quality over quantity: While we’ve applied this adage to your goal-setting process, it’s also important to apply it to your specific business goals. Are you aiming for appointments with CMOs? Looking to land 5 new clients per month? Defining these goals will help you better determine how to lay out your strategy. Quality over quantity in your goals is going to rear better results.
  • Be realistic: Ambitious goals are good, but they need to be achievable. 
  • Set benchmarks: For longer-term goals, set benchmarks along the way to see how progress is going. Check-ins will keep everyone on the right track.
  • Personalize efforts: Consider incorporating personalization into your goal-making for cold calls and email outreach. Tailoring outreach brings better results, so it should be a part of your goals.
  • Determine ideal fit: Appointment-setting goals that don’t assess fit aren’t going to be as productive as those that do.
  • Use automation in tech stack: Stop wasting time on tasks that can be automated. Take advantage of tools that can help optimize your schedule and other parts of the appointment-setting process.
  • Identify KPIs and metrics: For each goal, make sure you’ve identified metrics and KPIs that correlate to larger goals for your organization.
  • Analyze past performance: Historical data is your best friend when it comes to goal construction. Use past performance as a dictator of future goals.
  • Build a strong sales team structure: One great way to have strong goal performance is by building a strong team. This doesn’t just mean hiring good talent; it means organizing them in a way that’s conducive to closing deals.

How to improve your goal-setting process

Now that you know the basics of goal frameworks and how to use them, let’s take a look at best practices regarding the actual goal-setting process.

Implement a structured goal-setting process

Once you’ve selected a framework for your goals, you’ll want to develop a process that the framework fits into. Involve both management and operational teams to create a goal-making mechanism. 

It should include reviewing historical performance data and considering current capabilities. You should also select timelines for your goals and schedule milestones to assess progress.

Establish a performance tracking and analysis system

Good goals are measurable, but you’ll need a system. Select or invest in the system you’ll be utilizing to stay on top of the process. This will provide excellent data to facilitate timely adjustments to goals and decision-making.

Here are a few examples of systems that can help your team stay on track:

  • CRM software with integrated analytics: Platforms like Salesforce and HubSpot manage customer relationships and offer integrated analytics features. They enable sales teams to track every interaction with prospects, measure the success rate of appointments, and analyze the conversion rates from initial contact to deal closure. 
  • Business intelligence (BI) tools: Platforms like Tableau and Power BI are powerful in dissecting complex data sets and presenting actionable insights through visual dashboards. You can monitor key performance indicators (KPIs) such as appointment set rates, sales cycle lengths, and team performance metrics.
  • Project management platforms: While primarily used for task management, platforms like Asana and Trello can be augmented with analytics plugins or integrations to track the progress of sales activities. They offer a visual way to manage appointments, follow-ups, and sales processes while monitoring completion rates and timeframes against goals.
  • Sales performance management (SPM) software: SPM software is designed specifically for sales teams to optimize performance through incentive compensation management, quota planning, and forecasting. These tools provide insights into individual and team performance, helping managers make informed decisions about coaching, training, and adjustments to sales strategies.

πŸ“š Relevant article: How to choose the best sales management software for your team

Enhance internal communication

Employees who are supported are far more likely to accomplish their goals. Create regular channels for feedback and communication between management and your sales team. Internal communication empowers employees and allows to quickly address any issues if they arise.

Training and support

All staff members, including employees and managers, should feel on the same page about the goals-making process. Provide training related to goal setting, time management, and using the tracking tools that measure success. Also, consider providing support for understanding and interpreting data to make better decisions.

Regular review and goal adjustment

Review goals against historical performance and market trends, and be open to adjusting goals as circumstances and needs change. Regular review should be a part of your structured goal-setting process. 

Conclusion

While there’s no single answer for how many sales appointments a team should have per day, you hopefully feel more empowered to create your own expectations for your team.

Setting goals for the new year or quarter doesn’t have to be intimidating. With a strong framework and process, you can ensure that your team is ready for effective appointment setting and long-term success. Once you’ve set your goals, learn how to qualify your sales leads to ensure you’re spending time on the leads that have the potential to close.

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Stephanie Trovato
Author
Stephanie Trovato
B2B copywriter
Stephanie is an experienced marketer and content expert in the B2B space with a background in international trade and marketing analytics. A multi-channel storyteller and strategist with over a decade of content marketing experience, Stephanie's expertise spans the marketing, technology, SaaS, eCommerce, and workplace management industries.
Yuriy Boyko
Expert
Yuriy Boyko
Head of Account Management at Belkins
Yuriy has been working in the B2B sales sector for more than a decade. His approach is the integration of scientific methods combined with thinking out of the box, allowing to achieve the highest results in any industry.