B2B appointment setting is a rather time consuming, yet a pivotal element of every business’s success strategy. It is an effective appointment setting that enables businesses to get out there in their target market, get noticed by a larger number of qualified leads, and start closing deals.
But, needless to say, developing a winning appointment setting program for your own brand is no easy task. Unless you find a reliable appointment setting company to help you out.
With B2B appointment setting, businesses can:
- Save time and effort of their sales reps;
- Create stronger bonds with their clients;
- Deliver better customer experiences;
- Improve employee morale;
- Enhance profit and ensure scalability, etc.
These and many other benefits a B2B company can get from investing into professional appointment setting services. But, making these services truly great is no easy task. In order to ensure success, service providers must know the mechanism of B2B appointment setting, major tricks for making the most of this activity, as well as the most common mistakes to avoid.
Looking to reach more decision makers and make more appointments, businesses often choose to opt for professional B2B appointment setting services.
By hiring a dedicated team of experienced appointment setters, your company can save plenty of time for your in-house sales team and, at the same time, reach a larger number of your prospective customers and get more appointments scheduled.
But, how can such services be more results-driven? Belkins knows the answer! In this article, the team of a top-rated appointment setting company will help you grasp the basics of effective B2B appointment setting.
In this article, you will learn:
- What sales appointments are;
- Why setting appointments is crucial for B2B lead generation;
- Scheduling appointments how-to;
- Handy tips on how to schedule appointments;
- Things to avoid in appointment setting.
What Is B2B Appointment Setting?
Appointment setting is a core element of B2B lead generation. In a business-to-business sales model, setting sales appointments is one of the most powerful sales development activities that enable businesses to reach out to their potential customers (i.e other businesses and their key decision makers), deliver an effective sales pitch, and, hopefully, close a deal.
In a nutshell, the core idea of this activity is to connect your own trained sales development representatives with your potential customers’ reps or decision-makers, with the goal to make a more thorough sales presentation. The process involves many different activities, including cold calling, following up with, and otherwise nurturing more qualified leads in order to convert them into actual customers.
Why Is Appointment Setting an Important Part of B2B Lead Generation?
When it comes to the B2B sphere, without making appointments with prospective clients, you won’t have much luck closing deals and expanding your sales funnel. A well-thought-through b2B appointment setting strategy empowers your in house sales team to optimize and streamline the process of generating, nurturing and converting every qualified lead. At the same time, if done wisely, it can help brands boost the number of sales, and, respectively, enhance revenues.
To help you see the real value of setting sales appointments here is a short overview of the main benefits of this activity by the experts from Belkins:
1) Saving Time and Effort
Generating the right number of leads, ensuring a high lead quality, and pursuing all those leads via cold calls, emails, and other channels can take plenty of time and effort of your sales reps. But, a wise appointment setting strategy can help them save their time and effort. In the process of setting appointments, your sales representatives will focus on pursuing only high-profile clients such as decision makers who express interest in your services or products. By narrowing down the lead pool to the most high-quality buyer personas your team will save plenty of time and, at the same time, boost the efficiency of the sales process. Simply put, if you set appointments, you can drive better results with less effort.
2) Creating a Stronger Bond With Customers
While your sales rep will be prospecting and nurturing a potential customer, he will get a unique opportunity to get to know the customer better and showcase the real value of your offer. With the help of conducting thorough research on new clients and applying active listening techniques, as well as other tools, your sales development representative will be able to build firm foundations for strong, trustful, and long-term relationships with your clients. As a result, your brand will be able to create a stronger bond with your clients and ensure that they will stay loyal to your brand in the long run.
3) Building Up Employee Motivation
The biggest benefit of delegating sales appointment setting to professionals, in particular, is that it can help companies build up the morale and motivation of their in-house teams. The thing is that when you outsource this matter to experts, your in-house sales reps get a chance to spend 100% of their time and effort on communicating with prospects who are already interested in the products or services you offer. As a result, they will have more enjoyable conversations and higher conversion rates, which can boost their morale.
4) Enabling Sales Specialization
B2B appointment setting implies splitting up the entire lead generation process into smaller phases and spreading the tasks evenly between different teams and employees within your company. This approach can help you receive all the benefits of sales specialization. This basically means that everyone in your team will be performing distinct, specialized roles. As a result, every employee in this system will gradually be getting better and better in his role, making the entire mechanism work smoother and even more efficiently than ever.
5) Delivering Better Customer Experiences
The last but definitely not least significant benefit of appointment setting for B2B business is that this activity enables you to deliver the best customer experiences you can. By recognizing interested customers, answering their questions, and guiding them through the entire process until the deal is closed with attention and care, your brand can significantly improve customer satisfaction and loyalty rates. Eventually, better customer experiences mean higher profits and faster growth.
How to Book an Appointment
Scheduling every single sales appointment is a complex, multi-stage process that can take a rather extended period of time. One way to simplify the process and save your team’s time is to turn to a professional appointment setter for help. But, even if you do opt for specialized B2B appointment setting services, it is still crucial that you understand how an effective appointment setting mechanism works inside and out.
Basically, the entire process of lead generation for a B2B brand consists of three major phases:
|Prospecting||Appointment Setting||Closing the Deal|
Each of these three phases is extremely important for reaching out to your target audience and converting prospects into clients. Throw away any of these phases and your business won’t be able to close deals and grow. But, even though every element is important, appointment setting is probably the most crucial for success. Without it, very few potential clients can make it to the buying phase. Thus, the more meetings you schedule, the higher chances of success you have.
Okay, that’s clear. But, how exactly does it work? Here is a simple step-by-step guide on how to book an appointment:
- Research. First and foremost, before you can make a cold call, send an email, or otherwise reach out to your potential client, you have to conduct some research. To get things right, your team needs to get clear on the profile of your buyer persona. Then, you will need to find prospects who fall under your ideal customer criteria and collect their basic contact information so that you could contact them.
- Introduction. When you have the contact details of your prospects, you can start reaching out to them. When you do, the first step you need to take is to make a clear introduction. At the beginning of the conversation, introduce yourself and your company. Then you have to acknowledge that the person you are calling is busy and ask if you can take a bit of their time.
- Motivation. The next step implies leveraging a simple technique to add motivation. Specify the purpose of calling to give your prospects a reason to keep listening. Hint at the major benefits your company can provide. This trick is used to keep the conversation going and prevent any hesitations or objections that might be there.
- Questioning. A huge part of appointment setting is made up of qualifying leads in order to understand if they have the potential to become actual buyers. To get through this phase, create a structured questioning process that will help you get to know your prospect better and identify whether he is worth setting an appointment with.
- Gaining Agreement. Once you are positive that a prospect you are talking to is worth meeting, you need to gain their agreement for setting an appointment. In order to gain an agreement, you should prepare a simple, yet powerful proposal in advance. The more specific and relevant the proposal is, the higher is the chance of receiving a positive answer.
- Handling Objections. Finally, the last stage of appointment setting is objection handling. As a rule, most objections are faced after an attempt to gain an agreement. Yet, they can arise at any moment during the conversation. And every sales rep should be ready for this. There are many different techniques that can empower you to handle prospects’ objections. But, most importantly, remember not to contradict or argue with them. Instead, focus on going around these objections and persuading your prospects to schedule a meeting. Emphasize the fact that you will be able to answer all questions and dispel all doubts during a face-to-face meeting.
This guide represents the universal structure of an effective a B2B appointment setting process. Now, let’s move on to the tips and techniques that can make this process even more effective and results-driven.
Tips to Set More B2B Appointments
For B2B appointment setting services providers looking to boost the efficiency of their activities, below are the top five tips that will help you drive better results with ease:
I. Know More About People You Are Trying to Reach
The first tip might sound way too obvious. But, since its importance is hard to undervalue, it is vital that we emphasize it — knowing something about your prospects is the key to getting them interested.
Before trying to reach anyone, make sure you take time to study your prospects’ industries, values, pain points, needs, etc. Collecting more information about each potential customer will let you find more points of contact with them and, eventually, create a stronger bond.
II. Get Straight to the Point
Tip number two is to get straight to the point once you reach out to your potential customer. According to surveys, only 37% of prospect clients feel like salespeople are providing them with helpful and relevant information during their cold calls. No need to say that this feeling can really hold them back from answering positively to your appointment proposal. So, you don’t want to be one of those salespeople.
One thing to always keep in mind when trying to schedule appointments — the time of your prospects is just as valuable as yours. So, if you want to convert them, you don’t want to waste their time. Instead of wasting lots of time speaking of unrelated things, stay confident and get down to the main point of your conversation as soon as possible.
Remember — a brief sales pitch is the most effective one.
III. Practice Active Listening
Another thing every salesperson should remember concerning cold calling is that they never want it to be a monologue. It has to be a conversation instead. And that’s why it is pivotal to maintain the right balance between talking and listening.
The next tip for making your services more results-driven is to leverage active listening techniques in order to build trust and create a sense of conversation. If you want a prospect to get genuinely interested in you, show them that you are actually interested in them too. If you don’t do this, chances are that you will never get their agreement for a meeting.
Here are a few core tips for becoming an active listener yourself:
- First and foremost, always give your interlocutor a chance to talk. Ask questions and listen closely to their answers.
- Never let yourself interrupt the prospect.
- Be sincerely interested in your interlocutor and his opinion.
- Show that you are listening by occasionally repeating what you’ve just heard and using common affirmations like “That’s good to know” or “I completely understand you.”
- Have clear and persuasive rebuttals prepared in advance to address the most common doubts and objections that you can hear from the prospect.
Following these tips and keeping your calls conversational should help you nurture leads efficiently and easily. At the same time, these active listening techniques will help you build trust between you and your prospects, which means higher chances of scheduling an appointment with them.
IV. Ask to Accept the Calendar Invite
Clearly enough, since the purpose of calling is to schedule a meeting, you will be discussing the timing and date with the prospect, and asking for their agreement. But, this is where many salespeople make a huge mistake. They don’t make a call to action.
After discussing all the details, don’t leave things just like that. Instead, urge your interlocutor to accept the calendar invite from you after finishing the conversation. By making this call to action, you can ensure that the meeting you’ve planned will actually take place and the prospect won’t forget about it.
Pro Tip: In case you won’t get the prospect to promise to accept your calendar invite, don’t forget to follow up. By following up with your prospects, you can minimize the cases of no-shows and ensure better results of your appointment setting strategy.
V. Know Your Goals
Lastly, another tip that should help you take your strategy to the next level is to always stay clear on your goals and keep them in mind during every stage of the process.
Ideally, your sales team should have clear and manageable objectives. Define how many appointments you are hoping to get, what conversion rates you want to have, etc. Having all your goals well-defined will help you stay on the right track, monitor the progress, and figure out ways to improve your strategy to get even better outcomes.
Things to Avoid With B2B Appointment Setting
Now that you know about the key ways to make your B2B appointment setting services more results-driven, let’s look at the key things to avoid in order to ensure success:
Not Updating Your CRM Records
As providers of appointment scheduling services, chances are that you and your team are talking to a huge number of prospects. Clearly, keeping all their details and updates in mind is simply impossible, which is the reason why you need a good CRM (customer relationship management) system. But, here is a problem — at a certain point, you may feel like cutting corners by not updating your CRM records.
Such an approach can really hold you back from success. Not keeping track of prospects’ updates can make your team waste lots of time in vain. So, don’t make this mistake. Instead, make it a rule to update your prospects’ CRM profiles with vital data during every call that you make.
Targeting the Wrong Audience
The second huge mistake salespeople should avoid is trying to reach the wrong prospects. As was mentioned earlier, the core idea of appointment scheduling is to save your time and effort. Not the other way around. And, as you can guess, targeting the wrong audience will actually make your efforts a huge waste of time.
In order to avoid this mistake, be sure you get clear on what your target audience is. Create an ideal customer profile and qualify your leads carefully. This way you will save plenty of time and ensure better results.
Using Wrong Tools
In order to streamline your operations and automate the process of appointment scheduling, chances are that you will be using a wide set of different tools, including CRMs, appointment setting platforms, etc.
So, here is the last thing you want to avoid — using tools that slow you down instead of giving you a cutting edge.
Be careful with selecting your tools. Ensure that the software and other tools you use in your work have all the necessary features to help you drive success. With the right tools, your strategy will never be the same again!
So, these were some of the things you want to do and not do when providing B2B appointment setting services. Now, you are all set to get out there and win over the hearts of your prospects!