How to Hire a Professional Appointment Setter for Your Sales Team

Author
Michael Maximoff
Published
10/05/2022
Reading duration
9m
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Sealing deals in business not only includes a meeting between a company’s sales rep and a potential customer. A huge part of its success depends on the thorough preparation of this business meeting. A person who deals with this process is called an appointment setter, whose role is as important as the one who holds the presentation.

If you’re looking for a specialist who will arrange productive business meetings with your prospects, this B2B blog by Belkins leaves no questions unanswered. How do you determine the best specialist for your team? What skills to pay attention to when searching for an appt setter? Is it better to outsource an appointment-setting process? Read on to find the answers.

In this article you'll find out:

  • Who an appointment setter is and what they do;
  • Top 6 appointment-setting skills a true specialist should have;
  • In-house or outsource appointment setting team — what is best in your case? 

What Is an Appointment Setter Position?

The role of a sales appointment setter is pretty straightforward. It is a professional who deals with appt. setting within their company or on behalf of their clients. They schedule meetings and consultations between the company’s sales reps and potential customers, supporting the sales team by handling communications with prospects via email or phone and ensuring that all important meetings are booked for both parties in their calendars.

What Does an Appointment Setter Do?

Although some specific job tasks can vary from one company to another, the general list of duties typically includes:

  • Familiarizing yourself with the company’s products, services, and all associated details;
  • Accepting incoming calls from potential customers;
  • Calling potential clients from the contact list provided by the sales team;
  • Handling prospects’ questions and concerns related to the company’s products and services;
  • Scheduling meetings between a prospect and a relevant sales representative;
  • Ensuring appointments will take place and reducing the no-show rate;
  • Keeping a detailed appt. setting database with a log of calls and a detailed calendar with all dates and times of scheduled meetings.

Core requirements for an appointment setter

4 core requirements for an appointment setter

Top 6 Appointment-Setting Skills a True Specialist Should Have

A good appointment setting specialist should combine exceptional time-management, communicational, and organizational skills. Let’s consider 6 key appointment-setting skills that every good specialist must possess.

1. Communication

Appt. setting involves a lot of communication with both potential customers and the sales team. One of the basics for high-quality communication is a solid rapport that a setter should build with colleagues and prospects, which directly depends on a person’s soft skills. They include:

  • Empathy;
  • Confidence;
  • Attentiveness;
  • Respect;
  • Active listening.

Speaking about communication skills, it’s also worth noting that a good setter should demonstrate both verbal and written communication skills. In some cases, a person in this role will be handling communications with customers verbally, for example, via the phone.

Other times, they might be required to handle communication via email. So both types of skills are equally important. You can assess them in the very first phases of the recruiting process, during a job interview, or by examining a person’s emails.

2. Outbound calling

If your company doesn’t stick to email outreach, the future appointment setter should possess a profound experience in cold and warm calling. Setters often have to deal with such calls when they need to reach out to prospects that the company couldn’t get a hold of or when they need to call back prospects who left their contact details.

In any case, handling such calls requires:

  • Proper organization;
  • Attention to detail;
  • Stress management;
  • The ability to handle the customer’s concerns and questions. 

Worth noting that the quality of outbound calls made by the specialist directly depends on the previous skill. So if a potential setter fails in verbal communication, they are unlikely to be cold-calling superstars.

3. Customer service

Apart from the company’s reputation, the quality of customer service will affect the number of meetings and sales. If a setter can deliver excellent customer experiences, prospects will be more willing to schedule appointments with your company and more open to the sales rep’s offer. For these reasons, it’s important to look for setters who demonstrate this skill and provide any necessary training.

So, how to understand the specialist is great at delivering first-class customer service?

  1. They know your product from A to Z or possess exceptional experience in your industry;
  2. Demonstrate patience in the most uncomfortable situations;
  3. They are great in conflict resolution;
  4. Opt to find creative solutions when solving prospects’ issues;
  5. They deliver timely and comprehensive solutions;
  6. Are friendly and open-minded and treat customers’ problems with understanding.

The Belkins appointment setters communicates with clients on a daily basis and try their best to improve customer service. Their effective approaches and well-delivered customer service have been resulted in more than 5,000 MQLs in the pipeline and over 50 appointments for Unifocus, a software SaaS provider of workforce management systems in the US and overseas. Look through the case study and find out for yourself.  

50+ appointments for Unifocus

To measure customer service performance, many companies develop their own standards and KPIs. Overall, the example metrics you can utilize to track an appt setter’s performance are:

  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT), usually measured by holding client reviews or polls;
  • Average resolution time (ART), demonstrating the average time the team member takes to resolve a client’s or prospect’s issues;
  • Average conversion rate that shows how many leads the specialist managed to convert into appointments;
  • No-show rate is measured by dividing the number of no-shows by the total number of weekly/monthly meetings.

4. Overall business understanding

This skill might not be very obvious for an appt. setting role. However, in order to handle prospects’ questions and concerns, a good setter must be able to answer all their questions in such a way that they keep a meeting with the company’s rep and make a purchase. And to do it successfully, people in this role must have an overall business understanding.

What does this mean? First, it implies understanding how their business works and what processes are involved in it. They also must know what strategies their company uses for customer acquisition, marketing, and sales. Lastly but most importantly, a great appointment setting specialist should have a deep understanding of the company’s products or services, as well as their features, specs, benefits, differences from competitors, and other details. With this knowledge, setters can build an effective strategy and bring higher ROIs to their companies.

5. Objection handling

When a prospect fills out a contact form and calls the company themselves, this indicates their interest in the product or service the company offers. However, even if they show interest, it doesn’t give you a 100% guarantee they will agree to have an appointment with a sales rep. This is one of the tasks of a setter: to convince prospects to schedule an appointment. That’s why objection handling is also among the most crucial skills for people who set appointments.

A specialist in this role should know how to react to prospects’ objections and address them in such a way that the prospects’ doubts vanish. This is a true art that requires:

  1. Knowing the right tips and techniques to keep the potential customer engaged and encourage them to have an appointment;
  2. Collecting and qualifying the most common types of objections and developing methods and scripts for their handling.

Without it, setting appointments would be impossible. So this skill should be among the top ones that companies look for in their employees.

Discover how to set lots of qualified appointments to ensure the success of your B2B sales process in the shortest term here — 5 B2B Appointment Setting Tips to Fill Your Schedule With Qualified Appointments Quickly

6. Time management

Appt. setting specialists must be able to find free slots in prospects’ and reps’ schedules and set the right timing for every appointment. At the same time, they have to be able to schedule all consultations in a way that meeting times don’t clash with each other.

Doing this requires strong time management skills. Furthermore, an outbound appointment setter must effectively manage their own time to organize their workflow, send timely messages or make calls, and set meetings with teammates to streamline the sales process.

Should I Build an Appointment Setting Team or Outsource It?

The hiring process can become much easier when you know appointment setting skills that companies should look for in their appointment setters. But one more important thing to note about this role is that an appointment setter is not necessarily someone from your in-house team.

In many cases, engaging a second-party sales specialist is more effective. Here are the advantages of engaging an outsourced appointment-setting specialist:

  1. Saving recruiting budget. First, hiring a top-notch appointment setter requires a recruiter’s advanced knowledge of sales, which is not always easy. Second, if your company expands its sales dept, you should do the same with a recruiting team, which means double expenses.
  2. It’s time-saving. Usually, building your sales team requires months of training and educating newcomers, which postpones sales boost. The specialized outsource appointment-setting agencies build their workflow that way to integrate into your company’s structure and start selling almost immediately.
  3. It allows more flexibility. You can enhance your in-house sales department with outsourced specialists in appointment-setting or gradually expand your internal team after cooperating with the sales agent and gaining experience.
  4. It delivers higher ROI. Exceptional expertise in sales and specialization in certain industries allows outsourced appt-setting agents to bring more high-quality leads to your pipeline, resulting in higher conversion and, as a result, higher return on investment.
Do you know that 65% of companies that outsourced in the past are planning to increase outsourcing. Why? Find out the key benefits of outsourced appointment setting service here — Is Sales Outsourcing Right for Your Business? Let’s Figure It Out!

Once you know that outsourcing your appointment-setting process is much more effective, here are a few tips that should help you find the best specialists:

  • Look for companies with broad experience and a proven track record of successfully scheduled appointments;
  • Check out clients’ testimonials and companies’ case studies;
  • Examine the reviews on such resources as Clutch, Upcity, G2, etc.;
  • Don’t opt for the cheapest services;
  • Lead a smaller project to test the chosen provider before engaging in long-term commitments;
  • When testing the chosen company’s expertise and skills, don’t forget to check the list of 7 skills we described in the previous paragraph.

If you need a real appt. setting expert but don’t know where to find one, you’ve come to the best place! Belkins is a trusted B2B appointment-setting service provider that can help you achieve your goals. Our team has nearly 1,000 satisfied customers, for which we’ve scheduled over 200,000 appointments, bringing them increased ROI and revenue. So if you are looking for a reliable appointment scheduling partner, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

100% success in appointment setting

Michael Maximoff

Co-founder and Managing Partner at Belkins
Mike has more than 10 years of experience in the digital marketing and technology sector selling to SMB internationally. Michael leads Belkins' sales force and is responsible for biz development and new partnerships.