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How to improve appointment rate in B2B sales

Stephanie Trovato
Stephanie Trovato
Reading time:10 m

There’s no doubt that high appointment rates are an important part of your company’s sales goals.

But getting a pipeline full of quality leads and driven by a seamless customer journey is certainly easier said than done.

In 2024, Belkins’ inner sales team secures over 450 meetings monthly, which is 35% more than the year before. What tricks do we use?

In this article, we’re going to look at some quick tips for improving your organization’s appointment rates (and bottom line). We’ll also look at some best practices for keeping those rates up — and how Belkins can help you reach your appointment-setting goals.

Note: Trust professionals in booking more appointments to save more time on revenue operations. to map your ROI-focused outbound strategy.

Quick tips to improve appointment rates

While improving your appointment rates can feel like an intimidating task, it doesn’t have to be difficult. We’ve compiled a few quick fixes you can make to send your appointment rates through the roof.

Send confirmations and reminders

Sometimes, low appointment rates are simply a result of logistics errors. Sending confirmations and reminders can be a great way to engage your lead — and keep your meeting top-of-mind.

Thankfully, sending confirmations and reminders can be easy. There are loads of automation tools to help with scheduling and reminders. 

At Belkins, our sales team uses Chili Piper for inbound appointments (and our client delivery team takes advantage of Calendly). Both tools offer automated reminder features.

Effective confirmation and reminder strategies include:

  • Personalization. Users are more likely to open messages that are personally addressed to them.
  • Rescheduling options. Provide your prospect with the option to reschedule in case a shift in their calendar occurs. When you make it easy to reschedule, you minimize no-shows.
  • Multiple reminders on a consistent schedule. SolutionReach recommends sending reminders a week before, a day before, and an hour before each appointment as the best way to ensure appointment attendance.

Refine your targeting

Another potential reason that your appointment rates are low is inaccurate targeting. You want to be calling in leads who are likely to engage your service, and if you’re not getting appointments, you may not be speaking to the right people.

Data analytics are a valuable way to gain insights about targeting and segmentation. For the most successful targeting, we suggest:

  • Leveraging behavioral data for segmentation from your CRM or analytics tool. Behavioral data about your segments can give insights into how each segment behaves. This can help you target groups in the channels they most regularly frequent.
  • Pay attention to conversion paths. Keep a close eye on the journeys of prospects. Did they visit a specific page? Did they click an ad? You may find that some parts of your marketing mix more effectively create appointments than others.
  • Engage predictive analytics. Predictive analytics look at historical data and make predictions for future behavior. This can help you define which leads will schedule appointments and boost your bottom line.

As a lead generation agency, Belkins prioritizes targeting as an important way of gathering qualified leads. Our lead researchers use over a dozen tools to best hone in on your ideal client.

Improve sales pitch and messaging

Sometimes, gaining more appointments requires revising and sharpening your sales pitch. Consider thinking about customer-specific pain points that you can tap into to make your messaging more compelling.

Personalization is another great way to improve responses and appointment rates. At Belkins, the BDRs personalize as many of our emails as they can. We also incorporate personalization (including hyper-personalization) into the strategies for all of our clients.

💡 Case in point:

When Belkins collaborated with Virayo, a specialized SaaS SEO industry, personalization was a major part of our approach. We increased leads, appointment rates, and deals closed in just a few short months, just by improving their targeting and adding personalization to their messaging according to titles we reached.

Offer value in every interaction

Leads are engaging with your organization because they want to gain value from it. If interactions with your site and sales teams aren’t providing value, they won’t feel like an appointment is a good way to spend their time.

Provide robust whitepapers, webinars, and case studies that give value early on in the buyer’s journey. At Belkins, we have rich educational content alongside authority-building testimonials and case studies that prove we’re a value-oriented organization.

We send these testimonials and case studies in our outbound emails to make it simple for prospects to see our track record. In some cases, this authority-establishing practice is a major factor in a prospect’s decision to make an appointment with our sales team.

Communicate meeting agenda

Sometimes, appointments are intimidating for leads because they don’t know what to expect. Think of your own day-to-day — you’re probably more likely to bail on engagements that are full of unknowns, too.

By providing a meeting agenda, leads can feel prepared when they walk into the appointment. Not only will they know what to expect, but they can be confident that the appointment is a good way to spend their time.

A few strategies for agenda construction include:

  • Adding a summary of what the lead/customer should have prepared before the meeting
  • Specifying the beginning and end time
  • Communicating about priorities before the meeting, so that appointment time is efficiently used

You want to take a customer-centric approach to setting appointments. Make sure that their time spent is really worth their while.

Make setting appointments easy

Working professionals have a lot on their plate. One of the easiest ways to keep your lead moving down the sales funnel is by simplifying the appointment-setting process.

Take advantage of B2B tools built precisely to optimize your scheduling process. We use Calendly for outbound appointment setting, but Appointlet is another great option. Both tools have plans that start at $8 a month and offer customization, automated reminders, and easy integration with CRMs and meeting platforms.

📚 Relevant article: Read more details on Calendly, Appointlet, and other useful software in our detailed B2B sales prospecting tools review.

Rather than forcing your lead to sit on hold for minutes on end, integrate appointment-setting tools into your website. That makes it obvious and easy for your lead to schedule appointments.

Another important factor is the time required to book an appointment on your site, which might require improving a web form UX. For example, experiment with the number of input fields in your appointment booking form. Finally, test how easy appointment booking is on mobile devices.

Call-Booking Form Example

Prioritize making the journey easy. It’s a great way to keep customers flowing in the right direction.

Best practices for sustaining high appointment rates

Once you’ve gotten your appointment rates up, you’ll want to pour some energy into maintaining them. Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

Implement or upgrade CRM systems

High appointment rates require a high amount of follow-through. A great way to keep track of your appointments is to adopt a high-quality CRM

Continue to foster positive relationships with your leads through reliable communication. A great CRM can help you do that by:

  • Refining sales strategies
  • Streamlining the follow-up process
  • Tracking leads and optimizing the funnel
  • Managing appointments and contact statuses

A CRM plays a major role in productivity. Make thorough use of organizational features, automated tools, and data analysis to enrich your appointment-setting process.

📚 Read more: How HubSpot & sales enablement drove Belkins’ 15% closing rate of outbound leads and $5M in new revenue

Analyze customer interactions for improved follow-ups

A high appointment rate is great, but a high conversion rate is better. And often, that involves understanding customer behavior to a deep extent.

Now that you’ve got a great CRM in place, you can use data to understand customer needs and behaviors to improve your follow-up rates. Here are a few strategies you can engage:

  • Use conversation analytics to tailor follow-ups to address common concerns or questions among your leads and customers.
  • Track engagement and interaction history to time your follow-ups perfectly. You can A/B test, too, if you lack far-reaching historical data.
  • Customize follow-ups by customer segments. Some customer segments need more nurturing and engagement, while others are more hands-off.

Maintain required levels of lead generation

Once your appointment-setting goals are met, it’s easy to stop fostering new leads. But to keep your levels high, you’ll need to bring in a steady flow of potential appointments. To do this, we suggest:

  • Keeping a consistent content schedule. Social media posting, email campaigns, and content distribution need to continue going even when you’re busy to draw in TOFU leads.
  • Leverage customer referrals throughout your process to build an organic network.
  • Incorporate outbound lead generation into your daily routine. Take a few minutes each day to make calls or send emails.

You can also outsource your lead generation and take it off your plate completely. Our lead generation service prioritizes sending quality leads to your organization on a steady and growing scale.

Implement a structured follow-up process

As we’ve established, follow-ups are one of the most important parts of the appointment-setting process. Don’t wing your follow-ups. Instead, engage in a structured follow-up strategy. There are a few different ways to go about this, including:

  • The educational follow-up strategy, which emphasizes providing educational content to further engage your lead. Send resources like webinars and blog posts to educate your lead and keep them interested in your brand.
  • The hands-off strategy, which emphasizes your availability but doesn’t pressure the lead. Send a thank-you and offer to meet in the future, but don’t overwhelm your lead with resources or content.
  • The value-add strategy, which fuses educational strategy with a needs-based approach. You’ll address the challenges your lead is facing and provide solutions with blogs, testimonials, and availability.

You’ll also want to have a consistent follow-up schedule that keeps you on track. Without a structured strategy, follow-ups can quickly fall off your radar.

📚 Read more: 13 sales follow-up email templates that generate replies

Leveraging outsourcing for appointment setting

There are a lot of critical elements of a salesperson’s role. From guiding folks to the top of the funnel to leading them toward closing a deal, salespeople can feel like they’re wearing a lot of hats.

Belkins provides appointment-setting to enable sales team members to focus on what only they can do: closing deals. By outsourcing appointment setting, you can stop wasting time pulling leads into the buyers’ journey and instead hone in on guiding them to the end of the funnel.

If outsourcing appointment setting or lead generation sounds like something you may be interested in, book a call with our team. We’ll talk you through all of our services and answer any questions you may have.

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Stephanie Trovato
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.