How to outsource appointment setting to a company

Precious Oboidhe
Precious Oboidhe
Reading time:11 m

In 5+ years of running our B2B lead generation company, we’ve worked with over 1000 brands in several industries like SaaS, consulting, cyber security, solar energy, and financial services.

From our experiences and innumerable conversations with businesses who work with appointment setting companies, we’ve understood:

  • What businesses want when they outsource appointment setting
  • The challenges and regrets of businesses that got subpar results
  • How success with an appointment setting company looks

Learnings from our customers — especially those who switched from other appointment-setting companies — show that many agencies don’t deliver satisfactory results. They often provide inadequate leads, resulting in too few opportunities to close. 

Besides the wasted time and lost leads, customers lose between $20,000 to $50,000 depending on the length of their contract with a vendor. No one, absolutely no one, should ever go through this ordeal.

To help you outsource appointment setting to the right company, here are 5 factors you should consider before working with one:

  1. Do they have industry expertise?
  2. Are they transparent in their operations?
  3. Do they have irrefutable social proof?
  4. Are they specialists in appointment setting?
  5. Do they have a clear sales process?

Below, we’ll explain each factor and discuss how our B2B lead generation company addresses them.

5 Factors for choosing an appointment-setting agency

Assuming a company is a right fit will make you lose on all fronts. You’d lose time, money, leads, and potential closed deals. To avoid these, ensure your preferred appointment-setting agency ticks these factors. It’s better to make no exceptions.

Factor #1: Do they have industry expertise?

Before any appointment-setting agency begins outreach, they'd need time to do a million things like:

  • understanding your products and services
  • finding your ideal customers
  • sourcing and verifying contact data
  • creating outreach scripts and templates 

If they lack experience in your industry, they'd need significantly more time to execute the above. 

Spoiler alert ⚠️: With appointment setting, time equals money.

Out of 2500 respondents in the 2023 State of Outbound Report by Belkins, 14.5% say their lead wasn’t fit because competitors already engaged them.

state of outbound report: common reason for finding unfit leads


That means you must not let time slip away because delaying outreach can result in fewer leads. 

  • Few leads = Few prospects
  • Few prospects = Few sales. 

You don't want that. And that’s why you should outsource B2B sales to agencies experienced in your industry.

An agency experienced in your industry can implement what worked for a previous customer. Since they understand your business and target audience, they can substantially cut research time, hit the ground running, and use best practices in your industry to find key decision-makers and start getting appointments on your calendar fast.

Factor #2: Are they transparent in their operations?

Untransparent appointment-setting companies are no good. Their propensity to leave you in the dark is almost certain. Aside from their lack of accountability, you can’t trust such companies to do as promised.

To avoid surprises, be clear about how an appointment-setting agency works before hiring them.

  • What will they be doing?
  • How soon will you see results?
  • Do you understand their process?
  • Will your sales teams cooperate with the agency?

If you work in a highly competitive industry, you should also watch out for potential conflict of interest. According to the Belkins State of Outbound Report, 84.7% of respondents in the financial industry say intense competition is a challenge. 

Competition intensity across the industries


So ensure the agency you choose isn’t working with a close competitor.

If they do, they have to disclose this information so you can decide whether to work with them. This ensures you don’t work with a disingenuous company who may share leads between you and a close competitor that sells similar products or services.

Factor #3: Do they have irrefutable social proof?

Any company can claim to be transparent or have industry expertise. That doesn’t mean they do. When searching for the best B2B appointment setting services, go beyond what a company says. 

Asking your peers to recommend suitable companies is one way to separate the wheat from the chaff. After getting a list of companies, check their websites to learn about them. Now you may see some testimonials on their website and that’s fine. However, testimonials don’t dive into the details of a customer’s engagement with a company. This is where third-party review sites like TrustRadius, Clutch, and G2 shine.

To find third-party reviews of appointment setting companies, Google ‘company name + review website.’ If they have a page on the website, read their reviews to be sure they are a fit.

Reading written case studies or watching video case studies is another way to learn how a company gets results for customers. That said, if a company's case studies are unrelated to your industry and needs, it shows the company may not be a fit since they may be inexperienced in your industry and waste your time.

Factor #4: Are they specialists in appointment setting?

We don’t discount the role of generalists. They’d always have their place. But if you want results fast, working with specialists is a good call.

Think about it: people with toothache would likely visit a dentist instead of a general medical practitioner. The same happens if you want to sue someone; you find specialized lawyers to boost your odds of winning.

Agencies specialized in B2B appointment setting will probably have more expertise than generalists who offer many services, plus appointment setting. If you choose to work with a vendor that offers services beside appointment setting, watch out for their team size. 

Yuriy Boyko, Head of Account Management at Belkins says,

“It’s great if an agency has a team of experts specialized in SEO, PPC, and any other channel.”

But if the team is small, one person may handle appointment setting and other unrelated tasks that aren’t outbound.

That’s not ideal because agencies that spread themselves too thin may not do their best work with appointment setting.

Factor #5: Do they have a clear sales process?

Finding a company that fulfills the above factors isn’t enough. Be sure their sales process works for you. This ensures the budget you allocate to the company gets an excellent ROI.

Yuriy Boyko says, when chatting with a company’s rep, ask about:

  • Their workflow
  • Team members you’d work with
  • What happens if you have no appointments
  • Their flexibility to change ineffective strategies
  • What happens if they don’t get the agreed number of appointments

Keep your ear to the ground so you know if the company makes promises they can’t keep. For instance, “If a contractor says they can deliver 20+ appointments no matter what, it's a red flag,” says Yuriy. Trustworthy vendors will never say that because they know factors like seasonality can influence the interest of leads in scheduling appointments.

“Take December, for instance. People dedicate a huge chunk of it to festivities like Christmas. So it’s impossible to get a high number of appointments in December unless the company’s rep is lying. They can only do this by getting unqualified appointments just to fulfill the pipeline,” Yuriy adds.

Now, let’s go over how we’ve addressed each factor you should consider before working with an appointment-setting agency.

How Belkins addresses each factor and gets better results than traditional appointment-setting agencies

Whenever we onboard new clients, our focus is on their long-term lead generation goals.

To succeed at this, we start with a solid foundation. In appointment setting, that foundation is research. Deep, exhaustive research of your ideal customers.

Knowing your ideal customers improves the conversion rate of every email we send. This lets us book quality appointments and helps you close leads. The outcome? Good words about our company spreads and that’s how we meet the first factor of an appointment setting agency worth hiring.

Factor #1: We prove our industry expertise by generating results for clients

No agency gains vast industry expertise by doing a poor job. If they somehow succeed at delivering poor results, they may work with a few companies and that's it.

  • Their results leave clients dissatisfied
  • The engagement ends abruptly
  • They don’t get referrals

Well, not us.

We’ve worked with many businesses across several industries. From small businesses having under 10 employees to enterprises containing 10,000+ employees, we’ve served them all.

Some Industries We Serve at Belkins

Before we start outreach for clients, we research their target audience, segment them, and verify contacts. Afterward, we map out buying signals and identify the best prospects using tools like LinkedIn Sales Navigator, ZoomInfo, and Apollo. This provides a solid foundation for a successful campaign. But that's not all. 

Our expertise goes beyond the number of industries we've worked with. We take a holistic view of our entire outbound operations and create products that help our clients generate better results, irrespective of their industry.

For instance, over the years, we discovered that poor email deliverability was a challenge for many of our customers. To fix this issue, we created Folderly in 2019, an advanced email deliverability solution that ensures your cold emails land in your prospects' inbox. Here’s what Hannah, a marketer at Stripo, says about Folderly.

“We benefited greatly from their proprietary technology, Folderly. It helped our emails to bypass spam filters.”

Now if we didn't create this product, we will do all the research we want, send cold emails, and everything will still fall flat because our emails would land in the spam folder of our leads. 

Factor #2: We stay transparent from the get-go by communicating frequently and providing in-depth reporting

Transparency is a core part of our approach at Belkins. As usual, this begins with our first call. 

Customer Testimonial About Belkins Transparency


Let’s say we onboard you as a new client. Unlike traditional appointment-setting agencies, we won’t dive headfirst into the number of appointments you need. Instead, we ask about your goals and figure out the number of leads we need to hit those goals. This ensures we feed your sales machine with qualified leads you can close consistently.

You can also expect open conversations about:

  • Your business
  • Your business model
  • Number of emails you need per month
  • Minimum number of calls you need per month
  • Your need for marketing-qualified or sales-qualified leads
  • Members of our team you’d work with
  • Members of your team who’d work with us
  • Number of months we need to get you results

And more!

These questions put us on the same page and give you confidence that your investment will generate excellent ROI. Transparency is also our ability to mention setbacks, offer solutions, and maintain an open line of communication through reporting. Some metrics we track include:

  • Number of emails sent, including relevant email metrics
  • Number of appointments booked weekly or monthly
  • Number of engaged prospects
  • Number of prospects reached
  • Number of leads researched
  • Percentage of no-shows
  • Sales cycle length

Review of Belkins Frequent Planning Sessions and in Depth Reporting


Using this transparent process helps us communicate our roadmaps, embrace your inputs, and do what it takes to secure your campaign’s success and retain our trust.

Factor #3: Our customers give us social proof by tooting our horn

Nothing explains social proof better than the Latin saying — “Nemo judex in causa sua.” It literally means “no one is a judge in their own cause.”

By letting our customers be our judge, we avoid implicit bias and say not what we think of our service, but what customers think. As of February 2023, we’ve amassed 200+ reviews on third-party websites like:

  • Clutch
    • Number of reviews: 150
    • Average rating: 4.9/5
  • G2
    • Number of reviews: 44
    • Average rating: 4.8/5
  • TrustRadius
    • Number of reviews: 15
    • Average rating: 9.5/10

These reviews and ratings are great. But if you like to dive into how we helped a customer achieve specific results, our 60+ case studies do just that. And you don’t have to wade through several case studies on our site. We segmented them by industry and company size so you can find stories that closely match what you want quickly.

Belkins Case Study Filtered by Industry

Factor #4: We remain specialists to serve you better and not spread ourselves too thin

We believe being specialists is a great thing.

Since its inception, our work has centered on outbound lead generation. We only do appointment setting, sales lead research, and LinkedIn marketing. Even when we create a new product or service, it’s still about outbound marketing.

For instance, besides Folderly, we created Wordstir, a boutique agency for B2B teams that want to scale outbound campaigns with cold email sequences. The implication of this service is that we continually sharpen our cold email skills and position ourselves to deliver on your campaigns.

See how one of our customers puts it:

“The team is full of qualified specialists. They are competent in their niche. They helped me get the most out of LinkedIn. The communication was polite, the feedback was amazing. I was able to keep in touch with professionals at any time.”

Another customer who was first skeptical of using Belkins says:

“My colleague advised me to try services provided by Belkins. At first, I was skeptical, but they said they could solve my sales issues and make up for my shortcomings. They’ve kept all promises. We used an email campaign to drive sales. They provided me with a constant flow of meetings with potential customers, and lots of these customers are now my long-term clients. If you are like us, don't hesitate to start working with Belkins.”

Factor #5: We use a simple and effective sales process

As soon as we get in touch with your team, your goals are our goals and your success is our priority. We are ready for intense brainstorming, unearthing and fixing challenges, and growing your business.

Here’s how our process looks:

  • We discuss your business and goals
  • Study any relevant materials you have
  • Begin researching your customers
  • Qualify your customers
  • Create outreach messages
  • Send emails and follow-ups
  • Schedule and confirm appointments
  • Connect and follow up
  • Send weekly reports
  • Refine and adjust our outreach strategy to generate the best outcomes

This simple and highly effective process has led to feedback like this:
Testimonial About Belkins Results From a $200,000 Client


Plus, it has helped us retain lots of our clients

Testimonial About a Belkins' Client Renewing Their Contract


Is outsourcing sales appointment setting right for you?

Outsourcing sales appointment setting is right when:

  • your company needs to close deals fast
  • you have limited resources
  • you can’t afford to hire more salespeople immediately.

Also, if your salespeople don't deliver enough leads like one of our customers mentioned, you need to consider outsourcing appointment setting.

Customer Says the Belkins Team Trumps Their in House Sdr


Now, if the length of your sales cycle is long and you don’t have enough salespeople, it means you have to focus on closing deals. That doesn’t give you the wiggle room to do lots of things leading to the appointment setting. This is where outsourcing takes center stage. When you outsource appointment setting, you optimize your time, focus on following up qualified leads, and close deals.

The best part? You can get a 10 to 15% increase in sales conversion because you are more diligent about what you do in the pipeline. This can bring you at least $10,000 or $15,000 in revenue a month, which will fully cover the expenses of any appointment-setting service like ours.

Even if you have the resources to hire salespeople, you still have to teach them and ensure they learn your processes. They need to learn how to research, learn how to respond, and make their own share of mistakes before uncovering what works. Unfortunately, these are time-consuming and will make you lose many potential deals. Put another way, “You’re just pouring investment into nowhere,” says Yuriy.

The good news? Your sales leader can work with us, we’d find what works fast, and then they can hire other sales reps who can scale up what we’ve built.

Work with Belkins and learn more

At Belkins, we provide several free resources that let you get the hang of all-things outbound marketing.

  • Hire Belkins: If you want to get your outbound processes on top gear, contact us and we’d discuss how we can help.
  • Belkins Case Studies: We’ve generated 4,760,850 leads for businesses of all sizes. The leads have brought in millions of dollars for our customers. Read their stories.
  • Belkins Growth Podcast: In the Belkins Growth Podcast, VP of sales Brian Hicks and co-founder Michael Maximoff, host professionals from various companies to discuss the most effective sales practices, market challenges, and business perspectives for their industries.
  • Belkins Webinars: Subscribe now to become a member of our community. Unlock access to exclusive insights right away.

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Precious Oboidhe
Precious Oboidhe
B2B Content Strategist & Writer
Precious develops content marketing strategies and frequently blogs for the well-known B2B players. HubSpot, CoSchedule, EngageBay, and Foundation Inc. — this is only a small part of the MarTech brands Precious collaborated with.