Appointment setting is an integral part of any lead generation or sales prospecting process and as a business development executive, I am aware of how sales and marketing work toward this goal because it leads them to the primary objective – customer acquisition. In other words, a sale will not happen unless you get to meet and talk to prospects.
Looks like a simple process yet a lot of salespeople struggle with sales appointment setting. A lot of businesses spend a huge chunk of their time and resources on finding ways to grab prospects’ attention and securing meetings with these decision-makers. Research shows that 75 percent of the total sales effort goes towards this process. Definitely a HUGE chunk!
We also experienced the same predicament during our early years. After a series of strategizing, trial and error, and going back to the board, it all boils down to these two – structure and clear goals. Once the team created a structure, creating a SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely) goal becomes easier.
Our process is simple and straightforward. In fact, it can be broken down into 4 crucial steps:
Now, let’s look at each of them closely:
#1 Identify and profile your target companies and prospects
Getting prospects without identifying them first is like a boxer fighting his own shadow. You try to beat an enemy that doesn’t exist. The same applies to business – how can you know if the prospect you’re trying to run after is the right fit for you? Or how can you know that what you’re offering will address their pain point?
When our team finally identified and profiled the kind of clients we want to do business with, we saved ourselves not only of time, money, and effort. We saved ourselves from unneeded stress because we know what we’re after.
If a certain company or client does not fit your ideal customer profile, move on to the next one.
The key is to focus on high-value accounts by identifying target companies with the highest potential of turning into your customers.
The following is a step-by-step guide to building and profiling the right B2B lead list
#2 Expand your contacts within target accounts(companies)
After identifying your ideal customers, you need to gain in-depth understanding of each target account by building complete profiles of the individuals involved in the decision-making process. After all, the goal of appointment setting is to secure meetings with the right potential customers.
By doing so, you know the people you need to persuade and engage so they will take action. These individuals might include C-Suite such as CFOs, CIOs, and CMOs and/or upper management decision-makers.
This resource goes into detail on how you can refine your executive sales pitch using the three C’s of selling to the C-suite.
You can also tailor your approach to each key individual in the company. Remember that your primary goal is to connect the pain points of each person in the buying committee back to their company’s objective so they will reach a consensus to make a purchase decision.
#3 Engage across multiple channels
The importance of this step in every lead generation and appointment setting campaign is pretty self-explanatory but there are a few modifications that can help you get better results.
An effective approach to multi-channel marketing is to choose the channels your key prospects tend to use more often, and then tailor your outreach and appointment setting touchpoints based on their activities across these channels.
Knowing how frequently they use these channels is next to impossible but you can make an approximation using the information you’ve gathered in the first 2 steps.
For appointment setting, you can start engaging across the following channels:
- EMAIL – deliver timely and personalized emails to warm up and nurture prospects. Create email templates for different touch points in the campaign – from initial outreach, all the way to targeted send-outs.
- PHONE – nurture, qualify and book sales meetings with potential leads using 1:1 phone outreach. Phone-based touchpoints boosts performance by delivering leads at scale and producing results in real-time.
- SOCIAL – social reinforces the touches made in other channels and enhances your campaign’s online visibility. Focus on three key social media deliverables: impressions, connections, and actions.
- WEB – use lead-generating landing pages that maximize your sales appointments and conversions. The landing page serves as the campaign hub where your target prospects can learn more about your offer, access downloadable resources, and submit additional information.
Download over 40 B2B Email Templates for every situation – from cold outreach all the way to requesting referrals
Struggling with cold calls? Get our FREE sample appointment setting scripts for all industry types. This includes scripts for lead generation, event telemarketing, and customer profiling
#4 Nurture and convert into sales appointments
Now that you have identified and profiled your target accounts and individuals, it’s time to create customized campaigns that resonate with them.
Start aligning your message with the needs, interests, and challenges of each key person in the account. Ideally, the message you develop should have a unique value proposition that will influence each key person towards a buying decision.
Here are some points to consider when creating your appointment setting campaign message:
- Understand what each key person believes in and meet them where they are.
- Develop a clear and strong case for your position. It sends a message that you know what you’re talking about and eventually, the solution to their pain points.
- You can further strengthen your case by using real-world examples to show that your ideas indeed work.
Bonus: Measure results and optimize when needed
Finally, you need to measure the results of your appointment setting campaign. Measuring the results also include tracking account engagement, calculating the opportunities that have been created as well as the deals you’ve closed and their value.
Results take time, so give your team time to create results. Keep on evaluating so you can adjust your appointment setting tactics and strategy if needed.