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Appointment Setting: 4 Steps to Boost Sales Meetings with Prospects

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:

  1. Identify
  2. Expand
  3. Engage
  4. Nurture and Convert

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 frequent 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.

 

Appointment Setting Tool: Manage your leads and sales appointments using the Callbox Pipeline CRM

 

Explore More Opportunities for Growth with these Appointment Setting Tips

When it comes to appointment setting, businesses will only have to use the process of tapping new growth opportunities. For leads to turn into customers, it’s only vital for companies to focus on building a lead generation and appointment setting strategy that adds value to every successful sale close.

Growing your business has to involve a great deal of knowing how to handle prospects and guide them down the sales funnel. When prospects like what your offer and are interested in your message, they become more likely to accept your offer. Applying these successes in subsequent appointments with potential customers will result in higher revenue and better growth prospects.

Much of the effort you put into converting leads into sales comes from appointment setting, so it’s only important to know the best tips in this critical phase in the sales process.

 

1. Maintain professionalism

Appointment setting isn’t always about making offers and selling a product or service. It’s much more than that. Engaging a potential customer allows you to secure a sale and also, provide your brand the traction it needs to generate more business.

After all, potential customers, especially B2B companies, are focusing more on whether or not a service provider can be a trustworthy partner for them. They are more likely to engage a brand if it’s earnestly providing solutions to critical issues. For this reason, a brand that shows the utmost professionalism in what it does has better chances of closing a sale than one that’s focused mostly on selling.

That being said, don’t assume that you’re selling because you need to, but because your prospects need something that can actually help them realize their own potential for growth.

Related: 5 Things to Know Before Outsourcing your Lead Generation

 

2. Qualify your prospects

Part and parcel of the B2B selling process involve knowing whether or not a prospect is a right fit for your product or service. Lead generation and lead nurturing are essential in qualifying leads.

With a well-defined target audience profile, you will be able to find the right prospects for your brand. To create your target audience profile, make sure to list down essential details such as location, size, industry, as well as title. This allows you to water down a large database of sales leads so you are left with a list of people who will end up buying your offers.

To get surefire results in your lead qualification, you will need to cleanse your database regularly. Names, addresses, and pertinent information can get outdated, so you will need to update your list every now and then. This is to eliminate any duplications or invalid contact details that can mislead your marketing and sales teams and result in wasted time and resources.

Customer Profiling

Data is the new oil. Target your ideal customers through our database of 7M+ decision makers across various industries.

 

3. Prepare great sales collaterals

Aside from telemarketing and B2B lead generation, you will also need to distribute collaterals that can help your prospects in making their decision to purchase.

The key to effective collateral distribution lies in how these materials are designed and how they are sent over to prospects. Marketing materials such as brochures and whitepapers, for example, should include information that’s related to the prospect’s industry. They should also provide ample information about specific problems and how these can be resolved using your product or service.

It’s also crucial to have an experienced graphics designer who can layout these materials and make them more presentable and professional. With compelling content and well-crafted visuals, you will be able to get prospects to set an appointment with your sales representative.

Multi-channel Marketing

Reach and engage the right people across all channels with Callbox Multi-channel Marketing

 

4. Draft effective call scripts

No matter how seasoned an appointment setter you seem to be, it’s still important to have an effective call script with you. One thing’s for sure, a call script acts as a guide that helps you navigate your way around your engagement with a prospect.

Call scripts allow your appointment setters to be consistent in your messaging. They should include a step-by-step process that enables your team to respond accordingly to any queries or actions by the prospect. By following an effective call script, you are able to focus more on getting prospects to say “yes” to a sales appointment.

Want to know how we can handle your lead generation and appointment setting campaign. No doubt, we will be using the tips just listed above. Contact us today to get the ball rolling!

Related: Sales Call Success with A Perfect Telemarketing Script

Sample cold calling scripts

Get our FREE sample telemarketing scripts for All Industry types. This includes scripts for appointment setting, event marketing, and data profiling

 

Searching for an Appointment Setting Company? Here’s Something to Guide you Through

Updated: June 20, 2019

We’re bringing new life to this article with relevant and up-to-date information. Enjoy!

Facebook Messenger launched its appointment setting messenger bot lately. It’s the latest app released by the bigtime that could span adoption to its 40 million business users globally soon. Although the appointment booking messenger platform is still in invite-only beta, it will become fully ready to book appointments later this year.

Aside from the booking bot, a huge pile of technology innovations came out ahead like Dialogflow and Hubot which are now enjoyed by millions of users worldwide.

Will these apps put an end to appointment setting business providers soon?

Looking into the brighter side of things however, these technology breakthroughs can actually be used as additional or optional tools for appointment setting strategies. And appointment setting companies need not fear any of these tech tools given they have the core ideas, skills and tactics that bots don’t.

Apps and tools can help along the process, but if you want the best solution for your problems and achieve your business targets, it is best to find an appointment setting company that could tailor a holistic approach based on your needs. Take this quick guide when you search for an Appointment Setting Company.

 

Search The Web

Search the web with keywords like appointment setting or appointment setting companies, and check each of the first five listed results as they are the ones most searched and visited. Remember, first page ranking websites grab 36.4% of the traffic, and is key to driving more traffic and leads to your business.

 

Browse Through The Company Website

You would know that a company provides holistic appointment setting approach when everything and anything you need to see and know about them and their products and services can be found on their website.

  • The Home page should contain several buttons like Services, Industries, Clients, Resources, About Us and Blog, that link to pages with detailed information. CTAs like Contact Us, Book A Free Consultation or Meeting and Send Message must be up on the home page, signifying the company’s readiness to serve and promptness to answer queries.
  • The Service page must not only contain a description of the “what” and “how” of their processes and tools, but must give a comprehensive content of what happens before, during and after the campaign.
  • The Industries tab must show you how broad the company’s market reach is, as well as their flexibility in engaging multiple clients of different insights across the globe.
  • The Clients space must contain feedback, reviews, and testimonials of clients they have served.
  • The Resources page must be like a portal to the company’s inner thoughts. Get to know them better and how their processes work through videos, demos, case studies, slides, infographics, ebooks, and brochures. There must be topics that raise awareness, impart knowledge and useful content that can help shape you up into a wiser decision maker.
  • The About Us tab is like the company’s official ID, containing the company’s history and profile.
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Track Their Tenure

How long have they been in service? 5, 10, 15 years? The longer they have been setting appointments, the stronger, trusted and credible they are as a business. This also means that they have clever nurturing skills, otherwise they could have closed down a couple of years after the launch.

It’s not wise to go after someone or something so techie and advanced all the time, but search for an appointment setting company who is able to answer all your questions and have the right tools and schemes to address your business needs.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

Sales Appointment Setting: In-House or Outsourced [2019 Edition]

Updated: Jan. 3, 2019

We’re bringing new life to this article with relevant and up-to-date information. Enjoy!

Throughout my 15 years in this industry, one question almost always pops up when talking to marketing and sales teams from different companies: should we outsource prospecting or keep it in-house? My response every time has been to find out as much as I can about the asker’s requirements and resources, then base my answer on it.

That’s because, as someone in an outsourced marketing company, I always see to it that the businesses we work with really do have a genuine need and fit for third-party marketing services since these clients tend to gain the most success from us.

Our experience has taught us that the decision between outsourced and DIY marketing goes beyond merely cost-savings alone. Practically all of our most successful clients made their outsourcing decision based on these six company-specific factors:

 

Goals and Timelines

I’ve met a number of potential partners who managed to make informed outsourcing decisions simply by taking a step back and clarifying their marketing and sales objectives.

It’s important that you carefully think about the following questions first when weighing your options:

  • What are your monthly and quarterly targets in terms of leads, appointments, proposals, and deals?
  • What pipeline growth rate are you aiming for?
  • How quickly do you need to expand your pipeline?

If you’re looking at very tight timetables for pipeline acceleration, then a third-party lead generation firm might be a more preferable option than recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training additional in-house staff.

 

Competency

One of the main things to consider in the in-house vs. outsourced sales appointment setting decision is the skills and expertise needed to achieve your prospecting goals.

A reputable sales appointment setting provider ideally has the right kind of expertise (since prospecting is their core competency). But, depending on your goals, your internal people may or may not already be up to the task:

  • What are your core marketing/sales activities?
  • How much time do staff members actually spend on core marketing/sales activities?
  • Can you train current and additional staff without disrupting operations?

In addition to specialized sales prospecting skills, today’s appointment setting projects require supplementary expertise such as project management and technical capabilities.

 

Technology and Tools

From a robust CRM tool to a solid marketing automation platform, modern sales appointment setting campaigns depend on an entire stack of different technologies.

This is why having (or not having) the essential marketing tools and technology is a crucial factor when choosing between in-house and outsourced marketing:

  • Does your current technology stack accelerate or slow down pipeline growth?
  • What percentage of your prospecting workflow does your technology stack support?
  • How well does your tech stack let you track and measure results?

Building and operating a marketing tech stack that’s up to par with industry standards oftentimes require significant outlays for tool purchases and subscriptions. Unless you’re willing and able to commit the needed resources, an outsourced lead generation firm is most likely a more viable option.

 

Ability to Scale and Keep Up

Speaking of industry standards, it goes without saying that the marketing landscape continues to evolve at a rapid pace. Strategies and tactics can quickly become obsolete, making it difficult for marketing/sales teams to keep up.

Although at first glance not much has changed with appointment setting, the reality is that sales prospecting is a vastly different activity than what it used to be. It’s now an integrated part of the prospect’s buying journey—with an entire set of new requirements and demands:

  • Do you follow a defined strategy to keep up with marketing trends in your industry?
  • Can you set aside resources for testing and evaluating potential improvements and innovations?
  • Can you provide your team with continuous learning and development opportunities?

 

Costs and ROI

Like with any business decision, costs occupy a key place in the outsourced-vs.-DIY marketing question. But there’s a right way and a wrong way to look at costs when deciding whether or not to outsource.

The key is to take into account the value and ROI from your chosen option, rather than purely focusing on the amount spent or saved.

  • Can you reliably track how much each prospecting activity contributes to your objectives?
  • Are you looking into the breakdown and details of prospecting costs?
  • What do unit costs (e.g., cost per lead, cost per acquisition, etc.) look like under each option?

 

Company Culture

A lot of companies looking to outsource marketing operations often treat cultural fit as an afterthought. But cultural match needs to be one of your top considerations, not only at the vendor level but also whether outsourcing itself aligns with your brand and organizational values.

  • How much of your top-of-funnel activities depend on branded communications?
  • Can you maintain open and efficient lines of communication with people outside your organization?
  • Do you see outsourcing as a transactional option or long-term partnership?

Working with an outsourced sales appointment setting agency means allowing a third party to represent your company and brand at a crucial stage in the sales process. That’s why cultural fit can make or break success.

Conclusion: I hope this quick blog post has shed some light on your outsourcing planning. The important thing is to pinpoint exactly what your goals are, so that you’ll choose the option that best meets your needs.

 

Author Bio:

Rebecca Matias

Rebecca Matias is a Business Development Manager at Callbox. She is a proactive marketer who is willing to share her passion, leadership principles and craft in marketing. Follow Rebecca on Twitter and Facebook.

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