June 1, 2022

B2B Appointment Setting to Generate More Leads

Let’s understand everything about B2B appointment setting to generate more leads.

Have you ever imagined standing in front of a magical mirror-like the Evil Queen from Snow White and asking, “Oh, the mirror on the wall tells me everything about my potential clients?”

Now, getting back to reality, there is no magical mirror that can tell you who your ideal customer is, where they are and how to reach them.

But there is another better option — the B2B appointment setting program. This logical and magical approach can take you one step closer to the ideal customer.

Excited? So, let’s understand everything about B2B appointment setting to generate more leads.

So, What’s B2B Appointment Setting?

B2B appointment setting is a business growth strategy. In it, an appointment setter (sales reps) connects with potential clients, pitches them and schedules a sales appointment to discuss further.

During the one-on-one sales appointment, your sales team gets a chance to talk with a key decision-maker (KDM) and explore how your company can leverage their pain points.

The B2B appointment setting is a simple concept, but it is not an easy task. No matter how experienced your sales reps are, B2B appointment setting is a challenging task.

In order to have a predictable appointment setting program, you need a well-thought-out strategy. Importantly, your appointment setters must constantly put activities into the appointment setting program. It is impossible to build relationships with leads in the sales pipeline without constant effort.

What Does an Appointment Setter Do? 

The main task of an appointment setter is to contact leads to schedule meetings and product demos. Via cold calls, cold emails or other outbound marketing methods, appointment setters can reach out to marketing leads and follow up with warm leads.

In addition, the appointment setters also have to determine whether a lead is qualified enough to fit the product or be your ideal customer personality (ICP).

How Do B2B Appointment Setters Nurture Relationships With Leads in the Sales Funnel?

Appointment setters have to contact leads through various platforms to connect with the right KDM at the right time. A sales development representative performing appointment setters role has to use the following tactics to build relationships with potential leads:

How Do B2B Appointment Setters Nurture Relationships With Leads in the Sales Funnel?

Making Cold Calls

Cold calling might be an old B2B lead generation strategy, but it is still effective. Using a B2B cold calling strategy can build awareness and brand credibility and understand your prospect’s core issues.

Cold Emails

Cold calling cannot connect you with the top KDMs. Usually, B2B decision-makers don’t answer their official calls on their own unless you have their personal contact numbers.

Therefore, cold emailing is the best way to reach out to busy leads. Your email will always stay in the prospect’s inboxes that they can open and respond to anytime.  

However, an effective cold email has a personalized message that triggers the wants and needs of your potential leads. This will increase your email open and response rate. In fact, you might have some sales appointments booked after a personalized email.

Share Some Value

When an appointment setter says “they offer the best services”, it is not sufficient to convince professional B2B leads to make a decision. B2B KDMs require more solid proof than your mere words to convert.

Therefore, appointment setters have to use various sales embellishments to boost their appointment settings efforts like case studies, blogs, e-books, etc.

For example, SDR can attach relevant case study links in the cold email to show prospects how you had solved a similar issue before and achieved good results.

Connect on Social Networks

For appointment setters, it is essential to connect with potential buyers on different platforms and nurture a personal relationship with them. And there is nothing better way than social media to do so.

You can connect with prospects on social media channels like LinkedIn or Instagram to build brand awareness and know more about your leads. In addition, you can understand more about your leads and directly message them to start a conversation with them through social media

Characteristics of a Good Appointment Setter

A B2B appointment setting program’s success depends on the person performing the appointment setter’s role. If the appointment setter doesn’t have the adequate skills to motivate and engage the prospects, you can not gain maximum output from your B2B appointment setting program.

Thus, ensure to hire an appointment setter who possesses the following skills—

Excellent Communication Skills

B2B appointment setters should have impeccable communication skills. They should know how to start a conversation with potential leads. A good appointment setter needs to know all the right open-end questions to motivate leads to open up and freely interact with them.

Qualifications to Provide Value

Good communication skills are essential for appointment setters. But, it doesn’t mean they should talk nonsense on a call with a highly professional lead. A good appointment setter must have qualifications to provide valuable information to B2B customers. In addition, they must have knowledge about the prospects' business to answer all the technical questions related to the industry.

Identify Key Decision Makers

A sales representative should know who are the key decision-makers in the company. If your SDR keeps wasting their time on people who have no authority to make a decision in the company, it will be a useless sales chase for you. Therefore, for a successful B2B appointment setting program, you have to ensure that your sales representatives always connect with KDMs. And for that, they should know how to recognize key decision-makers.

Handle Objections

In an ideal situation, an appointment setter will contact a lead, set up meetings with them and convert them into their paying customers. But, this doesn’t happen in the real world. In reality, appointment setters have to deal with a series of questions and objections from potential leads. Therefore, along with great communication skills, they need patience and information to handle all the objections like a pro.

Understand Appointment Setting Process

Today, every company has an internal appointment setting procedure. In fact, some big companies have a proper department of secretaries to fix appointments with the right person. So, an appointment setter must understand the internal appointment setting process of a targeted lead and follow it to increase the chance of getting connected with the right person.

Ask the Relevant Questions

The main purpose of setting an appointment with potential leads is to understand their problems and pain points. So, the appointment setter must know which questions are relevant to understand their leads and drive them towards their products or services. A good appointment setter knows how to keep the conversation flowing with the right questions that can provide value to the sales team.

Technical Skills

An appointment setter has to communicate with hundreds of people every day. Therefore, it is not possible for them to remember every conversation and follow up with each person at the right time. That’s why an appointment setter requires tools to manage their workflow and establish a connection with potential customers.

Some of the common tools that appointment setters must know how to use are - CRM, email automation, call management software, etc. To use all these tools, an appointment setter requires basic technical skills. Thus, ensure that your SDR is capable enough to handle simple no-code tools.

Prediction Skills

Finally, your appointment setter must have some excellent prediction skills. If they find that a particular sales pitch is not delivering results, they should instantly make changes to it. Furthermore, they must know how and when to make changes in the sales process. Otherwise, your company resources will waste resources on useless appointment setting methods and strategies.

How to Set Up a B2B Appointment Setting Team?

B2B appointment setting programs are essential for companies that sell expensive products. You need a well-structured appointment setting team to reduce your sales cycle and connect with prospects.


However, once again, it is not easy to set up a B2B appointment setting team. First of all, you have to find a competent appointment setter with all the skills discussed above. Then, after that, you have to focus on these factors to set up a powerful B2B appointment setting internal unit:

Customer Database

You need data to set up a powerful B2B appointment setting unit. Without proper data, you cannot connect with your potential customers. Therefore, you have to first work on building your customer database.

Now, just collecting relevant data about your potential customers is not sufficient anymore. You have to constantly segment your data based on common factors like sales qualified leads, marketing qualified leads, etc.

After that, you need to make sure that all the leads are active in your sales pipeline. If there’s an old or an inactive lead, you should try to re-engage with them. If there is no response, you should remove that lead from your sales pipeline.

So, it will take a lot of resources to develop and manage your customer database. Therefore, many companies buy customer databases from third-party service providers. But, this method is only successful if you purchase a customer database from credible companies. Otherwise, you might damage your business reputation.

Adequate Tech-stack

You have to equip your appointment setting team with powerful technologies for data management and lead generation. In addition, they need a variety of tools based on their goals, budget and sales target.

For example, to find and connect with prospects on Linkedin, you need to get a LinkedIn Sales Navigator for your team.

In addition, you need to provide them with a complete CRM solution like Alore.io to build personalized connections with leads. Besides this, your team needs tools to send cold emails, make cold calls and manage other outreach efforts.

Team Management

Managing your appointment setting team is crucial for the success of your B2B appointment setting program. All appointment setters are not experienced and knowledgeable about communicating with professional customers.

Therefore, you have to appoint a manager and skill analyzer to help your sales representatives. Moreover, you need a manager to monitor and track the performance of your individual sales representatives.

In addition, you also need the management software to monitor your field sales representatives' performance. So, tools and managers are essential to make your B2B appointment setting program a success.

Quick Modifications

Sales teams have to constantly make adjustments to what they are doing. They have to monitor the performance of their current B2B appointment setting program and make adjustments accordingly.

A good B2B appointment setter is ready to adjust infrastructure, campaigns and other appointment setting strategies to drive maximum results.

Inbound vs Outbound B2B Appointment Setting Services

As you have seen how to set up an in-house B2B appointment setting team, it is evident that the process is not easy.

You have to find competent appointment setters, acquire tools, and plan various strategies to build your internal appointment setting team. And all this requires a significant budget and time.

So, if you don’t have time or resources to set up your appointment setting team, there is no need to worry about it. You can easily outsource your B2B appointment setting services.

Many great companies are available that can help you set appointments with your prospects. They have the adequate technical infrastructure and man force to connect you with potential leads.

But this leaves us with another important question — is outsourcing B2B appointment setting services better than in-house?

Well, this is a trick question, and you have to understand the comparison between inbound and outbound appointment setting services to find your answer.

Cost

On the basis of cost, setting up an in-house appointment setting team will be more expensive. You have to purchase the sales management tools and pay a salary to sales reps to run appointment setting operations. In addition, you have to provide basic infrastructure to your team like computer systems, internet connection, etc.

On the contrary, B2B appointment setting companies only charge for the services that you use. Usually, B2B appointment setting vendors charge as:

Monthly Fee: In this structure, B2B appointment setting companies to charge a fixed sum monthly based on a dedicated time or selected services. Besides this, they also may charge a commission based on the number of appointment sets.

Activity-Based: This package is based on a certain number of activities on a campaign. That means a B2B appointment setting vendor will charge based on activities like the number of meetings scheduled, etc.

Pay Per Appointment: It is a simple pricing model in which you only pay for the appointments that your vendor has booked for you. That means no appointments are equal to no money.

Personalization

Outsourcing B2B appointment setting services are good for the economic front. But when it comes to providing a personalized touch to your leads, it is not that effective.

Your in-house team can better understand your ideal customers and help you provide personalized solutions to them. On the other hand, third-party companies can offer a limited personal touch as they don’t know your customers well. They have to rely upon the information shared by your sales team.

Technical Expertise

This round goes to companies. The reason is simple — they have highly skilled staff and powerful tools to set appointments with qualified leads. They provide extensive training to their staff to pursue B2B leads across multiple platforms.

However, in-house teams have limited technical skills. First of all, it is not feasible for small businesses to hire experienced appointment setters, so they have to settle with less qualified sales reps.

In addition, most businesses don’t have adequate resources to provide timely training to appointment setters. This, in return, impacts the B2B appointment setting quality.

Also, many companies cannot hire professional sales reps locally due to skill gap problems.

Lead Quality

On this point, we have to draw. The reason?

The lead quality is a problem in both in-house and outsourced B2B appointment setting services. Here if your SDR is not qualified to identify the key decision-makers, your lead quality will be poor.

On the flip side, if you don’t share the proper ICP details with your B2B appointment setting company, they can not set appointments with your prospects.

So, it all comes down to the quality of your SDRs and B2B appointment setting vendors. Thus, we highly recommend getting competent appointment setters to generate high-quality leads.

Should I Outsource or Set Up a B2B Appointment Setting Team?

That totally depends on you. If you have an adequate budget and time to hire, train and manage in-house appointment setters, you can always go for an in-house team.

But if you are already struggling to manage your internal sales operations, don’t add up more workload on your team. Instead, you can simply outsource appointment setting tasks to professionals so your sales team can focus on preparing a dynamic sales pitch.

However, always hire qualified appointment setters to boost your sales reach no matter which solution you pick. Even if you have to pay a little more to an experienced person, it will be worthwhile.

That’s it for now! For more B2B lead generation tips and tricks, check out other blogs on this site.

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