When people think of B2B lead generation, they typically think of sales, websites, and other marketing services—essentially any service or tactic that helps drive leads. However, what many businesses don’t realize is that a B2B appointment setting campaign can also help you indirectly perform market research.
In sales, one of the worst things you can do is waste a conversation. Most companies start an ‘appointment setting campaign’ and are so hyper-focused on trying to set appointments, they forget about other important aspects of sales. By asking great questions and gaining valuable insight into your prospects’ business, you can set yourself up for future success.
Here are four things you should do if you want your B2B appointment setting program to also act as a market research tool.
Ask a great question, get a great answer. If you have good survey questions to ask prospects, you can pull together quantifiable, useful data from their answers. Before starting a B2B appointment setting program, make sure to compile a list of excellent survey questions.
Ask yourself what questions, if answered, would provide you with information to help nurture a prospect over time. For example, if you’re an IT company doing managed IT services lead generation, one of your survey questions could be, “how many desktops do you have?” Knowing this information will not only help you qualify a lead, but it will also help you tailor your future messaging to meet the prospect’s unique needs.
Other questions that provide useful information for lead nurturing:
- Are you happy with your current provider?
- Who are you working with right now? Do you like working with them?
- When is your contract with your current provider up?
- When will you be evaluating other providers?
More qualifying questions by industry:
- Commercial cleaning lead generation: How many nights a week do you need cleaning services? What kinds of services is your current provider offering you?
- Solar, LED, Roofing, HVAC, Cleaning, and Construction Companies: What is the square footage of your facility?
- Realtor recruitment: Ask Realtors, “What do you like about your current company?”
The better your survey questions are, the more information you’ll have. More information means more ways to improve your business and a higher likelihood of closing a deal with a prospect in the future because you’re actually building a relationship with them.
You should be recording information from all conversations in your customer relationship management (CRM) software. Once you have enough data to work with, you should gather all of the information and put it in a digestible format. From there, you can make decisions about how to tweak your B2B appointment setting program and how to improve your business.
Here are a few examples of how answers to survey questions help you as a salesperson:
Common prospect answers to survey questions
- Realtor Recruitment: A Realtor tells you that they like their current company because they offer high-earning Realtors the opportunity to win a new car.
- Commercial cleaning lead generation: A company tells you they like their current provider because they cause little disruption at their facility and are always in and out quickly.
- Solar leads and LED lead generation: A prospect says, “I really just don’t think I need your services.”
Changes you should make as a company
- You have to either A) start offering this at your real estate company or B) think of what you could offer to compete with this.
- If this is a common trend, you may want to consider listing this as a unique differentiator on your website and on your marketing materials.
- If a prospect can’t see value in your product or service from the pitch alone, tweak your pitch. Additionally, create sales collateral that showcases the value of what you offer.
Your response to the prospect
- Tell them you’d love to keep in touch and follow up. Also, send them information about any new Realtor incentives you’re offering as you make changes.
- Tell them that your company is known for this too, and you’d be happy to send over more information (sales materials, testimonials, or anything else that could support your point).
- SHOW THEM WHY THEY NEED YOUR SERVICES. Show numbers and average savings, send case studies and testimonials. Anything to support your point.
It’s clear why asking great survey questions is so important. It helps you improve your company and see what people in your marketplace are looking for. You can better sell to a prospect when you know their needs, and when you start to see trends, you can better serve everyone and become a leading-provider in your industry.
A huge reason why B2B appointment setting programs fail is because salespeople are focused on appointments and not relationships. The key to increasing your sales? Use outbound marketing to build relationships and gather information and then use that to set an appointment.
This is how most cold call conversations go:
“Hi, are you ready to talk about buying my product or service today?”
“Nope, not interested.”
“Okay, thanks for your time!”
*click* phone call over.
Most salespeople stop there because they’re looking for an appointment right now. However, great Sales Development Representatives know that most prospects aren’t ready to meet the first time you call them. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to gather valuable information and set yourself up for future success.
Don’t burn a bridge just because someone isn’t ready to buy today. Get information and build a relationship, but don’t waste a conversation. Instead of just saying, “okay, never mind. Thank you for your time,” try saying this:
“Great, I understand that you’re not interested in making a change right now. What I’d love to do is get you some information and follow up in a few months. If your situation changes, you don’t have to look for someone; just give me a call, and I’d be happy to help! Also, do you mind if I ask you a few questions so I can send over some information that is relevant to your business?”
Boom. The relationship with the prospect begins.
Before you can implement any of the previously mentioned tips into your sales process, you have to do something very simple, yet effective—START HAVING CONVERSATIONS. Start having conversations with as many people as possible in your sphere. Worst case scenario? You don’t close a deal right away, but you have a ton of great information to help you position yourself in the market while also building relationships with qualified leads. That’s a pretty great worst-case scenario! And the best-case scenario? You’re sitting on top of tons of opportunities.
In my first job out of college, I was working for a big-time financial advisor doing sales. I still remember one of my first days on the job; he put the St. Louis Post Dispatch on my desk and told me to call everyone who was mentioned in the paper. My first thought was, “you’ve got to be kidding me; there’s no way that can work.” But now, several years later, I see the value in it. It’s all about activity. Reach out, start the conversation, and learn where people in your market are at.
Those people who you’re just beginning to build a relationship with; they WILL need your services one day. Conversations with more prospects begins with us a conversation with us. Book an appointment to learn how our process works → start the conversation today.