Why Virtualizing B2B Appointment Setting Should Be Part of Your Business Continuity Plan
During a time of change, crisis, and uncertainty, let’s talk about something important: business continuity plans. Business continuity planning (BCP) is the process involved in creating a system of prevention and recovery from any potential threats to a company. A business continuity plan protects people and assets and ensures that organizations are able to function in the event of a disaster. The COVID-19 pandemic is a perfect example of why a company would need a business continuity plan.
Now, let’s discuss why B2B appointment setting should be part of your business continuity plan. And don’t worry, even if it wasn’t originally a part of your plan, it’s never too late to virtualize B2B appointment setting.
Benefits of Virtualizing B2B Appointment Setting
A good business continuity plan means that you have components of your business separated out so that if something happens to one, it may not impact the other. For example, having multiple locations where employees sit prevents a natural disaster from impacting the company as much. Multiple server locations allow you to store data backups in different locations.
A lot of businesses don’t think about virtualizing their sales process as much as they think about virtualizing their manufacturing process or HR functions. However, companies need to think about their sales process just as much as they do any other function of their business. Why?
Consider the following scenarios:
Scenario #1—One salesperson in an office is performing sales activities and business development activities (prospecting, building lists, and cold calling). If that employee gets sick, now both things aren’t happening.
Scenario #2—You have two employees, one performing sales activities and one performing business development activities, but they both sit in the same office building. If that building gets hit by a tornado, neither function is happening because both employees don’t have the physical office space and hardware to do their job.
This is why it’s so important to pull business development out of the salesperson’s realm of responsibilities (not just the workload, but also to a different location). If the people who go on appointments and close deals are in the same physical location as business development representatives, it would be a big deal if your office had to close for any reason. Every piece of your sales process would be affected.
The top benefits of virtualizing B2B appointment setting include:
Minimize Downtime.Sales virtualization is great to include in your business continuity plan because it minimizes downtime. Whether it’s a natural disaster or a pandemic that stops regular business activities, a virtual sales team never stops working for you.
Save Money.When you virtualize the business development portion of your sales program, you save money on software, hardware, and other essential applications needed to perform sales activities. You also save money on the expenses of hiring an internal sales team (salary and benefits). Plus, if you don’t have to pay millions of dollars for an office space to accommodate a larger team, this is a huge money saver as well.
Focus on Your Business.Virtualizing sales development activities opens up more time for what matters: your business. You can focus on improving your product or service and providing excellent service to your existing customers while your virtual sales team spends their time generating new opportunities.
Increase Productivity.If you handle all sales activities in-house, even the smallest bumps in the road can lead to inefficiencies. For example, if an employee gets sick or suddenly quits in your organization, it may slow productivity for awhile. An outsourced inside sales team has the personnel and tools to handle small bumps in the road like this so that you never miss out on new opportunities.
Once your business sees the true benefits of virtualizing your sales process, the next step is to actually virtualize B2B appointment setting.
How to Virtualize Your Sales Process
If you don’t virtualize your sales process, your salespeople are doing everything from wherever they are. They’re prospecting, making calls, and going on appointments. To set yourself up for success in the event of a disaster, it’s critical that you virtualize the business development portion of your sales process. This means that the only part your company should handle is physically going on appointments (speaking with qualified leads and closing deals).
There are two simple steps involved in virtualizing B2B appointment setting:
Step 1: Take the business development function and separate it from the sales function
The first step is to take the business development functions of your sales process and physically separate it from the sales function. There is a lot that goes into a successful sales program, and one employee should not be doing it all. It’s inefficient, and it puts you in a bad position in the event of a natural disaster or another emergency (like the pandemic that we’re currently in).
Business development refers to the process of identifying, attracting, and acquiring new business. Generating new, qualified leads requires strategic prospecting, cold calling, emailing, and lead nurturing. This is the process that creates a targeted pipeline of potential customers to pass off to a sales team for further vetting and closing. You have a couple of options when it comes to virtualizing the people who perform sales development functions: open another physical location separate from the location of your salespeople, hire remote business development representatives, or hire a lead generation services provider.
Step 2: Move this function out of the building you are physically in
If you make the decision to keep business development functions in-house, the second step will be to move this function to a different location entirely. This way, both teams aren’t affected if your office location undergoes physical damage due to a natural disaster like a fire, tornado, etc. It’s almost better to outsource to an experienced team of experts; otherwise, you have to go through the stress and endure the costs of opening up an entirely new location. Can your company afford this capital expenditure? If not, outsourcing may be the best option.
Having business development aspects of your sales process separated out from everything else you do allows your sales division to function normally even right now in the event of a pandemic. Here are a few things to consider when you make the decision to virtualize B2B appointment setting:
Technology.Find a technology that can support all the different pieces of your sales process (or find a company that works with a technology like this). Good software that can function as your CRM, email, tracking, and project management tool increases productivity and makes your business continuity plan even stronger.
Talent and Resources. Virtualizing gives you the ability to tap into talent and resources who are everywhere. When your sales process is set up this way, people can support your process regardless of where they physically are. Not only does this support a stronger business continuity plan, but it also gives you the opportunity to tap into top sales talent.
Hardware.Once you have the people and technology in place to perform business development activities efficiently, you have to make sure people have the physical hardware they need to perform their job. This includes desktops, laptops, phones, headsets, and anything else that could help a team member be more productive.
Make Sure Your Sales Process Is Untouchable
By making activity independent of location and separating it from the rest of the sales process, you’re ultimately protecting your business. Business development representatives who sit in the same physical location as salespeople are susceptible to whatever happens at that location. Make sure you protect your sales process by virtualizing B2B appointment setting.
By outsourcing B2B appointment setting activities to a partner like Abstrakt Marketing Group, you’re not only strengthening your business continuity plan; you’re also working with a team of experts who are fully committed to growing your business. If you’re interested in outsourcing outbound marketing activities to a company with proven processes, contact Abstrakt Marketing Group today about our appointment setting services.