If you had a magic wand that could grant you your dream client, what would that dream client look like? What industry do they serve? How many full-time employees do they have? What’s the square footage of their office space?
Luckily, with a B2B appointment setting program and continuous sales activity, you put yourself one step closer to reaching your dream client. No magic wand needed.
In this blog, we’ll cover the following concepts:
Business-to-business or B2B appointment setting is a business growth strategy where appointment setters (such as sales development reps or other sales team members) contact potential buyers, pitch a company’s product or service offerings, and schedule sales appointments between their company and the prospective client. During sales appointments, members of your internal sales team have the opportunity to talk one-on-one with a key decision-maker (KDM) and explore how your company could be a good fit for any pain points they are experiencing.
While the idea of B2B appointment setting is simple, it’s not an easy task, no matter how experienced your sales representatives are. To have a sustainable and predictable appointment setting program, you need to have a well-thought-out strategy in place. Additionally, your appointment setters must continue to put activity into the appointment setting program day after day. Without routinely connecting with prospects and building relationships with leads in the sales pipeline, you risk having a business growth strategy that produces little to no results.
Not sure where to start with your appointment setting program? Check out our blog to learn what you should have prepared before kicking off your outbound lead generation efforts!
Every company has its own approach to generating new business opportunities. Many small to medium-sized businesses traditionally like to follow the referral approach. While this business growth strategy can be effective, it’s not necessarily sustainable for the long haul.
Outbound appointment setting is a great lead generation strategy because it enables your company to get in front of business owners and other KDMs that you may not have met organically. Sales appointment setting allows businesses to establish brand awareness, build relationships with other companies with similar values, and schedule appointments that are likely to result in closed business.
While B2B appointment setting is an incredibly effective way to grow your business, unfortunately, many companies don’t know the steps to take to have a sustainable program. To have a successful appointment setting program, your appointment setters must:
- Prospect: During the sales prospecting process, sales teams find potential business opportunities. Whether you decide to find prospects on social media or through a database, this is how outbound leads enter the appointment setting sales pipeline.
- Qualify leads: When sales development representatives (SDRs) call prospects, they must practice lead qualification. This is to ensure they’re only pursuing and setting appointments with leads that meet your ideal customer criteria.
- Nurture leads: Lead nurturing is a crucial component of B2B appointment setting. It builds top-of-mind awareness and reminds the potential client that you haven’t forgotten about them or their business.
- Set appointments: Lastly, setting appointments is the final step of the B2B appointment setting process. This allows your internal sales team to present a customized pitch to the prospect and convert them from leads into long-term customers.
While the B2B appointment setting process is simple, it’s not easy. Appointment setters must contact leads through various platforms so they can catch the right decision-maker at the right time. A person in the appointment setter role connects with business owners and key decision-makers by:
Making Cold and Warm Calls
Cold calling may sound super old school to many B2B companies, but believe it or not, it’s still an incredibly effective way to find new business opportunities. When you implement a cold calling strategy into your lead generation efforts, you have the chance to build awareness, establish brand credibility, and thoroughly understand a prospect’s frustrations with their current product or service provider.
Crafting Personalized Emails
Depending on the industry, a KDM may not be easy to reach over the phone. An email marketing strategy is crucial for getting the right customer at the right time because it provides your appointment setters with another avenue for communication.
However, it’s important to remember that simply having an email marketing program is not enough to convert leads into customers. As your appointment setters email leads, it’s essential that they craft and personalize each email to align with the wants and needs of the potential buyer. This increases the prospect’s likelihood of opening the email, agreeing to a sales appointment, and closing a deal with your internal sales team.
Sending High-Quality Marketing Collateral
As visual beings, people love seeing results rather than hearing about them—at least when it comes to company and industry impact. By sending high-quality marketing collateral, your appointment setters have the opportunity to guide leads through every stage of the sales cycle, from awareness to customer loyalty.
While there are many sales enablement assets to choose from for your B2B appointment setting efforts, you must use marketing collateral that aligns with the wants and needs of your target market, along with a lead’s current stage in their buyer’s journey. These sales enablement materials can be added to your email marketing strategy for advanced B2B appointment setting efforts, embedded into your website for optimized SEO value, or brought to sales appointments set by your SDRs for a better sales presentation.
Requesting LinkedIn Connections
An appointment setter’s job is to build relationships with potential buyers, and what better way is there to do that than through social media? Social media has become an incredibly powerful tool for building brand awareness and supplying superior customer service to potential, current, and past clients. When appointment setters use LinkedIn for B2B appointment setting, they can connect with potential buyers and build that relationship until they’re ready to make a purchase.
A single SDR for your sales appointment setting efforts will not get you the results you want. Download our guide to explore how you can build a high-performing SDR team for your B2B appointment setting efforts!
Even with a great B2B lead generation strategy, you won’t accomplish much without the right people. The people on your team responsible for appointment setting should be excellent salespeople and marketers. B2B appointment setters:
- Know How To Carry a Conversation
- Understand High-Level Business Operations
- Deliver Value With Every Phone Call
- Find the Best Key Decision-Makers
- Overcome Objections
- Understand the Sales Process
- Gather Information From Prospective Clients
- Use Sales Tools and Technologies to Their Full Potential
- Actively Make Adjustments to Their Sales Approach
B2B appointment setters should be social butterflies who know how to carry on conversations with leads in the sales pipeline. Most importantly, they should know how to carry a conversation that provides value to them and the potential buyer. Appointment setters must know all the right open-ended questions to ask leads, so they open up about their current B2B product or service solution.
Many KDMs of prospective businesses are high-level employees, meaning your appointment setters must be able to talk with them and understand their business operations from a high level as well. To be a successful appointment setter, an SDR must have a thorough understanding of a prospective business’s decision-making process and how long it may take before a contract is signed.
B2B appointment setting should prioritize the “quality over quantity” approach to setting sales appointments. With every phone call an appointment setter makes, they must show the KDM the value of their company’s product or service and why it’s essential for their everyday operations. The more weight an appointment setter presents to a KDM, the more likely they are to agree to a sales appointment and close business with your company.
Have you ever attended a sales meeting with a person who has no decision-making power or anything to do with the product or service your company provides? What a waste of time and energy, right? For a successful B2B appointment setting program, your SDRs must know the best decision-makers for your company’s product or service. Appointment setters must know who to look for when contacting a prospective business so your internal team knows that the sales appointment they attend has the opportunity to result in closed business.
Top B2B appointment setters are trained to respond to the most common objections, and they have the communication skills to handle every objection they hear correctly. When they hear an objection, they see it as an opportunity to learn more about the prospect’s needs and frustrations rather than a time to give up and move on to the next prospect.
Every business has its own process for B2B appointment setting. The most successful appointment setters must know their company’s process inside and out and apply it to every lead in the sales pipeline. By having and following a streamlined sales process, appointment setters have the opportunity to maximize their lead generation program and convert more qualified leads into sales opportunities.
As mentioned previously, skilled appointment setters know how to carry on a conversation. To carry on a conversation, they must ask all the right questions and gather as much information as possible. While gathering information from prospective clients is crucial for setting high-quality appointments, it’s also essential to better understand your target market. Asking questions helps your sales reps understand what potential buyers want out of a B2B product or service provider and allows them to make adjustments to their sales pitch as needed to align with the wants and needs of the market.
B2B appointment setters contact over 100 prospects a day, making it difficult to remember their conversations with each decision-maker. It doesn’t matter how many years of experience the appointment setter has; it’s a lot for anyone to handle on their own. Luckily, there are many sales tools and technologies on the market to help them stay organized.
With customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, appointment setters have the opportunity to keep track of all their accounts and leave notes to help them remember the previous conversation they had with the lead. A high-closing sales rep knows how to use these sales tools and technologies to their advantage to increase the number (and quality) of sales opportunities that come through the door.
Lastly, appointment setters should actively make adjustments to their sales approach. If leads in the sales pipeline aren’t resonating with their pitch, where is the disconnect? High-performing sales reps must be willing to make changes to their pitch to ensure they align with the wants and needs of the target market.
Thanks to B2B appointment setting, your dream client is only a few cold calls away—no magic wand required. While a B2B appointment setting process is simple, it’s no easy gig. It requires consistent activity from your sales reps to be sustainable and predictable for the long term. Additionally, it’s important to remember that while you may not get your dream client immediately, you’re one step closer than if you didn’t have a B2B appointment setting strategy at all.
B2B appointment setting isn’t easy, and it can be incredibly costly and time-consuming to do it well internally. Many small to medium-sized businesses choose to outsource appointment setting services because it’s much more cost-effective and requires less of a time commitment. Additionally, when you outsource appointment setting services, you have a team of high-performing appointment setters who know all the right questions to ask KDMs and guide them to the end of the buyer’s journey.
If you need a helping hand with your B2B appointment setting efforts, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt Marketing Group!