An appointment setter is a sales development representative (SDR) who focuses on finding, qualifying, nurturing, and setting sales appointments with leads in the sales pipeline. Many B2B businesses make the mistake of putting these lead gen tasks into the hands of their internal sales reps, which leaves them with more actions on their plate than they know what to do with.
However, these appointment setter responsibilities are just the tip of the iceberg.
Keep reading to gain more insight into the following questions:
What Does an Outbound Appointment Setter Do?
Outbound appointment setters are responsible for prospecting, qualifying, nurturing, and setting sales appointments between key decision-makers (KDMs) and a member of your internal sales team. But what does all of this sales industry jargon mean? Let’s break it down:
Strategic sales prospecting is the process where sales representatives (or sales data analysts) discover prospective businesses in your target market that have the potential for resulting in closed business.
While these prospective businesses aren’t a guaranteed business opportunity, your sales reps have identified them as meeting your company’s ideal customer criteria. Even if they’re not ready to make a purchase now, your appointment setters can nurture the relationship with the lead over time.
For a prospect to convert into a lead, an appointment setter must qualify the prospective business. Lead qualification is part of an appointment setter’s job where they ask lead qualifying questions to ensure they meet your company’s ideal customer criteria.
During the lead qualification process, appointment setters can ask prospects the following questions:
- How many full-time employees do you have?
- How many workstations does your business have? (This is primarily a lead qualification question for MSPs and software companies.)
- What’s the square footage of your commercial office space? (This question is essential for commercial service companies, including cleaning, roofing, HVAC, etc.)
By asking these objective questions, your appointment setters have the ability to qualify the lead. However, the lead qualification process doesn’t stop here. While the example questions above are essential, it’s crucial that you also ask subjective lead qualification questions—and there are a variety of ways to approach this process.
Here are some strategies that sales development teams follow to qualify leads subjectively:
Do some of these lead qualification strategies look new to you? Check out our post on the different types of lead qualification strategies your SDR teams can follow for an effective appointment setting process!
Unfortunately, most decision-makers don’t agree to a sales meeting after the first cold call. Therefore, your appointment setters must follow up with them in a process known as lead nurturing.
Most leads in the sales pipeline stay in the lead nurturing process for the majority of their time in the sales cycle. This is because they’re either thrilled with their current B2B product or service solution, they do everything in-house, or it’s not the right time to reevaluate contracts.
Through the lead nurturing process, appointment setters have the opportunity to follow up with the right leads at the right time. When appointment setters aren’t warm calling leads, potential buyers are sent email marketing materials to help reduce their time in the sales cycle. In this lead nurturing email list, KDMs are sent relevant marketing and sales enablement materials that align with their current buyer journey stage. This ensures that the content sent isn’t too “salesy” or hands-off for them to forget about your business.
When it comes to why you actually hire appointment setters, it’s to schedule high-quality sales meetings with KDMs who are likely to convert into closed business opportunities. Setting sales appointments allows your internal sales team members to present a pitch deck that’s customized to a specific lead’s wants and needs. This increases the likelihood of converting them from leads into long-term customers.
How Appointment Setters Improve Your Lead Generation Strategy
While many businesses may have a lead generation strategy in place, very few know how to sustain it for the long haul and yield predictable results. Hiring appointment setters enables you to improve your lead generation strategy because:
They Prioritize Converting Prospects Into Leads
As we mentioned earlier, the lead qualification process with outbound sales development allows appointment setters to convert prospects into leads. While the two terms are often used interchangeably, there are significant differences you should be aware of.
For instance, prospects are identified businesses in the sales pipeline that your company would like to do business with, but you’re unsure if they have a potential need for your company’s products or services. On the other hand, leads are developed when an appointment setter has confirmed the prospect’s qualifications meet your ideal customer criteria.
Hiring an appointment setter means you have an individual on your team responsible for converting prospects into leads. This ensures that you’re only getting high-quality sales appointments that have the opportunity to turn into a positive ROI.
They Help You Chase More Qualified Leads
Once the appointment setter qualifies the lead, they can chase leads that only meet your qualifications. Many internal sales teams can set sales appointments; however, they often struggle with closing business with these sales meetings because they didn’t evaluate the prospective business’s criteria. Hiring appointment setters is essential for a sustainable and predictable lead generation strategy because it ensures that each lead they’re chasing meets your company’s qualifications.
They Allow You To Attend More Sales Appointments and Close Deals
Since appointment setters are fully responsible for prospecting, qualifying, and setting sales appointments with qualified leads, they don’t have to focus on prepping for the sales meeting and converting the lead into a customer. Hiring appointment setters enables your internal team to focus on crafting the perfect sales presentation and deliver a pitch that aligns with the wants and needs of the leads. This allows your internal sales team to attend meetings with value without worrying about building your company’s sales pipeline.
They Know How To Use Sales Tools and Technologies to Their Full Capabilities
Simply having appointment setters isn’t enough for a successful lead generation program. When companies think about internalizing their sales development efforts, they often forget about the number of expensive sales tools and technologies they need for a sustainable business growth solution. More than that, they forget about how complex this sales stack can be, making it hard to learn the software in a timely manner—let alone train SDRs on how to use it.
When you hire an appointment setter for your lead generation efforts, you have access to all the sales tools and technologies they use to run the sales pipeline effectively. The most successful B2B appointment setting companies use programs like customer relationship management systems, or CRMs, like Salesforce to keep track of every lead in each stage of the sales pipeline. Additionally, these CRMs can be used to measure the effectiveness of the outbound lead generation campaign. This lets you see how the program is running and what may need to be adjusted to yield better results.
While you may have the funds to purchase all the expensive sales tools and technologies, do you have the time to train your SDR team on how to use them to your advantage? Purchasing sales tools like ZoomInfo or Pardot are extremely beneficial, but it requires your sales reps to know how to use them. Hiring appointment setters is crucial for a productive lead gen process because they already know how to use the sales stack to optimize your sales process.
They Are Experts in All Aspects of Sales and Marketing
Hiring an appointment setter is more than making calls or sending emails—it’s about knowing and practicing all the best sales and marketing tactics in the book.
Appointment setters are experts in all things sales to make sure you get the most out of your lead generation strategy. They are cold calling and email marketing experts who present the right calls to action to the right leads to facilitate their journey down the sales funnel.
If a lead isn’t ready to set a sales appointment quite yet, outbound appointment setters can send them lead nurturing email marketing assets in the meantime, such as relevant blog posts and landing pages, to build trust and enhance their experience with your company.
While appointment setting is an outbound lead generation strategy, it can also help boost inbound lead generation efforts. When appointment setters direct leads to your website, you grow your number of website visitors. This can encourage them to fill out a form with their name, company, and email address to be sent more sales and marketing materials.
Additionally, after the first cold call with a lead, the KDM is more likely to look up your business online to learn more about what you have to offer businesses like theirs. Research shows that 57% to 70% of B2B buyers research companies before making a purchase, making it vital that you align your sales and marketing efforts.
Why Outsource Appointment Setting Services?
I know what you’re thinking … “But you already gave us so much great insight into why we should hire an appointment setter. There can’t possibly be any more benefits, right?”
Well, surprise! There are even more advantages to outsourcing appointment setting services coming your way. In addition to high-performing SDRs and an impressive sales stack, outsourcing appointment setting services enables you to:
- Save time and money from building your own sales pipeline
- Focus on crafting the perfect sales presentation for qualified leads
- Obtain a team of appointment setters for the price of a single sales rep
- Have a lead generation strategy that yields sustainable results
Many small to medium-sized companies fear hiring appointment setters because they’re afraid the outbound SDRs won’t represent their company well. However, this is far from the truth—at least when it comes to Abstrakt’s appointment setters.
At Abstrakt Marketing Group, our outbound appointment setters are great salespeople who know how to effectively cold call and email leads in the sales pipeline that align with your brand’s voice, mission, and values. We know how exhausting it can be to develop a lead generation strategy that works; we’ve been there too. But after more than a decade of experience, we have it down to a science.
When you’re ready to hire appointment setters that yield predictable growth, contact the sales reps at Abstrakt Marketing Group!
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