What is B2B Appointment Setting?
What can be simpler than setting an appointment? A sales rep makes a call or writes an email and – voilà – one more slot in his or her schedule is filled up. Appointment setting is indeed a mundane part of a sales rep’s working day. But while the term seems self-explanatory, it is, in fact, a bit more elaborated in the field of B2B sales.
In B2B, converting leads into loyal clients takes some time and effort. Fragmenting B2B lead generation into stages makes a business more effective and profitable.
- Generating b2b leads. Marketers are typically in charge of the first stage of lead generation. Through blog posts, online advertising, email campaigns, and social media marketing, marketers create and encourage consumer interest into the product or service of a business. Interested, leads visit landing pages, interact with online support, and leave their contacts on the company’s website.
- B2B prospecting. Data analysts use information left by leads, such as phone number or email address, and put up lead lists for sales appointment setters to use. For some businesses, this can be the first stage where they buy b2b leads for their sales reps to start building their sales pipelines.
- B2B appointment setting. Appointment setters are responsible for converting leads into prospects and nurturing them to the stage of deal closing. This stage is essential for making the job of sales reps more productive where they focus only on closing sales instead of introducing the product to leads and messaging back and forth to book an appointment.
- Closing the sale. If appointment setters do their job, they nurture warm leads and hand over to sales reps only ready-to-make-a-deal leads. When sales reps receive qualified leads, they are more effective in closing deals. As a result of this strategy of fragmentation, a business gets a higher ratio of closed deals in comparison with the business model where each sales rep does the entire lead generation pathway on his or her own.
On the B2B scene, newcomers may find separating b2b appointment setting into a separate stage puzzling. However, fragmenting business processes into smaller steps and units improves outcomes. Whether you choose to outsource b2b appointment setting or handle it in-house, you need to have a firm grasp of mechanics and logics behind each step of B2B lead generation.
Making Appointment Setter Services the Most Effective
To make sales appointment setting more effective, it is not enough to simply split a team of sales reps and assign appointment setting to one group and deal closing to the other. Appointment setting and deal closing require different skills and competencies. What hard and soft skills are the most useful for appointment setter services?
Communication skills. Although communication skills are an umbrella term for a range of qualities and competences, appointment setters should definitely be skilled in starting and carrying on a conversation about their business and characteristics of the product/service. Asking poignant and relevant questions is also an essential characteristic of a good appointment setter.
Listening skills. It is not enough simply to be a skillful speaker and a conversation starter. To know how to help with a lead’s pain points, an appointment setter needs to be a good listener.
Solid knowledge of the product. Generally, appointment setters need to have a good understanding of how businesses work, how conversions are made, how lead generation is essential, etc. But more specifically, a team of appointment setters that take on a new business should be knowledgeable about the business’s services and products. Then they will easily deliver value propositions and respond to prospects’ pain points.
Able to Identify decision-makers. Nurturing a lead for many hours to find out that a decision-maker is elsewhere is a bummer. That is why an important skill for appointment setters is to be able to identify the right contact quickly. Skilled appointment setters know who they are looking for and ask the right questions to find the key decision-maker.
Flexibility. Being flexible is important in terms of going off the script to sound more natural and authentic as much as in terms of being aware of their own limitations. Top appointment setters keep learning because they know that each unclosed deal is the zone of proximal development for them. They analyze their own weak points and work on them to handle every objection more professionally, to find solutions to each pain point of leads and prospects.
Tech-savvy. Appointment setters welcome new technology and automation big time. They navigate any CRM with ease and use a variety of appointment scheduling software that makes their productivity higher.
Automating Sales Appointment Setting
Automation is instrumental in making modern businesses more profitable than ever. When your marketers and sales reps can set up automatic posting and messaging, it clears up their mental space and frees up their schedule for more strategically important things. In turn, what software is available for appointment setter services?
First of all, we’re talking about automated appointment scheduling. From Calendly to HubSpot Meeting, there is a host of free and paid scheduling software that enables prospects to book appointments for sales reps when it works best for them. By having direct access to sales reps’ schedules, such scheduling apps eliminate tedious back-and-forth messaging. Most online appointment scheduling apps have built-in automated reminders and rescheduling features and can be integrated with CRMs, calendar software, website builders, etc.
Having cold emails as the primary mode of communication with leads, appointment setters are in need of super software for email deliverability to ensure their emails do not get into spam folders. With an email spam checker, top appointment setters avoid blacklists and increase their deliverability rates.
Benefits of B2B Appointment Setting
Let’s sum up why businesses benefit from singling out B2B appointment setting into a separate stage of the lead generation process.
It saves time. A team of appointment setters saves many hours of work by informing leads about the company’s product and services and working with objections and pain points of the prospects. Once sales reps receive qualified leads, they close more deals than if they do the entire process of nurturing and closing on their own.
It increases conversion. Because appointment setters are focused on nurturing, they are more patient and thorough in handling objections and influencing the leads’ decisions. Prospects don’t feel as if they are forced to buy. Instead, they experience gentle nurturing and care about their needs and interests. Even if their pathway may get longer in case of doubts, they become loyal customers and return over and over again.
Fragmenting business processes and outsourcing some stages of the sales process makes a lot of business sense. If you want to have better outcomes, hire experts in different aspects of lead generation. At Belkins, we have all that is needed to make the appointment setting feel like a breeze.