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B2B Appointment Setting - Part 2
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It’s important to understand that B2B appointment setting is not just about making a conversation. One needs to be well prepared before making a pitch.

It’s always a great feeling when one can score leads just by talking on the phone. For many, this is just a utopian dream, while there are plenty of organizations that are earning almost their entire revenue from B2B appointment setting. Of course, the sales team still has to go and make a presentation, but just by getting a foot in the door to meet the client is a big win, particularly in the B2B domain, where competition is very intense and small enterprises are arising everyday. So, it’s extremely important that one should plan out the campaign carefully so as to fully leverage the benefits of this unique marketing tactic.

First of all, it’s very important to do proper research on the kind of business a prospect is into so that one knows whether or not the product or service being offered is going to suit the other person or not. It’s great to offer a personalized approach, but that can only go so far when the offering is not even in sync with the brand proposition. In fact, the entire premise of B2B appointment setting is that one should be able to impress the other person in such a manner that the deal is half closed. For that, it’s obviously important that one should know the prospect’s business inside out.

Also, B2B appointment setting is entirely based on telling clients and prospects what their business can do, i.e., where it can go. This helps further in laying the groundwork for the sales team. One can also position the product or service as the perfect solution to the problems the business is facing. Customization can also be done in a better manner once it is known what the business really needs, and one can obviously gauge whether or not the offering is going to help the business or not!

While companies are definitely enthusiastic about B2B appointment setting, the differentiating factor is how this channel is utilized to get more business.

There is no doubt about the fact that businesses try to do everything they can to leverage the numerous opportunities that lie before them. Using a multitude of tactics to get new business is a norm, and B2B appointment setting is one of the most effective means of getting in touch with new clients. Quite obviously, owing to the fact that there is so much awareness about this channel, a multitude of companies are doing all they can to use it to their advantage. However, not everyone gets the desired level of success.

The reason behind this is that some companies know exactly how to make the most out of B2B appointment setting, while others just mechanically indulge in the process. Calling a prospect and informing about the product or service being offered is one thing, but reminding them about the same is something completely different. However, the reminders need not be constant and repetitive. True, one should not pressurize the other person, but it’s essential to realize that owing to a busy schedule, one can forget the appointment. What’s more, competition can also be pitching to the same prospect. Hence, it’s important to stay in contact at all times.

Another important fact to be kept in mind during B2B appointment setting is that the date and time should be set in accordance with the convenience of the other person, since one is expecting business from the latter and it should seem that he/she is in control of the situation. Asking for a convenient date and time makes the other person feel important, and helps in making things easier. Location is also of prime importance in situations like these, since one can only meet with the other person if the location is accessible. Naming an obscure location not only puts the other person off, but also may lead to delays and missed appointments.

Before embarking on B2B appointment setting initiatives, one needs to ensure that the approach being followed for the same is the correct one.

The forever elusive domain of B2B appointment setting has been a rather controversial subject among many sales professionals, who share different opinions regarding the effectiveness of the tactic. However, it can’t be disproven that many of the world’s leading businesses dedicate a significant portion of their sales team towards getting more revenue via this channel.

The difference lies in the approach one takes to B2B appointment setting. For instance, there are many salespersons who are so enthusiastic about this tactic that they directly attack the customer. And the word is in no way a representation. Often, it’s an actual ‘attack’! The conversations go with a greeting, a brief introduction, and then a direct assault asking theperson to choose from date A and date B. Obviously, the other person feels rather intimidated and either rebukes the caller or politely declines. This has led to many sales teams writing off appointment setting as a viable means for generating leads. However, the problem is that one needs to give control to the prospect in the initial stages, and then take the person through the product or service being offered. The ‘carpe diem’ philosophy, or seize the day, for those of you who don’t know, is not meant to be applied right at the onset of a conversation with a prospect.

That being said, phrases like ‘we’ll be in your vicinity at 10:00 am’ and ‘we can give you a free estimate at a personal meeting next week’ are never going to make as much of an impact as asking the person whether he/she is interested in the offering, and then asking for a suitable time and place. Chances are that the former would give the control back into the hands of the caller, but at least the prospect has the satisfaction of having willingly given the control, which is a big psychological edge.

Ensuring that the quality of the leads generated via B2B appointment setting is extremely important, as time and resources should not be wasted on something that is not useful.

More often than not, companies are so excited at the very prospect of B2B appointment setting that they completely forget the basic premise of the activity, focusing only on the numbers. True, owing to the increased spread of knowledge, people are also focusing on quality, but there’s another twist in the tale. The leads generated should not only be high quality, but must also be relevant. Often, in the tussle between relevancy and quality, time and resources are wasted.

Basically, B2B appointment setting is not just about saying the right words at the right time, but also about understanding the difference between a prospect that can pay for the product or service, one who really needs it, and one who has both these ‘qualities’, so to speak. However, the first objective of any B2B appointment setting initiative has to be qualifying the lead and ensuring that the person at the other end is valuable for the business or not. Structuring the calling script is very important, and while enthusiasm and thinking quick on the feet is also important, a basic idea of how the call needs to be taken forward is of paramount importance.

In this regard, the B2B appointment setting script needs to be dividing into stages, and ideally, the qualifying should begin at the second stage, after the company has been introduced. Getting too anxious about qualifying the lead is also suicide for the campaign, to put it appropriately. Also, maintaining the right balance between being enthusiastic and critical of the prospect’s position is really crucial. The ideal flow should be – introducing that company and what it has to offer, talking about how it can help the brand; followed by asking questions to qualify the prospect’s need for the product or service offering. This is followed by the final step, i.e., of setting up the appointment. Just 3 steps is all it takes!

Many companies are increasingly using B2B appointment setting as a means to secure better sales. One of the most important benefits of this practice is that it reduces the uncertainty with regards to a lead, as one can always talk face to face with the client. Needless to say, this is extremely beneficial for businesses, since they have a higher chance of sealing the deal.

Another great way in which B2B appointment setting is helpful is that it gives the organization time to prepare for its pitch. It is an imperative fact that one needs to know as much as possible about the prospective client, in terms of his requirements, budget, etc. In case of telemarketing, email marketing, or for that matter conventional advertising, one can’t follow a specific, tailor-made approach. However, when there’s surety that there’s only one prospect that needs to be focused upon, the pitch can be made so much better by customizing the product or service to suit the requirements of the prospect.

B2B appointment setting also gives the client more time to think about the proposal. He can research about the company via contacts or the internet, and essentially get a better idea of what the entire proposition is about. This is great for organizations that have really good quality offerings, as their prospects can understand in a better manner how they can benefit from the same. Also, it gives better transparency to the prospect, who might have a different picture in his mind. Either ways, it helps in better utilization of time and resources. Once the initial contact is made, following up is also a lot easier than conventional means, wherein one is never sure about which prospect should be pursued. Hence, setting up and appointment gives an organization benefits no other channel can possibly provide.

Outsourcing B2B appointment setting not only helps businesses get more business, but also results in higher conversion rates, which means better returns on investment.

Getting prospects and the right kind of leads are two completely different situations. Needless to say, companies always try for the latter. For this, B2B appointment setting is of paramount importance, since it helps brands get more out of their efforts. Professionals who excel in this domain have a particular set of characteristics, and not everybody can be an expert at fixing appointments. This is the main reason why there are so many organizations that choose to take the services of a third party firm that specializes in these services.

Besides getting a dedicated team of professionals working for them, organizations also get the assurance that they will get better returns on their investment, for the simple reason that the people working on their brand have a particular mindset that is extremely critical to the success of B2B appointment setting initiatives. To begin with, they know the kind of words and sentences that can convert a likely prospect into a hot lead, something that is invaluable when it comes to sales.

However, it is noteworthy that not all skillful salespersons are great at appointment setting, and vice versa. Hence, it’s best to delegate the responsibility of generating good leads to B2B appointment setting experts, and the task of closing or converting those leads to the sales team. Professionals at these firms also have the habit of keeping their agenda in place, which leads to better management of the initiative. They are also well versed with the consumer psyche, which leads to better understanding of what the prospect wants. This translates into a great competitive advantage, and also leads to higher conversion rates for the sales team. All that is needed is a little bit of coordination between the in-house sales team of the organization and the professionals who are setting appointments, and success is almost certain!

It is an unspoken secret of the sales world that face to face meetings have a higher chance of sealing the deal, compared to any other means of interaction. Hence, B2B appointment setting is a critical aspect of the sales life cycle.

Salespersons are of two kinds. One, who know how to sell; and the second, who know how to get the other person interested in the product or service being offered. Contrary to popular belief, the latter are actually a rare breed. This is simply because salespersons, throughout their career trajectory, are accustomed to thinking only about new and innovative means to sell. However, when it comes to the B2B domain, one can’t just sell to any person walking on the street. It’s important that the other person needs to be interested in hearing the sales pitch. This is where B2B appointment setting services are so important.

Although every organization would have its own sales team, when it comes to organizing a face to face meeting, sales professionals are generally incapable of B2B appointment setting, simply because the task requires a different kind of skill set. However, since the task is of paramount importance for the organization, the need has to be addressed. Some organizations take the smart way out by outsourcing the requirement to a reliable firm, while others continue to struggle with the situation, hiring more professionals who are more of an additional burden to the organization rather than an asset.

B2B appointment setting gives better results when it comes to sales simply because it’s a lot easier to make the prospect see the USPs of the product or service being offered than talking about the same via a phone call. Many industry experts have agreed to this imperative fact that a face to face interaction helps the salesperson in mapping the response of the prospect, which helps in modifying the sales pitch according to the prevailing situation. Lastly, it’s not necessary that the sales team would be redundant if appointment setting is outsourced. It just serves as an adrenaline shot to give extra impetus to the sales professionals to achieve better results for a very nominal investment.

Many small enterprises have driven great success by using B2B appointment setting services offered by companies that specialize in the same.

A significantly high number of small organizations have been able to take their business to the next level based solely on B2B appointment setting. In simple words, they were able to reach where very few of their competitors managed to reach, i.e., directly in touch with the prospect. It is a rather common fallacy in business to mistake a prospect as a lead. Basically, a prospect is someone who has been contacted by the company, but may or may not have expressed interest in the company’s offering. A lead, on the other hand, is someone who has been contacted, or may have contacted the company, and is interested in the offering.

Coming back to B2B appointment setting, it is a tactic to convert a prospect into a lead and then almost immediately into a customer, if all goes well. For this purpose, a company can either have its own team working towards accomplishing this objective, or outsource the requirement to a third party organization that specializes in offering such services.

Many of the most prominent firms across different industries, who started out small, have been able to achieve the phenomenal success that has made them market leaders, solely on the basis of outsourcing their B2B appointment setting process to another agency.one of the most obvious advantages of such a practice is that companies don’t really have to hire staff for getting more leads, but this also leads to another great benefit. The resources saved by using a third party to generate leads can be put into improving the business offerings, like hiring more people to develop innovative products or services. This helps them in making their value proposition stronger, and enhancing the quality of the overall process. In short, availing such services is a great way to ensure that businesses, start-ups in particular, excel in their field of work.

Finding the right B2B appointment setting company is not a matter of chance. One needs to do proper research and take the right decisions at the right time to drive success for the company.

In recent times, more and more companies understand the need for effective B2B appointment setting, for the simple reason that it empowers them to do more business without much effort. Some companies do have the desired skill set in their employees to carry out such operations. However, a majority rely on third party organizations that specialize in this domain, to get relevant leads. Both the approaches are perfectly fine, depending on the kind of company and its capacity for attracting business on its own.

However, while selecting the right B2B appointment setting company, care must be taken while taking the final decision, since the latter will affect the fortunes of the company for quite a significant amount of time.  Hence, doing proper research is extremely important, and critical to generating the desired results. For this purpose, the best way to evaluate is to visit the premises of the organization and check how the process works. Also, talking to some of the existing customers will offer a world of information to whether or not the company measures up to the promises it has made.

However, an extremely important thing to keep in mind while selecting the B2B appointment setting company is that timing is of utmost importance. Every day that one does not arrive at a decision, the competition, which may or may not be using such services, is gaining. Hence, taking a call as soon as one possibly can (after proper analysis, of course) is critical to the success of the overall initiative. Also, one needs to ensure that the sales team is ready and prepped up for the task, i.e., when they receive leads from the external agency, they must be in the right frame of mind to get the job done, otherwise the whole activity will be a waste of time, money and resources

Getting in touch with the right person in an organisation is what B2B appointment setting is all about. However, organisations often need to take specialised services from external agencies to get the job done.

Agencies that offer the services of professional telemarketers to their clients, to generate sales on the behalf of the latter, have, in a majority of the cases, been immensely successful and have garnered rave reviews from their clients. This is primarily because the team has been dedicatedly trained to perform to the best of their abilities towards generating sales. Some of the services offered include lead generation, B2B appointment setting, and telesales. Coming to setting up appointments, a majority of the large scale enterprises have a team for this kind of activities. However, this is primarily because they already have the kind of investment an intelligence regarding how to put that money to good use for garnering the required resources.

However, when it comes to a small business, or for that matter a start-up enterprise, doesn’t always have the capacity to manage B2B appointment setting initiatives by themselves. This practice generally requires a tremendous amount of skill and patience, for the prospects might be probed for months before they actually give a positive response, which might certainly open the doors to great revenue inflow. However, till that stage is reached, it’s a tough climb.

Coming back to the B2B appointment setting capabilities of small business and start-ups, there used to be no certain answer as to how can such setups get the ball rolling in their favour. However, with agencies that offer such services, there is now a viable solution for this problem, as this kind of organisations work on behalf of their clients to get the desired results with the right mix of infrastructure, experience and skill, which results in better returns on investment with minimal risk. This also ensures that the business objectives are met without spending excessively, as is the case with setting up an entire department for this purpose.