The success of your B2B business depends on the quality (and, often, quantity) of viable leads in your pipeline. But attracting ready-to-buy prospects is often easier said than done. What’s a company to do?
Enter B2B appointment setting.
As the term implies, B2B appointment setting is all about connecting with engaged prospects and booking sales calls in hopes of drumming up more revenue for your business.
And while you may engage in many marketing efforts to attract more leads, appointment setters do the grunt work of actually booking the appointments so your sales team has high-quality conversations scheduled on their calendars.
If you want to drive more B2B business, read on to learn more about B2B appointment setting.
What is B2B appointment setting?
Business-to-business (B2B) appointment setting refers to the marketing process in which appointment setters – typically, sales development representatives (SDRs) – reach out to potential buyers and schedule appointments between their company’s sales team and the prospect.
During these sales conversations, the sales team member will share more information about the company, their service or product, and prices. This is where the prospect can learn more about the company and decide whether they want to hire or buy from them.
What’s involved in B2B appointment setting?
While the concept of B2B appointment setting is relatively simple, the actual process does require some strategy and planning. Even the most experienced SDRs need a “playbook” to drive the success of their appointment booking efforts.
- Audience Research: B2B appointment setters must understand your target audience, including their demographics, needs, and pain points, in order to contact the right prospects and entice them to learn more about your offer.
- Strategy: A planning stage is needed in order to determine which platforms (e.g. phone calls, social media, email) your SDRs will use to contract prospects, what sales scripts will be used, what tools will be used to drive engagement, and more.
- Outreach: Once a strategy is established, SDRs will use these methods and tools to initiate contact with your target audience. SDRs should reach out to prospects who fit the profile of your ideal target audience.
- Set Appointments: If a prospect wants to hear more about the company’s services, then the SDR will schedule appointments with the sales team using their chosen scheduling tool (e.g. Google Meet, Zoom, Calendly, etc.)
- Follow-Up: Once a sales conversation is had, the sales team usually follows up with the prospect, but this can also be the responsibility of the SDR who booked the call. The SDR can help nurture the relationship, provide more information about the company, and move the prospect along the sales pipeline.
Why B2B Appointment Setting is Important for B2B Lead Generation
B2B appointment setting empowers your company to get connected with business owners who you might not have met organically. It is a way to proactively contact and schedule appointments with people who might be interested in your services, once you introduce them to your company.
While many B2B businesses rely on referrals to generate business, this is not always sustainable. Proactive B2B appointment setting allows you to build brand awareness, get more prospects in the pipeline, and schedule more appointments in a short amount of time.
Here are a few reasons why B2B appointment setting is important for lead generation:
Qualify your leads
B2B appointment setting allows you to qualify leads by engaging with potential customers directly. Your SDRs are able to reach prospects who are genuinely interested in your product or service, ensuring that your sales team focuses on high-quality leads.
Drive personalized interactions
Through 1:1 interactions, your SDRs are able to learn more about a prospect’s needs and pain points. This information allows them to tailor their sales approach to suit what the prospect is looking for, increasing the likelihood that they will convert the lead into a new customer.
Build trust with prospects
Many prospects appreciate the face-to-face experience of a sales call over a generic contact form or landing page. SDRs are able to showcase their knowledge, address prospects’ concerns, and provide information that helps build trust throughout the sales process.
Accelerate your sales cycle
B2B appointment setters are often able to set appointments directly with decision-makers. This helps avoid lengthy exchanges with lower managers who might delay the sales process. By connecting with key decision stakeholders, you can present your offer and answer questions more efficiently, speeding up the sales process.
Generate qualified referrals
Successful B2B appointments can lead to even more qualified referrals. When you provide a positive experience to prospects, they are more likely to send new business your way. Even if they decide not to work with you themselves, there is still the potential of expanding your customer base.
Getting started with B2B appointment setting
With so many B2B marketing trends to follow, it can be difficult to know what methods will work best for your organization. But with such a low barrier to entry, B2B appointment setting is often one of the simplest and most cost-effective tactics around.
Here’s how to get started with B2B appointment scheduling for your company.
1. Train your sales team in the appointment setting process
Your first option is to train your existing team in the B2B appointment setting process. Appointment setting can be conducted by SDRs (if you have them), other sales team members, or even operational employees like virtual assistants or marketing managers.
The training process for this will look a bit different for every organization, given that your target audience, offer, and outreach methods may vary.
However, here is a general process to follow in order to train your team in appointment setting.
Step 1: Assess the current team’s skill level
Start by evaluating the current skill level of your sales team. This assessment can include their knowledge of the product/service, understanding of the target market, communication skills, and ability to generate leads.
Step 2: Define the ideal appointment setting process
Determine the key steps and best practices for B2B appointment setting in your specific industry. This process should include identifying target prospects, making initial contact, handling objections, and securing appointments.
Step 3: Develop training materials
Create comprehensive training materials that cover each step of the appointment setting process. This can include written guides, slide decks, role-playing scenarios, and recorded examples of successful appointment setting calls.
Step 4: Conduct training sessions
Organize classroom-style training sessions to educate your sales team on the appointment setting process. Conduct role-playing exercises to simulate real-world scenarios and allow your sales team to practice their appointment setting skills. Assign different roles for team members to play, such as salesperson, prospect, and observer. Provide constructive feedback and guidance after each role-play session.
Step 5: Provide scripts and templates
Offer sales scripts and email templates that can serve as a starting point for your team’s appointment setting efforts. Emphasize the importance of personalization and encourage them to adapt these resources to suit individual prospects.
Step 6: Set goals
Establish realistic goals for your sales team in terms of the number of appointments they should aim to secure within a specific time frame. Monitor their progress and provide regular feedback to help them improve their performance.
Step 7: Provide ongoing coaching and feedback
Conduct regular one-on-one meetings to discuss your team’s progress, address challenges, and provide additional training if needed. Celebrate successes and acknowledge their improvement!
Step 8: Monitor and measure performance
Track and analyze appointment setting metrics to gauge the effectiveness of your training efforts. Monitor metrics such as the number of calls made, conversion rates, and the quality of appointments scheduled. Use this data to identify areas of improvement and adjust your training accordingly.
2. Employ B2B appointment setting services
Another option is to outsource B2B appointment setting to an outside service provider or agency.
You can use channels like LinkedIn or Google to find potential appointment setting agencies, evaluate their services, read reviews, compare prices, and ultimately decide if hiring a service is the right move for you.
When comparing B2B appointment setting service providers, be sure to consider:
- Do they have a demonstrated history of results? Any case studies that showcase their success?
- Do they have positive reviews? Have other companies seen success from working with them?
- Are they transparent about pricing? Are you able to understand their pricing model or do you see any inconsistencies in their pricing?
- Do they employ qualified sales representatives? Who will be doing the outreach?
- Do they take a custom-tailored approach? Are they open to using a tailored outreach process, sales script, etc. to suit your business?
At Superhuman Prospecting, we provide B2B appointment setting services to expand your reach, fill your sales pipeline, and generate more sales for your business. Plus, we have many case studies highlighting the success of our services, like here and here!
3. Utilize appointment setting tools
Appointment setting becomes even easier when you have the right tools in your arsenal.
From market research to outreach to call scheduling to follow-up, you can find helpful tools for nearly every stage of the appointment setting process.
Here are some popular B2B appointment setting tools and software options:
- HubSpot – HubSpot is a comprehensive sales and CRM platform that includes appointment scheduling, email tracking, meeting templates, and automated follow-ups. HubSpot also has many handy integrations, allowing it to fit seamlessly into your sales process.
- Calendly – Calendly is a popular appointment scheduling and automation tool that allows prospects to book appointments based on open availability. It also integrates with many common online calendars, such as Google Calendar, Outlook, and iCloud, making it easy to schedule and manage appointments.
- Acuity Scheduling – Acuity Scheduling is an appointment scheduling software that allows you to customize booking pages, set up automated reminders, and manage multiple calendars. It also integrates with various payment processors and CRMs to streamline your sales system.
- Salesforce – Salesforce Sales Cloud is a widely-used CRM platform that provides tools for tracking customer interactions, scheduling appointments, and managing leads and opportunities all in one place.
There are many more helpful tools for B2B lead generation, so consider trying out a few to see what works best for your workflow and organization.
4. Develop your outreach strategy
Whether you decide to train your existing sales team in appointment setting, or hire an outside service, you will next need to establish your outreach strategy.
An outsourced appointment setting agency may determine this for you, advising on the most effective channels and methods for your industry. However, you can often provide your own recommendations based on your knowledge of your own industry and audience.
If you are using an in-house team, this outreach strategy will likely be directed by the platforms that have been most effective for your business. Whether email, telephone, LinkedIn, social media, or all of the above, it is best to focus on the platforms that are likely to drive the best return on investment for your organization.
Next, you should establish the script or message to be used during the outreach process. Is there a template your team can follow? How do they tailor their message to the particular prospect? How should they introduce scheduling a sales call?
This process likely won’t be perfect from the start – you will have to refine it over time. Consider which platforms have been most effective in terms of reaching prospects, which messages have resulted in the most calls, and which sales calls have led to the most conversions.
5. Streamline your scheduling process
Once you’ve determined your chosen outreach methods and script(s), it’s time to book some calls! Now, not every person you connect with will be itching to schedule a call. Encouraging them to take the next step will take some finesse.
Here is an example of a message you could send (or say) encouraging a prospect to schedule a call:
“Hi [ name] – I would love to learn more about your business goals and challenges to see how our solutions can address them effectively. By scheduling a sales call, we can delve deeper into your specific needs and explore how [Your Company]’s offerings can benefit your organization.
During the call, we can discuss:
- [Key benefits or features of your products/services]
- [Success stories or case studies relevant to the prospect’s industry]
- [Specific ways your solutions can enhance the prospect’s operations]
Our team of experts will be available to answer any questions you may have and provide insights tailored to your unique requirements. If you’re interested, please book a call here [ add link ].”
This message makes it super clear what the prospect can expect during the call, so there is no ambiguity or surprises. Also, providing a link to your scheduling platform makes it easy for the prospect to check your sales team’s availability and schedule a time that’s convenient for them.
6. Follow up with viable prospects
Last but not least, you should establish a system for following up with prospects. Again, this may be the responsibility of your sales team or can be delegated to the rep who scheduled the call.
Here is a follow-up system that works well for many B2B organizations:
- Immediately after the sales call, take detailed notes on the conversation, including key points, action items, and any next steps required.
- Update your CRM system with the prospect’s information, ensuring all relevant details are accurately recorded for future reference.
- Based on the agreed-upon follow-up actions during the call, schedule necessary automated follow-up emails or notifications in your CRM system to ensure timely and consistent communication.
- Personalize the follow-up email or communication to reference specific topics discussed during the sales call and reinforce the value proposition tailored to the prospect’s needs.
- Follow up within 24-48 hours after the sales call to express appreciation for their time, recap the discussed points, and provide any additional information or resources promised during the call.
- Regularly monitor your CRM system for any scheduled follow-up actions and ensure they are completed promptly to maintain a proactive and professional approach in nurturing the prospect relationship.
- Continuously track and update the prospect’s progress in your CRM system, recording any subsequent interactions, updates, or changes to their requirements to inform future follow-ups or engagements.
This process will vary a bit for each organization, but the takeaway is that you should have a system that ensures prompt and consistent communication with all of your prospects. This will help keep your leads warm and move prospects through your pipeline.
Should you hire a B2B appointment setter?
Whether or not you hire a B2B appointment setter depends on several factors and the specific needs of your business. Above, we outlined some of the many benefits of engaging in B2B appointment setting and covered how to enable this process through your existing team or through an outside agency.
Overall, the decision to hire an appointment setter should be based on the cost versus return for your business. If the cost to outsource these tasks to an outside agency are far below the possible return of doing so, that would appear to be a smart investment for your business.
Also, if your business is experiencing growth, hiring an appointment setter can provide scalability and flexibility. Through outsourcing, you can adjust the resources allocated to appointment setting based on demand, ensuring that you have the necessary support to meet your goals.
B2B appointment setters with industry-specific knowledge can bring valuable insights and understanding of your target market. They can reach prospects that you might not have come across organically, driving more brand awareness and revenue for your business.
If you’re looking for a B2B appointment setting provider, learn more about our services at Superhuman Prospecting. We’d love to hear more about your goals and provide a tailored solution to suit your needs.