B2B appointment setting: The tightrope balancing act

Setting high quality appointments in B2B appointment setting is like walking a tight rope.
business man balancing

By A.J. Windle,Director of Operations

Setting high quality appointments in B2B appointment setting is like walking a tight rope. The path to success is narrow but if you have the right tools and place your feet in just the right place step after step you will make it to the other side unscathed.

We currently set appointments for an organization that offers reduced travel costs to businesses by partnering with 1000’s of hotels across the United States. Our objective may sound simple but there is a tremendous amount of work that goes into making sure our appointments are high quality for our client and that takes some real flexibility.

B2B Appointment Setting: Define requirements for a quality appointment

This is the first step in the balancing act. You first need to define what a high-quality appointment means. In this case we define a high-quality appointment with specific criteria that we ask within the call. For Instance, how many people travel, how long is the average stay, who is the key decision maker, where do they frequently stay and why. It is by asking these questions that we can separate the mediocre from the great appointments and deliver what will close at the highest level.

While these questions are very important to ask, they do you absolutely no good unless the answers have been communicated to the sales reps who take the second call. Creating a simple and meaningful way to share the answers to these questions with your sales staff is crucial to setting great appointments. Also, be flexible. If the answers to your questions aren’t adding value to the sales staff, then be prepared to change them and do it quickly.

B2B Appointment Setting: Define your best targets

The next step in the process is to define the best target audience. Here at Quality Contact Solutions we take this process very seriously and as many of you know each list does not perform equally. List creation and lead targeting was and is something that is ever evolving and just because the list is supposed to be great doesn’t always mean it is. Here are a couple items we’ve done to make sure we are targeting the right audience and setting quality appointments:

  • Review appointments converted and refused by SIC code to identify top industries
  • Prioritize leads by highest converting SIC code
  • Purge leads that you know are not a good fit
  • Test new list sources and targets often.

By evaluating and segmenting our lists based off front and back end conversion we have been able to supply our clients with a high number of appointments that we know historically speaking will have the strongest close rate.

B2B Appointment Setting: Build the right team

You can have the best leads in the world on a b2b appointment setting program but if you don’t have the right team in place then the quality of appointments will be mediocre at best. Selecting the right team is something that we pride ourselves in at QCS. We put people in place with tenure, passion and who bring different perspectives to the program to get results.

  • Operations Manager: This person oversees the project in its entirety. They are ultimately responsible for the success of the program. This person works with all members of the team to increase performance, through new innovations, efficiency gains and implementation of new processes and procedures.
  • Supervisor: Responsible for the daily success of the project. This position is one of the most important positions and needs to be filled with someone who can lead through demonstrations. Someone who can coach and motivate, bringing out the best agents that report to them.
  • Quality Assurance Managers: Monitors calls on every agent to ensure and provides coaching to ensure highest quality of b2b appointment setting calls.
  • Verifications Manager: Responsible for listening to all appointments set to ensure proper messaging and data capture were performed. This position is our final stop gap and makes sure that any appointments delivered to our clients are of the highest quality.
  • Agents: Utilize a veteran team of appointment setting agents. These team members know how to get to the lead and deliver a value proposition that creates excitement with the lead. What this has meant to our clients is increased appointment stick rates.

B2B Appointment Setting: Be flexible, passionate and persistent

Always Be Flexible, Passionate and Persistent. This piece of advice is very important. On this b2b appointment setting program, we’ve reduced staffing and we’ve increased staffing. We’ve had rough days and we’ve had amazing days. We’ve seen lists that don’t perform and other lists that blow it out of the water. We’ve had to replace team members and we’ve promoted from within the ranks.

What I can tell you is that to each Yin there is a Yang and in order to find what that is you have to be able to flex from what your typical standard is. You have to be passionate about results and hitting your goals. Mostly, you need to be persistent and push through the bad to get to the great. Every obstacle we’ve been through has led us down a path of learning and understanding. We’ve taken these learnings and have create a sustainable program that is creating high quality b2b appointments for our client and we couldn’t be happier.

QCS knows what it takes to create high quality appointments on a b2b appointment setting program and we make sure we have the right people and strategies in place to bring the highest stick rates and the highest close rates. If you’re looking to increase the quantity and quality of your leads give us a call at 1-866-963-2889 and press 1 for sales. Or email me at aj.windle@qualitycontactsolutions.com. We’d love to help!

Other Articles You Might Find Interesting:

Telemarketing Appointment Setting Best Practices – Part 1
Telemarketing Appointment Setting Best Practices – Part 2

A.J. Windle is the Director of Operations of Quality Contact Solutions. A.J. is responsible for ensuring every client program is successful on a daily basis, including achieving the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that matter most. With a deep call center operations background, A.J. is a hands-on leader and has built his career on creating win-win-win relationships for his team, his clients and the owner-operated call centers he is responsible for. A.J. loves to keep score and he is proud of his team’s scoreboard. A.J. knows that great leaders find a way to make sure their team wins. A.J can be reached at aj.windle@qualitycontactsolutions.com or 516-656-5106.


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