If your sales team is spending time hunting and pecking for new business, that’s time taken away from doing what they were hired to do…. close sales and nurture real opportunities. Setting quality B2B appointments is foundational to the success of the sales team and ultimately the organization as a whole. Quality Contact Solutions has fine-tuned the process of setting B2B and B2C appointments and has the experience in helping organizations establish long-term trusted relationships with their customers using the best and proven strategies in the industry today.
B2B appointment setting success
There are several factors that contribute to scheduling successful B2B appointments. Let’s explore what it takes from the customer, B2B appointments team, lists, scripts, strategy and technology perspectives.
Ultimately, the goal is to not just set the appointment, but for the prospect to actually show up for the appointment. How do you do this? Make sure the customer clearly understands the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) principal. How will the customers receive value by showing up for the scheduled B2B appointments? Part of the objective is to avoid filling the calendar with unqualified appointments and have a lot of no-shows…it’s a waste of time for the sales team and for the B2B appointments team.
Once the customer/prospect has committed to a date and time, it is essential for the following B2B appointments best practices to occur:
- Send a calendar invite immediately following the telemarketing call to lock in the appointment time on your prospect’s calendar.
- As a best practice, we’ve found it ideal to gain access to the respective salesperson’s calendars and set the B2B appointments on their calendar on their behalf, along with inviting the prospect to the appointment. Additionally, in the calendar invite, use the appointment notes or comments section to reinforce why it is worth them keeping the appointment. This can be either pre-determined based off of a handful of scenarios or can be custom based upon the discussion with the B2B appointments team had with the customer/prospect.
2. Send an email from the B2B appointments setter to the prospect and cc to the salesperson that the appointment is set for. The email is simple and contains the following components:
- Thank them for their time
- Letting them know that they should have received a calendar invite
- Ask them to please accept the appointment to lock in the time
3. Send an email from the B2B appointments setter to the salesperson with any applicable notes that were learned through the appointment setting discussion to assist during the sales call.
The team at Quality Contact Solutions is very intentional in setting our customers up for success from the beginning. We help our customers define and communicate the value for the customer. Through years of refining, our successful formula is designed to help maximize each and every customer contact that the B2B appointments team makes while following a model that has proven successful time and time again.
The B2B appointments team
A B2B appointments team is foundational to the success of our appointment setting programs. According to HubSpot, more than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process. This is where it makes sense to leverage an external B2B appointments team. When using an outsourced partner, you have access to an entire team of professionals that do this day in and day out, without the cost and effort of doing the hiring and training internally.
A successful and solid B2B appointments team requires every person to have grit, to be tenacious, and includes only those resources who are up for a challenge. With appointment setting crucial to the entire sales process, it’s critical that each team consists of the right resources. Teams that are assembled correctly from the start provide the advantage for everyone to hit the ground running.
Through the years, Quality Contact Solutions has identified the attributes of a successful B2B appointments team.
- Experienced B2B appointments agents and managers with a track record of success.
- Conversational Experts
- People who don’t mind objection
- Dynamically quick thinkers
- Technology savvy team members and
- Can take no for an answer
- Open to feedback from both client and manager
Lists, scripts, technology and strategy
At Quality Contact Solutions we are experts at B2B appointments. Here are some considerations to keep in mind that are often missed when trying to reach sales goals and objectives.
Lists – B2B appointments programs are either doomed from the start or flourish as they are dug into. It is prudent to invest substantial time and money into selecting the right targets the team will be calling. Anyone who isn’t your target audience will just be a distraction.
A great list begins with research. Invest the time on the front end to have the back-end results pay dividends. Explore our detailed suggestions on how to construct a successful list for B2B appointments.
Script – When evaluating best practices for a successful B2B appointments script, it provides just enough information to peak the prospect’s interest without putting the appointment setter in a position where they have so much information that they are tempted or forced to go too deep in the call.
At a high level, the best practices for sections of an effective B2B appointments script are:
- Who can the telemarketing agent speak to?
- The message in a nutshell.
- Ask for the appointment and keep the appointment date within the next 5 business days.
- Close the conversation with an affirmation of what the prospect will learn during the appointment and how even if your product/solution isn’t a good fit, it won’t be a waste of their time.
- “Not Interested” rebuttal.
Technology – Access to modern sales practices and technology is a distinct advantage of working with an outsourced partner. Consider these questions when conducting research for b2b appointments teams:
- How are you scheduling the appointment (CRM or data capture through a dialer)?
- How are the agents viewing open times on the sales team’s calendar?
- Are you sending an invite to the prospect and what system are you using for this?
- Do you have a reminder system set-up to reduce No Show rates?
- How are you handling Inbound calls?
- What is your Caller ID strategy?
- What dialer are you using?
Strategy – There are many configurations when considering which strategy is going to be the most effective to reach the core objectives of a B2B appointments program.
Will the list contain strictly wireless and/or landline phone numbers? Will it be a mixture of both? Do you understand the requirements for dialing each number type and the technology needed to facilitate the calls that are free of breaking any government regulations? How about making a strategic decision on the mode in which calls will be dialed…preview, manual or predictively?
Predictive dialing is more relevant in B2C appointment setting programs. This method can quickly eliminate the answering machines, voicemails, disconnects and wrong numbers. However, should there be wireless phone numbers, it requires a completely different dialer than would be used for B2B appointments. To learn more about the different strategies, guidelines and best practices for B2C appointments, contact our in-house B2C expert. (insert link for Julie’s calendar)
As you can see, there are a lot of components to successfully setting B2B appointments. The Quality Contact Solutions team of experts will carefully craft a tailored program to address the goals and objectives for your department or organization. Our proven experience gives us the leading edge to help all of our clients succeed.
We’d love to learn about your challenges related to setting B2B appointments and create a plan to help meet your goals. Drop us a line today.