Outsourcing Appointment Setting is the New Norm. Is Your Sales Department Behind the Times?
Appointment setting is a key part of generating sales if you’re working in the business-to-business (B2B) space. Unlike retailers, you can’t rely on in-store promotions or e-commerce to drive sales. You have to set appointments and have conversations with prospects that have a need or an interest in what it is you have to sell. To keep the prospects you convert into customers, you also have to keep the dialog going.
Not surprisingly, the number two complaint that most B2B sales reps have about their jobs, just after not having the right prospects to call on, is that they are so busy trying to set appointments that they can’t actually sell. Historically, sales managers have tried and resolve these complaints by buying new, expensive leads lists and presenting their teams with new sales incentives. Unfortunately, as so many sales managers in recent years have discovered, when spending too much time setting appointments is the problem, new leads lists and sales incentives wind up being temporary fixes, at best.
The good news is that utilizing third-party appointment setting services is becoming more mainstream. As it becomes more mainstream, companies’ internal sales teams are becoming more specialized and sales cycles are being sped up. Outsourcing appointment setting needs is becoming the thing to do if you are interested in transforming your sales department into an executive sales department that is specialized and sales-focused rather than lead generating and appointment setting-focused.
When you entered into B2B sales, you probably didn’t anticipate the time it would take to locate the right prospects and set appointments with them. You thought your job would be selling products and services—not setting appointments.
Today, it is possible to return to sales basics, and, more interestingly, to advance existing sales processes by outsourcing your appointment setting needs.
In a previous blog post, the Vendere Partners team outlined the four primary functions of an appointment setting call, which are:
- qualifying prospects,
- generating interest,
- setting the appointment, and
- setting expectations.
If you think about how much time your sales team is currently spending on executing these four steps and benchmark it against the sales numbers that your company could be achieving if it were spending that time making sales instead of setting appointments, the value of outsourcing your company’s appointment setting needs should become abundantly clear.
The biggest mistake that sales managers who elect to outsource their appointment setting needs make is assuming that because outsourcing these needs is becoming the norm, all outsourcing services are more or less the same. This couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Earlier in this blog post, it was mentioned that to convert prospects into customers, you have to keep the dialog going. A qualified third party that offers appointment setting services should be able to assist you with lead nurturing—whether that nurturing consists of setting new appointments with existing customers or high-level e-marketing and event audience acquisition services that target both new and existing customers. In other words, the right third party for your company to engage with when it comes to appointment setting should be prepared to handle the changing needs of your sales department and company as they grow. And they will grow, thanks to appointment setting services that enable your sales reps to do what they do best: sell.