B2B Sales, Lead Generation and Marketing Blog

5 B2B Appointment Setting Techniques

Posted by Vendere Team on Fri, Jul 16, 2010 @ 15:07 PM

counting up to five <br /><br />For 5MP res please see<br />http://www.dreamstime.com- /fingernumbers5-image1561- Believe me when I say that we've heard everything you could possibly hear on the phone with a prospect.  That's a topic for another blog.  However, with eight years of B2B lead generation experience comes a little bit of insight into a few best practices around cold calling. Here are five good tips:

1. Try Different Times of Day

If you can't get someone on the phone on the first try, or even the second try, make sure that you are calling at different hours of the day.  This is especially helpful if you get stonewalled by the gatekeeper.  Sometimes you can get right through to the sales prospect if you call at 7AM or 5:30PM.

2. Standardize a Workflow

Create a standardized workflow that you use on all of your appointment setting calls.  For instance, on an event audience acquisition campaign where you're driving attendees to a sales event, time is of the essence and you may use a workflow like this: Call-Call-Call-Email-Drop (with a couple days in between each step). 
For more complex sales where you're attempting to set qualified sales appointments, it may be: Call-Call-Call-Email-Call-Call-Call-Email-Drop.  The benefit here is that you can use a workflow that optimizes your objective. Each workflow applies uniformly to each campaign, so that you're not spending too much effort in one place on one prospect who will never answer your call anyways.

3. Establish an Inside Sales Pipeline

Establish an inside sales pipeline the same way you would an outside sales pipeline.  Fill the top of your sales prospecting funnel with good leads from an up-to-date list and continue to replenish the top-line as sales prospects drop out; use the same diligence in your follow-up measures as an outside sales rep would.
A win in outside sales is like a sales appointment for inside salesperson.  View it as one sales funnel filling a smaller one.  For more on this read our blog, A Tale of Two Sales Funnels.

4. Keep Tone In Mind

Sound as fresh and lively on your 150th call as you do on your 1st. This goes without saying, but is worth repeating many times over.  As you know from the many sales calls you've received from grumpy-sounding salespeople, no one wants to talk to a person that sounds dull and monotoned. Keep it lively. Keep your tone sharp. Be a pleasant person to engage with.

5. Don't Underestimate the Power of Influencers

Influencers are sometimes as good an ally as decision-makers. Vendere recently purchased a solution to assist in sales force management. I didn't pull the purse strings, but I fought for the solution because I saw tremendous value in it, and it would make my job easier.
All too often, salespeople are hyper-focused on the decision-maker when an influencer might be your strongest ally in getting a deal done. If there are more than one influencer and/or decision-maker (especially in a complex sale), it might not hurt to org-chart the involved parties.

While some of this may be obvious, perhaps I've given you a tidbit that gets you one more sales appointment than you would have had before, in which case the mission has been accomplished. 

Topics: appointment setting, cold calling, tips and techniques

RFI tips for b2b lead generation appointment setting