Sales have changed significantly in recent years – new technologies have appeared and competition has increased. Everything is very different from what it was before. Today’s customers are setting completely new requirements for sellers. Those who meet these requirements succeed in sales. Take the appointment setting for an example. Nowadays, this is the perfect way for companies to not only gain access to new markets for their technologies, products, and services but also find strategic partners and get real orders.
B2B appointment setting, whether in person or by phone call, is an important step in the sales process in many markets. With it, you can build trust in yourself and the company, learn the information necessary to prepare a commercial offer, negotiate more effectively and calmly when you have already met each other.
If you are just starting your B2B journey and want to know more about it, this article is for you.
What Is a B2B Appointment-Setter?
B2B negotiations, regardless of the company’s field of activity, go through the same stages:
- searching for potential customers;
- first contact;
- making an appointment;
- presenting your products and services;
- clarifying the client’s needs and requirements;
- formulating a cost;
- working with objections;
- drawing up a commercial proposal;
- completing the transaction by signing a contract.
Holding the first meeting with the client is an important stage in B2B sales. It depends on how it goes, whether the client will continue to work with you or reject you. The good news is that you can control the course of events by 80% if you prepare in advance. The appointment-setter plays an important role in this.
The B2B appointment-setter is the person who guides and supports your potential customers before making an up-to-date appointment with a designated sales representative. His job is to find common ground between sales representatives and potential customers, eliminate any possible friction during a conversation, and facilitate faster sales growth and better communication.
If your company doesn’t have an employee who is responsible for meetings, you can always contact firms or outsourcing companies that provide appointment setter services.
Advantages of scheduling B2B appointments
So why is making appointments a crucial step necessary for promoting your company?
- Better targeting: making B2B appointments allows you to get straight to the point. With this, potential customers share their needs and goals, and your sales representatives get more details about each customer, which allows them to close the deal.
- Increased conversions: at this point, caring and knowledge do magic. Making an appointment will allow you to easily introduce your prospective clients to the benefits of working with your company. It will also reduce the likelihood of them dropping out of your sales funnel in the future.
- Saving time: it will be much easier for you to connect with pre-selected warm potential clients who already know about the field you are working in. Your sales teams will be able to jump straight to closing the deal, skipping the formalities that are no longer needed. It will save you hours of work, if not weeks.
And if you do not have time to find or train an employee who will be in charge of the first meeting with a client or a sales appointment, then there is always an appointment setter service.
The Process of Setting an Appointment
It would seem that there is nothing difficult in making an appointment. However, everything is much more complicated than it might seem at first glance. The process consists of several stages.
If you want to make sure your appointment-setters are doing everything right, you need to instruct them. Provide them with all the information about your company, unique value proposition, and services. Besides, you can introduce them to your sales staff who close the deal. Their interaction will help in the future. But at this stage, your goal is to make sure that each team member has enough knowledge, knows their task and how your sales funnel is built.
You can collect as many informational materials as possible about your business: from the basics to in-depth knowledge databases that will be accessible to all new members. Don’t let anyone start working with clients without these materials.
If your employees cannot cope with their tasks due to a lack of knowledge, you can always contact outsourcing or appointment setting companies.
When you are about to enter or grow in a new market, create an Ideal Client Profile (ICP). Once it’s ready, share it with your appointments, research experts, and sales representatives. While the research team is working on screening and gathering potential customers, meeting planners should take the time to learn more about this segment.
You, in turn, should use this time to define the stack of technologies that you will be working with to collect B2B data. Tools like Snov.io, Hunter.io, and LinkedIn Sales Navigator should suffice. But for narrower segments, more specific tools may be needed. In this case, your B2B appointment-setters should know how to work with them. After all, they may need to use them in the process of learning or nurturing customer relationships.
After collecting a database of potential clients, it is time to make appointments. B2B appointment-setters contact clients and introduce themselves. This can be both e-mail communication and cold calling. Emails will allow you to fit in more information about your company’s unique value proposition, add more creativity to your presentation without looking intrusive or annoying. According to surveys and research, B2B shoppers are now less tolerant of cold calling than they were a few years ago.
For your first interaction, you can create a set of campaigns that focus on introducing your company, describing your services, inviting potential customers to take a call, and making an appointment in the future. This requires the ability to think on your feet and great resilience. You need to create a rhythm that matches the pace of your potential customers and will stimulate them to respond.
Scheduling an appointment
At this point, your potential customer has agreed to make an appointment with a representative. When it comes, you need an easy-to-use calendar tool that will allow you to see all the time frames that are available, quickly edit them and share the schedule with sales representatives. This is why the interaction between sales representatives and meeting appointments is very important. This will help you avoid changing appointments in a hurry and risking making a bad first impression on the client.
Try to send meeting reminders hours and days in advance in case your clients change plans or forget about it. Also, give them the option to reschedule the meeting.
Analysis and Report
At the end of each project, your company’s teams should prepare a report with the following information:
- Number of leads researched;
- Number of prospects achieved;
- Sales cycle length;
- The number of emails sent, along with the ratio of positive and negative responses;
- Number of attracted potential customers with positive and negative reviews;
- Number of appointments for each month or week;
- Total time and budget spent.
When using multiple email campaigns, you can also compare performance statistics for each campaign. This will help you understand which one was more productive and can be used for other similar segments.
Beyond that, be sure to take stock of the appointment at this stage, because it allows you to see what you did right and where you failed. This way you can learn enough to make your next meeting more efficient and productive.
Still Want to Know More about Making a B2B Appointment?
If you are still unsure about some of the steps or want to know even more about how appointment setting works at other companies, visit our FAQ center and blog. Here you will find information on both aspects of appointment scheduling and B2B sales.