Salespeople tend to be highly motivated and scrappy, reaching their goals by any means necessary. However, just because a rep can tackle every aspect of the sales process as one person, that doesn’t always mean they should all on their own. After all, different reps have different strengths and areas of expertise.
Some reps are amazing prospectors who can initiate meaningful conversations with potential buyers with ease. Others are fantastic closers, who are excellent listeners and persuasive enough to secure a closed-won deal in a variety of circumstances.
What happens when you allow master prospectors to begin the sales process, helping to qualify leads and create a strong foundation for a sale, then have an excellent closer some in and make sure the deal goes according to plan?
You combine the superpowers of skilled reps to engage with highly qualified leads and close more deals using B2B appointment setting.
What is B2B appointment setting?
B2B appointment setting is a sales strategy that involves seasoned sales reps engaging in the prospecting stages of the sales process. Once the initial rep has scheduled a follow-up call with the prospect, a closing sales rep takes over to facilitate the end stages of the sales process.
This may sound familiar to you if you have experience with the sales development process. Essentially, using this strategy an organization is putting additional care into the prospecting stage to ensure they are reaching and selling to candidates who are truly a good fit for their offering.
Using the B2B appointment setting strategy, there are three main phases for each sale: prospecting, appointment setting, and closing. Let’s discuss each phase in greater detail.
During the prospecting stage, sales development reps engage with marketing and sales qualified leads to gauge where the buyer is in their decision-making journey.
By this point in the sales process, the lead has expressed interest in the product or service, however, the rep involved in this stage of the process needs to determine if the buyer is a sales opportunity.
If it is determined this buyer is highly likely to become a customer, they would then move on to the appointment setting phase.
2. Appointment Setting
The appointment setting phase is when the lead is nurtured before the deal is closed. During this stage, the appointment setter works with the lead to determine a time to review their final proposal with the rep who is looking to close the deal.
This role can be performed by internal members of your team or can be outsourced to an external agency so your reps can focus exclusively on selling. The appointment setter should be an excellent prospector who can qualify the best leads to pass on to the next stage of the deal.
When the appointment setter schedules a sales meeting between the lead and the rep who will close the deal, they then resume prospecting and rebuilding the pipeline, seeking more sales opportunities.
After a lead has their appointment scheduled, the final sales rep works with them to negotiate and close the deal. The goal is for the closing sales rep to receive highly qualified leads who are likely to buy and ready to discuss closing terms.
Now that you understand what the B2B appointment setting process entails, let’s discuss some ways to streamline the process so your company can secure the best leads.
B2B Appointment Setting Tips
1. Do your research.
The key to finding the best leads for your business is through research. Before reaching out to specific contacts or bringing in a closing sales rep, appointment setters should spend time researching the potential buyers they are engaging with to be well-prepared for their qualifying conversations.
Doing so can help build confidence and can inform the qualification process.
2. Be personable.
While yes, the goal is to ultimately get your leads to buy, appointment-setters should be building trust with leads, connecting with them on a human level.
For appointment-setters, the goal is not to pitch the product. It is to get to know the needs and concerns of your leads and to determine if they’re a good fit for what your company is offering. Avoid being too pushy or prescriptive, and take a conversational approach when qualifying new leads.
3. Ask thoughtful questions.
As mentioned above, the goal of appointment setting is to get to know your company’s leads to determine how likely they are to purchase your product. In order to do this, you need to ask thoughtful questions to fully understand the potential customer’s perspective.
4. Outsource to a B2B appointment setting service.
If your sales team is currently at capacity, you may want to consider outsourcing to an external company or agency who can support your prospecting and appointment setting efforts. These professionals are trained at identifying qualified leads, so your reps only focus on closing and retaining current customers.
When you’re looking to outsource appointment setting responsibilities, make sure the external provider has experience working with your customer base (or similar populations) and can provide the support your team needs.
5. Use a scheduling tool to make simplify appointment setting.
For appointment setters, going back-and-forth with leads and closing reps to determine a time for their sales meetings can be a tedious task. Streamline appointment setting efforts by using a scheduling tool.
Here are a few we recommend:
HubSpot’s free meeting scheduling software is designed to simplify the sales meeting process for salespeople. This free tool has a round-robin meeting link making it easy to set up a meeting time with your closing sales rep depending on their schedule.
Price: Free Basic plan; the Premium plan is $8 per user/month; the Pro plan is $12 per user/month
Calendly is an industry-leading scheduling software. Their tool can be leveraged by sales teams to automate scheduling throughout the sales pipeline, allowing you to respond to and serve your leads faster than your competitors. Calendly is also part of the HubSpot ecosystem and seamlessly integrates with your CRM so your contact data can remain up-to-date.
Price: Free Basic plan; the professional plan is $15/month; the team plan is $25 per user/month
CalendarHero uses artificial intelligence to automate meeting scheduling. This tool has a meeting briefings feature that provides personalized briefings of every meeting in the morning and throughout the day so participants can feel confident and prepared walking into sales meetings. CalendarHero also integrates directly with HubSpot CRM to automatically log meeting details, streamlining data entry.
Arrangr connects to all major calendar tools to automate the meeting scheduling process in seconds. With this platform, users can quickly coordinate all details related to their meetings including time, date, location, call details, and additional technologies. Arrangr also connects to nearly every app you use, including major email platforms and HubSpot CRM.
Setmore offers flexible meeting scheduling software that works across devices. In addition to booking appointments, Setmore users can set up text and email reminders to prevent no-shows, accept online payments, and can direct customers to a self-booking feature to make appointment setting even easier. Setmore appointment information can also be exported directly into HubSpot CRM.
By implementing an appointment setting strategy, your reps can work with the most qualified leads increasing their chances of making the sale. For more information about getting the most out of your sales meetings, check out this post.