The most common scenario for businesses with sales departments involves a quick realization that a lot of time is spent on courting prospects and messaging back and forth, trying to make some appointments. You might have an internal sales team or hire third-party lead generation companies to interact with potential buyers. In any case, it is essential to understand that businesses can streamline their B2B lead generation marketing strategy through top-notch appointment setting software. The point is that the whole process can be more effective and productive if the sales force is focused on selling only. However, prospecting and appointment setting takes time and effort and is not sales per se. Thus, why don’t you outsource pre-sales stages to a B2B internet marketing agency or any other reliable firm and let your reps focus only on sales?
Let’s zoom in on the sales development process and see if we can make it more practical and effective.
How to Benefit from B2B Lead Generation Marketing?
Any business needs clients. Nowadays, when the competition is so intense in almost any market, companies should proactively look for viable business leads to turn them into customers.
Only a fraction of qualified leads will be coming to your business if you don’t invest time, effort, and money in potentially interested clients. Let’s look at how to generate leads through your marketing funnel and optimize your B2B lead generation.
Follow these sales development stages to process highly qualified leads:
- Marketing. Outbound marketing (also referred to as prospecting) can be compared to chasing. Similar to the techniques generally used for door-to-door sales, you should apply cold calling or cold emailing to find people who are potentially interested in the services or products you offer. As for inbound marketing, it looks more like attracting people to your products or services. You don’t chase after cold prospects. Instead, you use engaging content (i.e., blog, case studies, infographics, etc.), lead magnets, social media campaigns, and paid ads to attract new sales leads. The prospects who expressed interest in the service or product are a sales opportunity and should be further explored.
- Appointment Setting. A sales process can include more stages. However, there is always an appointment setting stage between prospecting and closing a deal. Prospects on the list are to be contacted, and appointments are to be scheduled. That is the stage where reps introduce a product or service, qualify prospects, and process objections. As soon as the prospect is nurtured to the point of emerging as a highly-qualified lead, an appointment is suggested and schedules are coordinated.
- Closing. The closing stage involves the rep getting the decision from the lead to close the deal and buy the product or service. If the previous steps were efficient, interested leads reach this stage and become new customers with a high ratio.
As you can see, each stage can be handled either internally or outsourced to professionals. However, the whole sales process should definitely be broken down into separate steps and processed accordingly.
What Does B2B Appointment Setting for Lead Generation Companies Involve?
Regardless of whether you have in-house appointment setters or outsource B2B lead generation, there are must-have skills for successful appointment setting:
- Research. Appointment setters research prospects to verify the ones fitting with the company’s customer profile. They are more likely to respond positively to business propositions. At that, research should not be entirely automated. The best appointment setters verify prospects manually using modern software as a supplementary tool.
- Working with lead generators. The contact list you already have should be enriched with lead generators, such as comments on blog posts, live events, job applications, interesting content, etc. Many lead generation strategies will provide you with responsive potential customers. They’ll also help you find the missing data points.
- Be flexible with outside sales. Sometimes appointment setters may play against themselves when they think they cannot qualify leads because that’s the job of outside sales reps. If you start nurturing the lead and see that it is sub-par, it is common sense not to set the appointment. Thus, it can be part of appointment setters’ duties to qualify the potential opportunity and set only qualified appointments.
- Building trust. Appointment setters should be good communicators. However, their focus should be on learning the potential client’s pain points and concerns. They build trust by offering what fits their needs rather than pushing the product at all costs.
- Staying in touch. Appointment setters do not fully replace your in-house sales departments. They need to contact them regularly to see how they process responses. An open communication channel between appointment setters and deal closers is one of the most effective ways to increase your conversion rates.
- Be knowledgeable about the product/service. Appointment setters nurture prospects, so they need to be skilled at pointing out value propositions, handling objections, and ask the right questions to gather information. They either need to work with the clients’ sales scripts and make them sound as natural as possible, or they should be experienced enough to go off-script if a situation calls for it. Closely following a script often chips away at B2B prospects’ willingness to make a purchase as they are generally more demanding in B2B sales than B2C sales.
- Be technically well-equipped. Appointment setters cannot perform well if they are not proficient with CRMs, data tracking, and schedule coordination. It is essential to know how to navigate different CRM systems, use scheduling software, and track progress.
Many top appointment setting skills can be enhanced with premium appointment setting software.
Required Features for B2B Appointment Setting Software for Inside & Outside Sales
When looking for the most effective B2B appointment setting software, the following features are essential to streamline the sales process.
- Email Notifications
Automated functions, such as email alerts and notifications about confirmation, canceling, and rescheduling, reduce the number of no-shows. For appointment setters, email notifications can be customized to notify about appointments being set. For sales development reps, email notifications can be customized to identify your prospects. Look for software compatible with a calendar file format (.ics) used by some calendar programs. For example, Setmore, HubSpot Prospects Tool, Qudini.
- Email Deliverability
From effective subject lines to performance tracking software, you can prevent your emails from getting trapped in spam folders in several ways. Look for tools such as Folderly that provide reports on deliverability issues and point out what can be done to improve your emails’ performance.
- Shared Integrated Calendars
Appointment setters need to have access to sales reps’ schedules who will be closing the deals to operate quickly and efficiently. Features like shared calendars let appointment setters clearly see when reps are available and book appointments within the available time slots. Each invited participant can confirm or reschedule meetings at their convenience. Such tools include Calendly, HubSpot Meetings, and TimeTrade.
- Managing Time Zone Difference
You can use all tips and tricks in your inbox to confirm the appointment, but if you don’t factor in the difference with your lead’s time zone, the no-show rate might grow dramatically. With the world getting smaller and smaller each day due to technical advancements, any virtual or phone appointment should be made without confusing time zones. The easiest way to do so is to look for appointment setting tools to schedule meetings that account for different time zones. For example, Calendly, Bookafy, Appointlet.
- Proximity- and Location-Based Appointment Scheduling
To ensure that your IRL meetings are not booked in another state unless you specifically want to pursue a far-away lead, look for appointment setting software that accounts for the geographic proximity of all the parties involved. Some tools allow for booking appointments in close proximity to your location, taking into account the leads’ zip code, latitude, and longitude. For example, Sumo Scheduler.
- Appointment Results Tracking
Getting feedback on appointment results is extremely important for sales performance and improvement. The easier it is to report for outside salespeople, the better. Look for software that combines appointment scheduling features and reporting. Thus, follow-ups are more efficient and productive.
Top 7 B2B Appointment Setting Software
Having considered all features and needs your business might have, choose the right one from the following best 10 appointment setting tools.
HubSpot Appointment & Meeting Scheduler
HubSpot Scheduler is designed for planning one-on-one appointments as well as team meetings. A team meeting link allows several participants to find a free time slot in their schedules. HubSpot Scheduler is integrated with HubSpot CRM and keeps all contacts organized.
In addition to calendar synchronization across all devices, Setmore offers integration with your sales CRM, website, social media, and a number of apps. Also, Setmore offers email and text notifications and processes online payments.
Price: Free up to 4 users; the Pro plan is $5 per user/month for 3+ users
Calendly is easily customized to meet your needs. Calendly integrates with Google, Outlook, Office 365 or iCloud calendars and with up to 700 apps, including GoToMeeting, Zapier, and Salesforce. Calendly software is smart enough to create buffers between appointments to avoid overlapping and considers different time zones to reduce no-shows. Belonging to the HubSpot ecosystem, Calendly seamlessly exports all appointment information into your CRM.
Price: the Basic plan for free; the Premium plan is $8 per user/month; the Pro plan is $12 per user/month (if billed annually; and $2-3 more expensive if billed monthly).
Acuity Scheduling is great for one-on-one meetings, allowing prospects to book their appointments according to your real-time availability. Event and group schedules are available, too. The tool’s functions include customizing messages, sending text and email notifications, and multi-location scheduling. Acuity also enables client payments and automatic time zone adjustment. Unavailable for Windows, Linux, and Mac, Acuity is compatible only with Android, iPhone/iPad, and Web-Based.
Price: Free; advanced features are available for $15 per user/month.
Available internationally in English, Doodle automatically synchronizes appointments with your calendar and offers buffers to avoid conflicting appointments. Premium plans include essential features, such as sending automatic notifications and reminders, requesting additional information, and filling in forms, as well as incredible custom designs. Doodle integrates with Google Calendar, iCloud, iCal, ICS Feed, and Outlook but is not available on Android and Windows Mobile.
Price: Free for individual users; Premium plans start from $5 per user/monthly paid annually.
Bookafy offers one-way or two-way calendar sync. Suitable for a large number of scheduling scenarios, Bookafy accounts for different time zones, has customization options, and manages client payments.
Price: Pro Plan $7 per month/user; Pro+ Plan $11 per month/user
Available in a number of languages, including English, Spanish, Italian, German, and Dutch, Appointlet can be adjusted for different time zones and integrated with many applications, such as Zapier, Salesforce, Zoho CRM, Mailchimp, and GoToMeeting. Appointlet integrates with Office 365 and Google Calendar. Customization options are available for Premium users.
Price: Free; the Premium plan is $8 per user/month.
Growing a team of in-house appointment setters is costly and time-consuming. Regardless of whether you have an outsourced or in-house appointment setting team, proven appointment setting software is extremely helpful in growing your business.
Key Points to Take Away
Finding B2B leads is not easy. Depending on your company’s goals and resources, it is often highly recommended to outsource B2B lead generation to make your sales process more productive.
The appointment setting is an integral part of the best B2B lead generation. Thus, find professionals who can take on qualifying prospects and appointment settings with high-quality leads.
Using the most efficient appointment setting software and the best B2B lead generation tools, Belkins will make sure only the most promising prospects are nurtured and passed on to the sales reps. We train our appointment setters gradually and extensively to let them learn from our best reps. This way, we minimize the use of scripts and present your business genuinely.
Use our experience in scheduling appointments and close as many deals as possible. We can be an extension of your team anywhere in the world. If you’re contemplating outsourcing the appointment setting stage, don’t hesitate to contact us right now!