Appointment setting is one of the most critical skills for B2B sales professionals to cultivate. Getting in front of prospects for an in-depth presentation makes all your hard work worth it. It’s also where you’re most likely to make the sale.
Unfortunately, it can easily become overwhelming for many sales reps. The good news is that more manageable methods are always being developed. Read on to discover practical tips for improving your B2B appointment setting approach.
Why It’s Important to Simplify Sales Appointment Setting
Just about any sales rep will testify that setting appointments is one of the most challenging parts of the sales process. Not only do you have to figure out who the decision-makers are in organizations of every size, but you also have to:
- Get past gatekeepers to get in touch with those executives
- Contact them in a way and at a time that works for them
- Communicate the value of your product or service within a minute or two
- Cultivate a relationship by following up with them multiple times
- Get them to put a date on the calendar for a sales presentation
This is difficult and time-consuming for one executive to do. Imagine having to follow this process for multiple leads at once. If you intend to be proficient at appointment setting, you must find a way to simplify the process.
If your methods are too complex, you’re more likely to lose track of leads or struggle to give them the attention they deserve. In turn, this could impact your overall sales success.
Seven Ways You Can Streamline Your B2B Appointment Setting Strategy
You now know why simplifying your appointment-setting strategy is important. Still, you may need help with how to accomplish that goal. The following sections will help make B2B appointment setting easier for you and your prospects.
1. Go Multi-Channel
Not all executives are tied to their desk phones these days. Because of hybrid work and travel demands, reaching a high-level decision-maker at the office may be challenging.
Email and social media (such as LinkedIn) are two great ways to connect with prospects outside the office. These methods can help you get their attention while they’re on the go. If you use these methods first, you have an even better reason to later follow up with a phone call.
2. Extend Your Window
Travel and remote work mean executives must be more flexible about their work hours. During the nine-to-five window, they’re usually busy taking care of their own company’s needs.
Contacting them earlier in the morning or later at night might be better. This is because there may be fewer urgent demands on their time. As a result, they can pay close attention to your message.
3. Get the Referral
Referrals are truly the best way to go about B2B appointment setting because they shorten the sales cycle by giving you access to warm, qualified leads. They act as a form of social proof, which significantly raises your chances of closing the deal.
Using referrals for appointment setting can save a lot of time. The referring client can also help you locate an internal ally at the other company. They’ll help you navigate the structure and nuances of the unfamiliar business.
4. Confirm the Details
While it may seem simple, some sales reps forget this step of the appointment-setting process. However, it can impact your chances of closing the deal.
Confirming the details is about more than just reiterating the meeting date, time, or place. You also need to decide whether they are ready to buy or require more nurturing effort. In addition, it’s important to ensure that your prospect understands the purpose of your presentation.
5. Research Job Titles
Though you may have been told that your contact is a decision-maker, what authority do they truly have at the company? What is their scope of responsibility, and which departments do they oversee?
Executives with the same title can have different functions, depending on the company. For this reason, it’s important to ensure you’re speaking with someone who can influence company decisions and create buy-in for your product or service.
6. Qualify Through Criteria: Budget, Authority, Need
Lead qualification is so important to the appointment-setting process. The first step is knowing and researching your prospect’s title. After that, it’s time to dig deeper and determine whether setting a sales presentation appointment will be worth it. Even if they are in your target audience, you still need to ensure they have the following:
- The budget available to purchase your products or services
- The authority to make decisions about purchases
- A deep need for your product or service
It’s best to confirm these criteria before setting an appointment. That way, you won’t waste time meeting with people who don’t have the money, permission, or need to close the deal.
7. Personalized Contact and Content
Consider sending your prospective client some relevant content before your appointment to prepare them for your sales presentation. This can include promotional material about your product or service.
It might also, though, cover recent news stories or pain points about their industry. Providing this content gives you yet another reason for follow-up contact and can help you solidify your relationship.
Serving Your Clients Is Vital to B2B Appointment Setting Success
What do most of these tips have in common? Each focuses on building trust and creating a great experience for your prospective client. You achieve this by showing them that you plan to serve their needs by making contact convenient, doing your research so you know you can help them, and bringing value to the table before contract signatures and invoices are exchanged.
In other words, showing potential clients that you care about their success makes it much easier for you to find success as well.