B2B Appointment Setting (2019 Complete Guide) - OutboundView

B2B Appointment Setting

What is b2B appointment setting?

B2B Appointment Setting is a service where companies who sell to other businesses perform outreach (via phone, email, or social media) to try and set appointment to pitch their product or service.

B2B appointment setting can be performed by an internal team or an external third party, who sets appointments on your behalf.

What do B2B appointment setters do?

There are many aspects that go into B2B Appointment Setting.

B2B Appointment Setting is more than just being on the phone making dials or sending emails.

Actually most salespeople spend just one-third of their day actually talking to prospects (1).

Take a look below to see how most B2B Appointment Setters spend their day.

How time is spent is just one component.

We touch on process, services offered, companies, cost, and provide you with on overall guide to all things B2B Appointment Setting!

What do B2B appointment setting companies do?

Identify Needs

B2B companies will realize early on if they don’t have enough sales opportunities. Either they don’t have the appropriate number resources (staff, tools, data, etc). Or, the resources they do have are not used in an effective way. Example: Salespeople too busy trying to close deals they don’t have time to find new opportunities.

Target Market

The very first question we ask of potential prospects is to define their target market. The most common ways to do this is by identifying the industry, location, and size of the companies they are targeting. One common way to define a target market is to analyze your existing customer base. 

 

 

Persona Identification

For B2B you can more often than not narrow personas down by specific job titles. Once the job titles or your buyer personas are identified, you can move on to where you can find those people. For most B2B companies you will be able to find your key buyers on LinkedIn. Contact information can be found in a lot of different ways including B2B contact databases such as Zoominfo or DiscoverOrg.

Utilize Technology

Every B2B appointment setting company has their own tech stack. A CRM, sales automation software, calling, database, and reporting tools. The key is to understand the tools used and how those will integrate into your existing systems. There are hundreds of different tools your sales organization could have to help with B2B appointment setting.

Proposal Presented

Once the appointment setting company understands your goals they will present a proposal. Proposals include information such as number of activities, pay structure, and expected results.

Contract Approval

Once the company and the appointment setting company are in agreement they will move to a formal contract to be signed by both parties. It’s important to really review what is in the contract. A key piece of information to look for is the cancellation policy.

Project Kickoff

An initial kickoff call where the project management begins. But behind the scenes the appointment setting company will be configuring the sales stack, training their team, and so on. You will share key information such as call scripts, existing language, marketing materials, etc. Then you will be building out a schedule, and planning when the outreach will actually start.

MESSAGING APPROVAL​

There is some back and forth between the client and the appointment setting company to approve any email messaging and call scripts. Once the messages are approved the appointment setting company will launch the program.

Schedules Meetings

Once the program launches you will begin seeing qualified meetings coming shortly thereafter. Once the appointment setting company engages a new prospect they will find a time for the new prospect and your sales team to meet for an introductory call. Typically the appointment setting company will schedule the appointments directly on your calendar.

Review Results

Once a program is launched you will meet weekly with the appointment setting company to review results and make necessary adjustments. The adjustments that are made week to week is absolutely critical for the success of the appointment setting project.

B2B Appointment Setting Services

There are many different variations of outsourcing appointment setting.

I’ve listed out the 3 main options.

Internal
You have an Internal Inside Sales Team Setting Appointments for Your Organization that you Manage.

External - Non-Dedicated
A Dedicated Third-Party Calls on Your Behalf With Part-time Non-Dedicated Teams (They call on Other Customers As Well

External - Dedicated
You get Fully Dedicated Reps From a Third-Party Company That Only Call On your Account

List - Top Appointment Setting Companies

We wanted to cut through the noise and identify the top 15-20 companies that have consistently created results for their clients.

We took into account many factors such as reviews, case studies, length of time being around, and overall reputation in the market.
EBQ
By Appointment Only
Strategic Sales & Marketing
SalesRoads
OutboundView
VSA, Inc.
Vsynergize
Salesify
Ecoast Marketing
Cience
SalesPro Leads
Extended Presence
B2B Only Appointment Setters
Pereus Marketing
Leadium
Smashdeck
Lead Generators International
RevenueZen
I may be biased with OutboundView but we'd love the chance to connect on the topic!

Outsourced B2B Appointment Setting Cost

B2B Appointment Setting vendors charge in quite a few different ways.

The key consideration is to make sure the appointment setting company's model aligns with your interests

Base Monthly Fee

This is the most common of all the offerings. Billing on a certain level of service or dedicated time. On top of the base fee, many have a commission structure in place for number of appointments set.

ACTIVITIES BASED

This focuses on agreeing to a certain number of activities early on in the campaign. With that information you scale what's working and kill what's not. Which gives the prospect the ability to make sound business decisions. A few months in, you will know how many activities you should create for your desired sales pipeline.

PAY PER APPOINTMENT

Determining a fee for each appointment set is another popular method. Often times with this type of setup, there is also some type of implementation fee to get started.

Steps To Launch Internal B2B Appointment Setting Team

Developing a highly productive internal B2B Appointment Setting team includes many of the same core components as outsourcing to a third party service.

There are some major differences though, mostly around how you are managing and incentivizing the team. Below are the key things to consider when building an internal team versus having an external team.

Data

  • Having accurate data is key when building an internal appointment setting team.
  • When outsourcing to a 3rd party you can rely on their experience to find, buy, and cleanse large sets of data.
  • When you have your own internal team, you need to have a data plan in place.
  • Most B2B companies will purchase a contact database (DiscoverOrg or Zoominfo).
  • Make sure you are investing a good amount of budget towards data.
  • Money spent there will be recouped by time saved calling numbers that pick up and emailing the correct contacts.

Technology

  • The tech stack for each internal sales team will be different depending on a variety of factors such as goals, budget, and so on.
  • To get a sense of what that could look like I've outlined a typical stack below.
  • LinkedIn Sales Navigator will assist in finding the right prospects.
  • Sales enablement tools like Salesloft and Outreach will help set up multi-touch campaigns.
  • Calling tools such as Frontspin or Connect and Sell will help make more dials faster.

Management

  • More often than not, B2B appointment setters are less experienced in the workforce.
  • This means increased time to manage well.
  • This means more time.
  • One of the most common mistakes we notice is that most managers don't prioritize the inside sales team. Focusing on either outsides sales or the marketing teams.
  • Have a plan for who is going to manage and develop the inside salespeople, you can’t just hire them and expect they will immediately start finding leads.

Making Adjustments

  • The best inside sales teams are always making adjustments to what they are doing.
  • When you have a 3rd party appointment setting company part of their responsibility is bringing new fresh ideas. Then making adjustments from the results you are seeing.
  • Be prepared to have the management infrastructure in place to actually make adjustments. Your most successful campaigns will usually come from small adjustments you make.

Summary

Every single B2B company has to figure out appointment setting. Enterprise B2B companies selling expensive solutions ($10K+) will usually be able to set appointments using some form of inside sales (internal or outsourced to a third party). There are so many factors to consider when determining if you should build an internal team or outsource. If you have the management infrastructure and internal knowledge, having your own internal team is the best bet long-term. However, proving out the model and getting immediate short-term success with flexibility, is much easier done via a quality outsourced partner. 

If you have any questions about whether building an internal team or outsourcing may be right for your organization, don’t hesitate to reach out.

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