Say you are the busy CEO of a fast-growing company.
You have many things to do, including managing your staff, meeting with customers, and planning for the future.
You suddenly become aware that your sales team needs help to keep up with the demands of scheduling appointments and following up with prospects.
You know how important this is to your business, but you need more time and resources to address it on your own.
Outsourcing appointment setting could be the solution you’ve been searching for.
By transferring this duty to a competent team of professionals, your sales team can focus on what they do best - selling.
This article will examine how outsourcing appointment setting can help your company save costs and increase sales.
So let’s dive in!
What is Appointment Setting Outsourcing
A seamless process where sales appointments are flawlessly scheduled, leads are contacted, and meetings are planned with precision. It's appointment setting at its finest, but what if there was a way to take it to the next level?
Enter appointment setting outsourcing.
This strategic approach involves scheduling sales appointments, contacting leads, and planning meetings.
You can then identify the lead as a prospect, which is one step further down the sales funnel if the lead shows interest in scheduling an appointment.
Leads are more likely to buy or convert because they have communicated with your sales team and confirmed their interest by scheduling an appointment.
Sometimes this process takes a lot of time and effort, and you may want to outsource the scheduling process to trained schedulers, or you may want to do it yourself.
So, what is the job description of an appointment setter?
These team members will contact the prospects to set up appointments for your sales team. They schedule the appointment and take much of the prep out of the sales process.
And how do you get better at setting appointments?
If you’ve considered doing this, it’s time to hire a third party to schedule appointments and gather leads.
Onboarding Your Outsourced Team
Outsourcing can be an effective way for your company to cut costs, improve efficiencies and gain specialized expertise. Once you decide to outsource, the next challenge is onboarding your outsourced team effectively.
This is critical for the success of an outsourcing relationship to ensure your outsourcing team is aligned with your organization’s goals, culture, and values.
You can do this by asking about their new-client onboarding process and whether or not their inside sales team will do an excellent job representing your business before signing any paperwork.
To get your outsourced team on board, here are some steps you can take:
Step 1: Set up Clear Lines of Communication
It’s important to establish clear lines of communication before onboarding your outsourced team.
This includes scheduling regular meetings, providing critical contact information, and ensuring everyone knows preferred communication methods.
Step 2: Provide Them with Training and Resources
It’s important to provide your outsourced team with training and resources like any new employee. It could also include access to corporate handbooks, online training modules, and other resources.
Step 3: Set the Right Tone
You should set clear expectations for your outsourced team, including goals, deadlines, and quality standards. This keeps everyone on the same page, working toward the same goals.
Step 4: Put a Feedback Mechanism in Place
Onboarding is a two-way process, and it’s important to have a feedback mechanism to ensure your outsourcing team is successfully integrated into the company.
This could include regular check-ins, surveys, or other feedback methods to keep the company and the contingent team on the same page.
Step 5: Foster a Positive Culture
Finally, fostering a positive company culture that includes your outsourced is important.
These include invitations to company events, access to company benefits, and involvement in company communications.
By following these steps, companies can effectively onboard their outsourced team and set them up for success.
Effective onboarding ensures that your outsourced team is aligned with your company’s goals, culture, and values, ultimately leading to a successful outsourcing partnership.
That said, roughly one-third of working professionals resist outsourcing due to some myths.
Common Misconceptions on Appointment Setting
Appointment setting—a crucial pillar of successful sales. Yet, it is often plagued by misconceptions that threaten to undermine its true potential.
Common misunderstandings include the following.
1. Appointments Are Not Qualified
Your outbound lead generation strategy’s ultimate goal is converting prospects into qualified appointments so your sales force can convert them into customers.
Many companies think outsourcing their appointment setting will not get them appointments in their demographic or potential to convert into customers.
Any reputable B2B appointment setting service will have a system to properly engage, nurture, and qualify prospects during the call.
They will know your ideal customer profile and understand what makes prospects engage with your organization.
2. Even Qualified Appointments Won’t Turn Into Deals
This concern is often related to the first.
An unqualified appointment wastes the salesperson’s time because it is unlikely to result in a contract or sale.
Your decision will be crucial when selecting a company to outsource your appointment setting to. Thus talk to them about the process for qualifying leads and the requirements that must be met before the company will pass the leads on to you.
3. Scheduling Appointments is Easy
Even though it sounds easy, getting a qualified appointment can take a few meetings and a well-rehearsed, well-researched script. Qualified appointments are what you need to turn prospects into customers.
Big companies often use inside sales reps to get to know potential leads and turn them into qualified appointments.
Training and supporting an inside sales team to build relationships in this way can take a lot of time and work because it can take weeks or even months and involve a lot of interactions.
Roughly 59% of businesses are happy with outsourcing work because it saves money and is an effective cost-cutting tool.
An effective appointment setting agency can generate a qualified appointment in as little as one engagement. When you choose to outsource appointment setting, you select a company to engage and qualify prospects for your company while saving you costs.
4. Salespeople Should Be in Charge of Setting Up B2B Appointments
Many businesses let their sales reps set up their own meetings. Unfortunately, they could be doing better things with their time.
Most people think of a salesperson as someone who closes a deal.
You send them to a prospect to close the deal and solidify the new customer-business relationship.
Your salespeople also need to spend time nurturing the relationship to ensure they are satisfied and want to keep coming back.
Nurturing this relationship will increase your salespeople performance by 40%, customer satisfaction by 18%, your revenue increases four times more, and even decrease employee turnover by 14%.
Time spent searching for qualified leads or cold calling can result in lost hours that could be better spent closing prospects close to making a decision.
It also provides them with qualified leads to work more efficiently and convert more leads.
5. It is Simple to Build an Inside Sales Team
You may need to hire an inside sales team, To reach out to potential customers and qualify leads, which may be time-consuming and expensive.
You must plan your workflow, acquire the necessary equipment, employ qualified individuals, provide initial training and additional training on updated processes, and hire managers and supervisors to oversee operations.
Research shows that about 33% of professionals do not support outsourcing because they fear losing their job.
If employee turnover is a problem, the procedure can be much more time-consuming and stressful because new schedulers must be hired and taught regularly.
After you’ve laid the groundwork for your team, you’ll need to devise a plan for how incoming calls will be responded to, recorded, and ultimately qualified.
- Will there be a cold-calling strategy?
- Will leads come from marketing campaigns?
- Will the same script be used for every call?
- If the script is variable, will reps be allowed to make their own changes?
Ultimately, building your own inside sales team can be an extensive process that is unlikely to provide you with the experience that an experienced appointment setting company can offer.
To quote Lee Kuan Yew, “If you deprive yourself of outsourcing and your competitors do not, you’re putting yourself out of business.” stressing the importance of outsourcing.
By outsourcing appointment setting, you save the time and money to build and train an inside sales team. In addition, you will save the cost of maintaining the team of appointment setters and the training costs required to meet and exceed your goals.
6. A Low-cost Appointment is Just as Good as a Costly One
You get what you paid for, as with just about everything else.
Hundreds of questionable lead generation firms offer appointment setters that email your target audience. They are willing to do anything, and they charge very little.
After a lead has been appropriately qualified, they will be scheduled for a meeting with a sales representative.
Get your appointments set up by a remote appointment setter who won’t require you to have any qualifications.
There will be an increase in both time and cost when the lead is vetted to determine if further sales effort is warranted.
You may feel that the goal is to generate appointments - one appointment is as good as any.
Unfortunately, these appointments take a lot of time and resources to complete. In fact, 59% of businesses cite cost as the biggest reason for outsourcing.
If your customer has no intention, inclination, or means of becoming a customer, the time and resources invested have been well-spent.
Appointment-setting services you think about working with, if you outsource this form of lead generation, must appreciate the significance of qualifying leads before scheduling meetings.
Companies like these may charge more per appointment initially. Still, their clients have a greater conversion rate and pay less overall.
7. All B2B Appointment Scheduling Services Are Identical
Appointment scheduling differs from any other market in that it features both high- and low-quality services and products.
You can use any appointment setting firm to help you schedule meetings, but be wary of those emphasizing quantity over quality. Such firms may only schedule a few meetings adequately qualifying them, wasting time and your sales staff’s time.
Choosing a provider that can offer value to your sales team by supplying the prospective leads you to need to win the customer you want is essential when outsourcing appointment setting as part of developing an efficient sales strategy.
What To Consider Before Outsourcing Appointment Setting
Outsourcing is the best solution for companies that need more resources to build an in-house appointment scheduling program. In recent years, 68% of US companies, including small businesses, already outsource their services.
Outsourcing eliminates the problems of building one from scratch because of scheduling companies.
The sales appointment is critical in converting these leads into actual customers. The sale comes after meeting with the right decision-maker.
Tone, style, and information can make or break a relationship. The appointment and the sale will likely occur if that impression is positive. In many respects, it is more of an inside sales activity setting the stage to sell.
Prospecting is one of the most challenging parts of business development and is often a significant barrier to business growth and revenue.
Outsourcing usually has substantial advantages and benefits.
In-house or Outsourced
There are many important factors and considerations when deciding whether to outsource appointment setting activities or to develop and keep this critical function in-house.
Overseas outsourcing can help US companies save 70% to 90% in labor costs.
As discussed above, effective appointment setting requires a different skill than sales presentations and closing. Hiring, training, and managing a dedicated team is costly and time-consuming.
- Technology and Sales Automation
Many of the activities involved in appointment setting are repetitive, especially in telemarketing and cold calling, and can be effectively automated using sales acceleration technologies.
These platforms include autodialer software, including automated dialing, local presence caller ID, personalized voicemail messages, call tracking, and appointment calendaring.
Of course, there are cost, startup, and training considerations when implementing a sales automation platform. However, according to Yalantis, a 30% to 45% revenue increase is highly possible with appointment scheduling software.
- Data and Analytics
Your contact or call list must be developed and prioritized and is only as good as its quality.
The higher the quality of your list, the more likely it is that a qualified appointment will be made, which results in a closed deal.
This involves collecting and analyzing the relevant data to identify the right people interested in your company’s product or service and the right decision-makers.
Data analysis has become increasingly important, with many more data sources and analytical techniques.
- Reporting and Metrics
There must be metrics to evaluate any appointment setting program’s effectiveness and return on investment.
Sales automation platforms can generate detailed reports on metrics such as calls dialed, calls connected, retries, appointments set, etc.
The details can be reviewed continuously to adjust the program to optimize your sales results.
- Cost Control and Scalability
A distinct advantage of outsourcing is knowing costs upfront and effectively controlling those costs quickly. If the initial outreach to a smaller prospect group succeeds, the program can be scaled up quickly.
Given the fixed costs and overhead, you may find significant benefits in outsourcing its appointment setting efforts rather than relying on its sales force or implementing an in-house program.
Not only does it save your sales reps time, but it also ensures quality appointments with decision-makers. This increases the likelihood of closing the deal and increases conversion rates.
Although appointment setting has become more sophisticated, outsourcing is a much better option, relying on data analysis to develop lists of qualified prospects.
Cost may seem an obstacle, but when weighed against the benefits, companies can reap better results and profits that outweigh the costs.
Why Should You Outsource Appointment-Setting Services
In Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey, respondents were asked, “How does your organization perceive the benefits of outsourcing?”
While 65% said outsourcing helps them focus on core functions, others, 63% mentioned cost-cutting as a key benefit.
By outsourcing your company’s appointment setting needs, you and your teams can spend more time and energy on your core business.
You can focus on improving your products and services while the outsourced appointment setting team runs campaigns to target and contact the right leads.
Now, your sales reps can focus on creating a presentation that will capture the prospect’s attention.
As a result, you will have a better chance of bringing in new customers and turning a profit.
Is appointment scheduling right for you?
Are you tired of spending hours on the phone arranging business meetings?
Do your current methods of scheduling appointments cost you a lot of money and time?
If this is the case, hiring someone to schedule your appointments may be time.
Most companies plan to hire outside help more in the future.
Also, 35% of them plan to outsource many more jobs than they do now.
Hiring someone else to set up appointments allows you to free up time to focus on other aspects of your business. Outsourcing can save money because you won’t have to hire and train new employees.
Knowing the many benefits of scheduling, you can now decide whether it fits your company well.
To what extent competent appointment setters can contribute to your company’s expansion can surprise you.
If you think your company is ready for these services, don’t hesitate to contact AI bees.