What is Outsourced B2B Appointment
Setting and How Does it Work?
Many companies have a sales model that requires their marketing efforts produce qualified leads for their sales team to pursue. Some companies either augment the marketing efforts with an inside sales team or simply deploy an inside sales team to handle their lead generation and appointment setting. However, there are many companies who, for a variety of reasons, may elect to outsource their B2B appointment setting requirements. By doing so, companies can control head count, have no need for an inside sales manager, do not need to recruit, hire, train, motivate or oversee the activities of the inside sales team.
Outsourcing B2B appointment setting requirements also allows companies to begin campaigns very quickly and to ramp up or down depending on their internal requirements. Outsourced B2B appointment setting companies vary widely in form and substance. There are in-house call centers that are most often populated with low hourly rate individuals who may just be “passing through” and have an old time “telemarketing” approach. There are other vendors who have hired a few people to do B2B appointment setting as an ancillary service to their other offerings such as marketing (inbound or outbound) or web design, etc.
And there are vendors whose only business is working with their clients to put them in front of as many qualified prospects as possible to drive revenue. These are the companies who have the experience, staff, and reputation that companies look to deploy.
Once a company has made the decision to outsource their B2B appointment setting, the vendor they have chosen should have a well defined on-boarding process to facilitate the launch of any new campaign. Those vendors will require certain information and guidance from the company in order to construct the best campaign possible. Make no mistake, it takes experience and considerable “know how” to build a successful campaign. The vendor should be transparent in their actions, should be available for any questions, and should provide reports on a regular basis. One warning; companies that want to turn over their B2B appointment setting and not remain involved on a regular basis may compromise the overall success of a campaign. It is important for a company to remain involved (and available) and provide immediate feedback to the vendor on the quality of the appointments they are receiving.
Why Is It Important to Hire a Professional B2B Appointment Setting Company?
With the large number of vendors who tout their capabilities in B2B appointment setting, it is often confusing for a company when trying to evaluate a potential partner. The term “professional B2B appointment setting” should describe the vendors that you choose to evaluate and ultimately with whom you partner. How do you know which vendor is truly “professional”? There are a couple of obvious distinctions; length of time in business, types of clients served, types and location of agents deployed, and the competence of the management team.
Other factors that companies evaluate are if B2B appointment setting is a core competency, does their on boarding process make sense, and do they have a track record that they can validate. Most importantly, do they deploy telemarketers or people who have chosen to do B2B appointment setting for their profession. It is with professional B2B appointment setting vendors that companies will have the greatest success.
All B2B Appointemnt Setting Companies Are Not Equal
Despite what some might say, all B2B appointment setting companies are not equal. There are many factors that contribute to a successful campaign. Many companies take a “cookie cutter” approach to each new campaign. They may even be successful at times. But B2B appointment setting is not a science where you can plug in a formula and evoke the same results every time. If it were a science, anyone could do it!
Many of the reasons that all B2B appointment setting companies are not equal are enumerated above. Ask for references from those companies with whom you are contemplating engaging. Then ask good questions (each reference should be asked the same questions) and listen carefully to the answers. Ask questions that require more than a yes or no. Ask about the commitment and dedication that the vendor exhibited. Ask about responsiveness and professionalism. Ask if they knew the agents that represented them and what type of interaction they had with their agents. Ask question so that you understand their process completely. Finally, ask what involvement the vendor required of them.. You should hear significant differences from each vendors references. From those conversations, you should have an idea of which vendor is best suited to be your B2B appointment setting partner.
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