Qualifying Leads for B2B Appointment Setting
At VSA, we make B2B cold calls every day for our clients. We find that the most successful appointment setting programs are those where there is a clear expectation of how qualified an appointment must be.
Clients who have sales forces and want us to set appointments for their sales teams typically want as many appointments as possible, even if the prospects are not ready to purchase right now. Our clients’ sales forces are skilled at relationship development and cultivation. They will pursue prospects until the sales are complete, even if the sales cycle is quite lengthy. This is their job, after all!
Conversely, our entrepreneur clients with a leaner staff or clients where the CEO is the sales person look to our services primarily for highly qualified appointments. These sales people have competing responsibilities and every sales appointment must be time well spent. Our B2B call center works to deliver the highest quality appointments possible, ideally with prospects who are considering a very near-term purchase. Of course, there are fewer of these kinds of prospects, but our cold callers know each one quite valuable.
There is a great deal of frustration when clients who expect highly qualified meetings instead come face to face with leads who waste their time. Our cold callers know this and take steps in our appointment setting efforts to minimize these occurrences. One of the first steps is to learn our clients’ specifications for qualified prospects. Then, we develop a set of qualifying questions and train each caller to ask them and listen for the right responses. We make sure our callers are adequately prepared to screen leads before setting the appointments.
After our callers have set the appointments, we expect our clients to engage effectively during the meetings and show how their products or services meet the needs we’ve uncovered during the prospecting and pre-screening process. Clearly, closing the sale is no easy feat, but ideally our call center will have provided the right information to help the sales person turn the qualified prospect into a client.