B2B Appointment Setting

B2B Appointment Setting: How to Fill Your Calendar with Sales Calls

You need more sales calls.

You just aren’t sure how to get them.

Because you’ve tried everything the “gurus” told you to do.

And your sales team is working overtime trying to book calls and close deals. 

What are you missing?

I’ve talked with 100s of companies in the same spot.

Their sales team is fine when it comes to closing deals, they just don’t have as many appointments on their calendar as they should.

And I see the same issue 99% of the time when I dive in to investigate…

These companies don’t have a proven system for generating B2B sales appointments. 

And once I work with them to implement the framework I’ve refined over the past 3+ years, everything changes.

Their sales team stops wondering how to get more appointments and starts wondering how to take all the appointments they’re getting!

I’ve seen it happen over and over with the 200+ sales teams I’ve worked with (including my own internal team), so I’m confident this will help you skyrocket your booked appointments, too.

What Is B2B Appointment Setting?

Before we dive in, it’s helpful to get on the same page about what “B2B appointment setting” actually is

B2B appointment setting is the process of booking sales calls with qualified leads for your sales team to close.

Appointment setters reach out to potential buyers via phone, email, or social media to continue nurturing relationships and ultimately get them to book an appointment with the sales team.

This “department” within your sales team exists solely to set your closers up for success. Think of it as the point guard of your sales team. 

Since appointment setting is part of the sales process, many companies think this is simply part of the sales reps’ job description.

But this is a mistake.

B2B appointment setting is a full-time job and requires a slightly different set of skills. This is why at Closers.io, we focus on getting a few really good setters in place when we start working with sales teams.

It lets closers focus on closing and improves the quality of their sales appointments.

The result?

More sales.

The 5 Stages of the B2B Appointment Setting Process

Of course, getting a few dedicated setters on your sales team is just part of the battle (and we cover that part of the process in much more detail here).

You also have to have a great process in place.

Because we work with countless companies with a team of setters. They just aren’t booking the amount or quality of appointments needed, and they aren’t sure why.

So, the fix here isn’t always hiring more setters.

It’s about optimizing your appointment-setting process.

That’s why we always start with evaluating how a company’s setters are performing when it comes to the five main stages of the B2B appointment-setting process.

1. Prospecting

B2B appointment setters start by creating lists of people who’ve shown some amount of interest in their company’s product or service.

They scour the CRM, social media profiles, and other relevant data to find people who’ve:

  • Filled out forms
  • Already contacted sales but never bought
  • Downloaded a whitepaper
  • Registered for a webinar
  • Responded to certain emails
  • Spoken highly of the brand
  • Opted-in for marketing (emails, SMS, etc.)
  • And more

The goal in this stage is simply to find as many qualified prospects as possible. Think of it like brainstorming.

Setters get all of their “options” into a spreadsheet so they can begin refining their list in the next step of the process.

So, pretty much anyone who has interacted with the business or opted-in for marketing is added to this list initially.

2. Research

With a huge list of prospects, setters now go into refining mode.

They begin researching specific details about each prospect on their list to determine:

1. Whether they’re ready for outreach.

Depending on where the prospect is in the sales funnel, they might not be ready for a setter to start developing a relationship with them.

This frequently happens with leads who didn’t fill out “intent-based” forms (i.e. a webinar registration or interest form). Maybe they just opted-in for an email list and they need some time to get to know your brand first.

2. What kind of outreach they’re most likely to respond to.

If the prospect is ready for outreach, setters then need to figure out the most appropriate way to create a relationship with them.

This can be super simple depending on your system. 

With our team, for example, we have several intent-based forms people fill out to request more information about our products. Since they filled out the form, we know they’re ready for a setter to reach out immediately.

But if leads haven’t established their intent to explore working with you, you might need to explore other ways setters can engage with leads until they’re ready for a pitch.

Either way, most of the information setters use to determine the answers to these two questions can be found in a company’s CRM. 

So, good setters eventually become wizards at looking through and understanding activity data for individual contacts.

And they move through their prospect list categorizing each contact by their readiness for outreach and the most appropriate type of outreach based on their activity.

Then, with a refined list of contacts, setters compile contact info.

They gather links to social media profiles, email addresses, and phone numbers in preparation for outreach.

3. Outreach

Setters go through their finished prospect list (filled with critical info on each contact) and reach out to each one based on where they are in the funnel.

For instance, if a prospect downloaded a whitepaper or attended a webinar, they may reach out to follow up and answer questions on the content.

Or if they requested a demo of your product and showed up to the call, they might right out offering a free consultation.

The outreach strategy is unique for each prospect–it’s completely tailored to how they’ve already interacted with your company.

Sure, setters use customizable templates for outreach where possible, but their ultimate goal is starting conversations with prospects.

And that ultimately requires understanding the specific details for each contact and thinking through what type of outreach they’re most likely to respond to.

When it comes to the actual outreach, setters reach out via the method the contact is most likely to see and respond to.

For example, if they’re super active on LinkedIn and they have some mutual connections, they might opt for a LinkedIn connection.

Or if they open and click on emails frequently, they might send a direct email to them.

In our case, we’ve found that SMS and phone calls within 48 hours of opting-in is most effective for Remote Closing Academy.

The key is thinking of outreach holistically.

Someone may not see an email you send or may miss your call–the setter’s job is establishing touch points with contacts across multiple mediums without crossing the line of becoming too pushy.

So, they keep the big-picture in mind and try a combination of direct asks and indirect points of contact when necessary (like commenting on their recent LinkedIn post).

4. Nurture

Some prospects will become customers quickly.

But most won’t.

So, setters essentially become relationship managers for the rest of the contacts.

They stay on the lookout for ways to provide additional value for each prospect and keep in touch with them until they either develop a relationship with a closer on the sales team or make it clear they aren’t interested in further communication.

5. Book Appointments

This is the setter’s ultimate goal.

All the conversations they’re having and relationships they’re building eventually end with the setter making their “close”–getting prospects to book a sales appointment with a closer.

At this point in the process, booking sales calls isn’t actually as difficult as many people think.

Because if you’ve done steps 1-4 right, you’re talking to the MOST interested and qualified prospects. You’ve already developed relationships with them, proven you can give them value, and learned about their specific problems and desires.

And that means your close rate for appointments should be around 30%.

Once setters get someone to book and show up to a sales call, their job with that prospect is done.

The relationship typically moves to a closer and the setter sets their sights on getting more appointments.

And the cycle repeats.

The 1 B2B Appointment Setting Tip That Can 21x Your Booked Calls INSTANTLY

When someone fills out a form to register for a webinar or inquire about a product or service, they usually have much higher intent than other types of leads.

And it makes sense…

They have self-identified as someone with a specific problem or even someone who’s looking for a specific solution.

And they are much more likely to have interest in booking a sales call immediately than other leads.

You can take advantage of this–and skyrocket your booked calls–by optimizing your setting process for “speed to lead”.

What does that mean?

Reaching out faster.

A 9-figure software company ran a test where 50% of their sales team reached out to these types of high-intent leads in 60 minutes and the other 50% reached out within 5 minutes.

The group that reached out within 5 minutes at 21x more booked appointments.

And we’ve seen that same phenomenon both within our internal sales team and in the sales teams we’re training for 100s of organizations.

There are tons of different ways to do this, but we do it through a combination of software and processes.

We use Aloware to call and text these leads, and our setters have internal rules that incentivize rapid response times.

And we’ve cut our “speed to lead” down so much that we use intentional typos in our texts just to prove to prospects they aren’t getting automated messages.

I have a much more in-depth training available on this that I offer my private clients, but just this concept alone can immediately improve your results.

Your Number of Quality Appointments Dictates Your Number of Sales

Most companies don’t have a rock-solid process around appointment setting.

And it’s silently killing them.

Because you can only close deals with people who book appointments. And making your salespeople handle setting AND closing is completely unscalable.

Even with small companies, you quickly discover you need dedicated closers and setters who use proven processes if you want to scale.

And that’s exactly what we help companies like yours do.

At Closers.io, we help you build, manage, and train high-performance internal sales teams. 

And we do this through a combination of our roster of top 1% closers and setters and proven systems we’ve refined over the past several years working with over 200 sales teams.

We’ve done this for brands like Tony Robbins, Frank Kern, and Dean Graziosi–and you can click here to see how we can do it for you, too.

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