Do You Use Appointment Setting?
For those of you not familiar with this approach, it’s basically a telemarketing approach that focuses on setting appointments with prospects who are interested in speaking to a salesperson from your company.
Here’s what I see as the pros and cons.
(These specifically relate to the vendors I’ve looked at. You will want to check these out for anyone that you consider using.)
• The vendors I’ve used for appointment setting are very good at what they do. They met their promises and stuck to the parameters we gave them.
• You can use a targeted list. Either one supplied by you or one supplied by the appointment setting organization.
• You can set parameters such as “only VP and above.”
• The prospects are not “qualified” leads. They are simply prospects who are open to an appointment. For that reason, I would suggest limiting appointments to only those companies where the sales person wants a “foot in the door.”
• Also, if marketing is going to budget for appointment setting, and the leads are not technically qualified, your KPI performance can take a hit.
• Since the leads are not qualified, you may want to consider only setting appointments with leads that are within driving distance. Or, for the very coveted accounts, set a parameter that says you’ll put a sales person on a plane for an appointment, but only if the title of the person they will be meeting with is VP or above.
• In my experience, there are some stringent rules for contact with the prospect such as not being able to call and qualify them ahead of time. You should make sure that you and your sales team are comfortable with the rules before you sign the contract.
Like all things, I think appointment setting is worth investigating. If you think it might work for you, set up a pilot and then be sure to do a thorough debrief. Remember to involve sales in this debrief as they will be the ones to tell you whether these appointments were worth their effort.
All the best!