What You Need to Know About Appointment Setting As a Lead Generation Strategy

Appointment setting efforts drive revenue and boost brand awareness, which is why many companies are incorporating it into their lead generation playbook. 

What is Appointment Setting?

Appointment setting is a strategy used by Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) to support a business’s sales function. These SDRs qualify prospects and engage leads through cold outreach to set appointments between a prospect and a company’s sales team.

Lead qualification is a major part of the appointment setting strategy. It is the process of identifying which among the prospects fit the company’s buyer persona. Filtering out the right prospects allows the company to have higher quality leads, increasing the chances of closing deals. 

Appointment setting also unburdens a company’s sales team since lead qualification can be a time-consuming and exhaustive process. It allows the sales team to focus more on closing deals and creating new sales opportunities. 

This strategy can also help increase brand reputation by introducing leads to your brand. It’s an opportunity to showcase your professionalism and knowledge, which can help earn customers’ confidence.  

Appointment Setting As a Lead Generation Strategy

Lead generation is the process of increasing sales opportunities by gaining the interest of potential customers. Companies usually use multiple lead generation strategies instead of just relying on one. The most direct strategy is appointment setting. 

Unlike other lead generation strategies such as content marketing, appointment setting focuses directly on engaging qualified leads. Companies can find tons of prospects from content marketing and other lead generation efforts, but this does not mean all of those leads are qualified. Appointment setting streamlines leads into qualified prospects and feeds them directly to the business’ sales team by scheduling a discovery call.

Pros and Cons: Appointment Setting as a Strategy

Appointment setting can be effective or not, depending on how it is done. Here’s a quick look at the pros and cons of appointment setting:

Increases revenueRequires large investment
Boosts brand imageRequires specialized skills
Gains valuable insights about target consumer 
Improves lead quality
Pros and cons of appointment setting as a lead generation strategy

Pros of Appointment Setting as a Strategy

Increases Revenue

Appointment setting efforts will help you get high-quality leads who are more likely to buy your products and services. Companies can also save money because they don’t have to allocate resources and time on leads that do not fit their buyer’s persona, translating into lower sales-related overhead and higher revenue. At the same time, since it unburdens the sales team, they can focus on closing deals instead of qualifying low-value leads.

Boosts Brand Image

Appointment setting efforts can help differentiate your brand from the competition. SDRs are trained to show professionalism, knowledge, and persuasion to gain the confidence of the leads. Their time talking to a lead will also make the prospect aware of your offerings and value propositions, even if they don’t accept an immediate appointment. 

Gains Valuable Insights About Target Consumer 

Not all appointment setting calls are converted into leads. The effort is not for naught: the time spent filtering and learning will contribute to the company’s market research. 

The insight gained throughout the process can help stakeholders make better-informed decisions on which aspect of the sales strategies they should improve to fit what the customers are looking for. Appointment setting is unique in this regard: it is the only lead generation strategy that creates direct feedback from your target audience. 

Improves Lead Quality

With the lead qualification process of appointment setting, you can filter out low-quality leads and identify which ones are high-quality, creating a greater chance of conversion. You might end up with a smaller pool of leads, but this will also make your efforts more targeted and defined. 

Quality leads generated through appointment settings can also accelerate time-to-close. This is because the outreach process allows personalized connection with the leads.

Cons of Appointment Setting as a Strategy

It Requires a Large Initial Investment

There are plenty of associated costs when building an in-house appointment setting. First, the company has to hire qualified SDRs. Aside from paying for the full-time salary and benefits of a newly hired SDR, it is also needed to pay for training to help SDRs acquire the necessary skills and techniques to book appointments successfully. 

The company will also need to allocate time for SDRs to master the sales strategies and learn about the brand message and core values. It generally takes 4-6 months for an SDR to ramp to full productivity.

The company also has to pay for equipment, tools, and software needed by the SDR team. The equipment required includes computers and telephones, among others. 

Lack of Expertise

SDRs must be very familiar with their company’s offerings to be effective in their jobs. They must have the necessary skills to answer whatever questions the leads have during the calls to showcase their authority on the subject and gain their trust. Achieving this level of knowledge and skill requires extensive training and time. 

Managing a sales development team is another skill many organizations lack. Companies that desire to build their SDR function need to source quality SDRs but also specialized managers to train and manage the team. 

These are the leads B2B lead generation, and appointment setting services work to generate for your organization.

Pros and Cons: Outsourced Appointment Setting

Not all companies can build their own in-house appointment setting program because it can be time-consuming and requires a significant investment. That doesn’t mean that those companies can’t experience the benefits of appointment setting: they have the option to outsource the task. 

Outsourcing appointment setting is the process of hiring an appointment setting firm to build campaigns for you. They will supply you with a team of SDRs to conduct lead qualification and outreach on behalf of your company. 

These are the pros and cons of outsourced appointment setting

Affordable CostsLack of Control
Access to Workforce, Tools, and EquipmentQuality Issues
Custom Solutions
Less Time and Effort
Pros and cons of outsourced appointment setting

Pros: Outsourced Appointment Setting

Affordable Costs

There are appointment setting lead generation companies that charge per campaign or appointment booked. This means that you don’t have to pay for the salaries and benefits of full-time employees. Part of their services also already includes the costs of equipment and tools for the campaign, making it a cost-effective solution. 

Access to Workforce, Tools, and Equipment

B2B lead generation and appointment setting services have trained in-house SDRs who can be readily assigned to your campaign. They are also equipped with the right tools and equipment to execute their tasks properly. In addition, they have experienced sales development managers whose focus is to ensure that your campaign is smooth sailing and that you achieve your goals. 

Custom Solutions

Appointment setting efforts must fit your branding and goals. You can achieve this through appointment setting firms that offer fit-to-purpose solutions. They will create a custom appointment setting campaign that fits your needs and goals. 

Less Time and Effort

Launching an appointment setting program can take several months since you still need to hire and train your team. During those months, you are more likely to be under pressure  because there is no shortage of tasks, such as:

  • Procure prospecting data
  • Searching for the best candidates
  • Deciding on what productivity tool to use
  • Designing a workflow that fits your organizational goals and its other departments

Lead generation appointment setting services can solve all these problems because they have in-house SDRs, productivity tools, and organized workflow. 

Cons: Outsourced Appointment Setting

Lack of Control

Although you have a say in the direction of the appointment setting campaign, you have no control over many things, such as hiring SDRs or which strategies are implemented. This is why it’s crucial to only work with a reliable and transparent appointment setting firm.

Quality Issues

Appointment setting firms may not have the same knowledge about your products, services, and target customer. This lack of knowledge can translate into quality issues if you choose an appointment setting firm that does not take time to learn about your business and create a sales playbook for your review.

Appointment setting can be an effective strategy when it’s done right. For that to happen, you need experts, which SalesRoads can provide. Our team of experienced SDRs will help you build an appointment setting campaign that resonates with your sales playbook in a short time. Get in touch with us today and watch your revenue increase. 

The quick answer to this question is when it makes business sense to do so. Unfortunately, that answer doesn’t do much in the way of providing concrete information. You have to understand the nature of the decision before you can make it, as it can have a major effect on your organization in the future. 

There are several factors you should consider to be able to make an informed decision about whether to hire appointment setting lead generation companies: