Appointment setting is the process by which Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) support a business’s sales function by engaging prospects through cold outreach and qualifying them to set discovery calls.
Appointment Setting as a Lead Generation Strategy
Lead generation is the process of building interest in a company or its products among its potential customers. Businesses attract leads via different means instead of just relying on one. However, appointment setting stands out as a particularly direct lead generation approach.
This strategy filters and qualifies leads, ensuring only sales-ready prospects emerge from the process. Appointment setting also offers an opportunity to personalize outreach efforts, as they occur individually, cultivating stronger client-business relationships and enhancing conversion rates.
Businesses that leverage appointment setting as a key lead generation strategy enjoy better lead quality, increased sales efficiency, improved brand reputation, and higher revenue. Companies can choose to conduct appointment setting programs in-house or outsource the process to reputable sales agencies.
Industries that commonly outsource sales processes include but are not limited to, IT and software (SaaS), manufacturing, finance, healthcare, real estate, and other professional service sectors. Broadly speaking, any business aiming to generate leads to maintain a sturdy pipeline will find value in appointment setting services.
Why Should You Consider Outsourcing Your Appointment Setting Program?
Many businesses opt to outsource this process, primarily due to two key factors: the absence of skilled Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and the significant cost of establishing an appointment setting program.
The challenge of inexperienced SDRs
Appointment setters are highly skilled sales professionals who are adept at communicating with new prospects and convincing them to meet with a business’ sales team. These professionals require training to hone their abilities and deliver superior results in your campaigns. Companies lacking an SDR team with the requisite skills for successful appointment scheduling often prefer to engage a more proficient external team to manage the process.
The high cost of in-house appointment setting programs
Creating an appointment setting program from scratch demands substantial investment. This includes not only the cost of recruiting and retaining appointment setters, but also additional expenses like training, tools, equipment, and other hidden costs related to ramping up for results. Many businesses, unable to afford such luxuries, prefer to employ professional services to handle this process, mitigating extra costs and potentially reducing overall expenditure.
Benefits of Outsourced Appointment Setting
Outsourcing is the best solution for companies unequipped to build their in-house appointment setting programs. This eliminates the problems of building one from the ground up, because appointment setting firms are experts on B2B appointment setting strategies, are equipped with the right tools and software, and have access to a pool of highly-trained SDRs.
Outsourcing is the practice of hiring a third party to complete tasks that internal employees are unable to do due to lack of time, expertise, or other limitations. It’s become a common practice in recent years, with 68% of U.S. companies, including small businesses, already outsourcing services. 1
Access to highly trained SDRs
Appointment setting firms shoulder the responsibility of sourcing talented individuals and training them in the skills necessary for effective appointment setting. Their SDRs are experienced across various niches and industries and are equipped with the right skills to handle your clientele. They also undergo intensive training on your products and services, essential for representing your brand accurately.
Sales outsourcing companies already have the requisite foundation and human resources for the project, so they can immediately customize and launch the campaign to help achieve your goals. High-performing appointment setting firms can initiate your campaign and deliver results within weeks, whereas establishing an in-house program may take months to ramp up.
Here’s a look at how an appointment setting firm like SalesRoads can launch your campaign in two weeks:
Outsourcing appointment setting enables businesses to reduce labor costs, bypassing expenses such as salaries, benefits for full-time employees, training, and the procurement of appointment setting tools, software, and equipment. Hiring an appointment setting company saves you these costs and allows you to enjoy the benefits of appointment setting by remitting payments according to the firm’s pricing model. With the right service provider, this investment will eventually yield solid results.
Achieving revenue objectives
Revenue propels a business; its absence can disrupt other organizational processes and, in dire circumstances, lead to bankruptcy. This underscores the significance of effective appointment setting, particularly for small businesses.
By outsourcing appointment setting, businesses can attract new and higher quality leads, which in turn boosts their efforts in increasing their sales revenue.
Improving brand reputation
A positive brand reputation is vital for any company, fostering customer loyalty and instilling confidence in your brand and products. Improving brand reputation is tedious and time-consuming, but outsourcing appointment setting can alleviate this burden.
Appointment setting efforts allow you to personalize outreach and build stronger relationships with your potential clients. It is also an avenue to showcase your professionalism and build up a positive public image.
Outsourcing your appointment setting operations can free up time, allowing you to focus on more pivotal aspects of business growth. Sales reps spend less time tracking down leads and scheduling meetings and can now put effort into providing customers with the best presentation, increasing the chances of closing deals.
Outsourcing Appointment Setting: Limitations
Despite the benefits, companies can encounter certain drawbacks when outsourcing appointment setting.
Clear communication among all stakeholders is a vital component of a successful appointment setting campaign. Outsourcing the process beyond your organization may escalate the risk of missed messages and misunderstandings among stakeholders. Reputable appointment setting companies, however, implement measures to minimize miscommunication, ensuring all parties remain aligned.
Outsourcing typically involves surrendering some degree of control over the execution of specific tasks. Although you can influence the campaign’s direction and objectives, you ultimately need to trust the service provider’s approach.
Collaborating with an unsuitable appointment setting firm could lead to substandard service quality, which can have adverse implications. As appointment setters represent your organization, any poor image they project could tarnish your company’s reputation.
Understanding Appointment Setting Pricing Models
The cost of outsourcing an appointment setting program can vary based on the client’s industry, required call volume, and the complexity of the products or services involved. Typically, sales outsourcing firms use three pricing models for their appointment setting services. As a sales manager, understanding these models is crucial before deciding to outsource this function.
Under this model, clients are billed per booking, ranging from $15 to $100 per appointment set. The pay-per-performance model includes a base compensation, a set of clearly defined metrics for assessment, and a rewards system. It is highly accessible for businesses as there is usually no upfront payment and its incentives encourage SDRs to put in their best to deliver results.
The retainer model is a pricing structure designed for long-term contracts between service providers and clients. Businesses are expected to pay a specified amount over a designated period, with customizable solutions and flexible arrangements. This model tends to be more expensive than the pay-per-performance model and usually necessitates a minimum project size, which may not be beneficial for smaller-scale appointment setting campaigns.
Under the fixed-price model, the appointment setting company charges a pre-agreed flat rate is for every hour spent working on the campaign. Often, companies combine this model with the pay-per-performance model to motivate performance and boost output. However, it can prove costly to maintain in the long run.
Outsourced Appointment Setting You Can Trust
Decision-makers need to be extra careful though when choosing a firm to work with to realize the promised advantages of appointment setting. What makes an appointment setting firm trustworthy? How do you choose a reliable appointment setting partner? Here are a few elements you should look for:
Proven success with previous projects
It’s less risky working with appointment setting firms with extensive portfolios to back up their claims and promises. SalesRoads CEO, David Kreiger provides tips for verifying appointment setting partners’ experience in this video:
A pool of talented SDRs
Do they have an in-house SDR team, or do they outsource them from other service providers? If they have an in-house SDR team, how do they train them?
Outsourcing appointment setting is generally more affordable than building one from scratch but you need to be extra careful. Some providers are sneaky with their pricing and have many hidden charges. It’s best to request quotes from various firms to get a baseline on the fees for the services you need.
Approachable and helpful customer service
You’re bound to have questions and recommendations over the course of your appointment setting campaign, so you should work with a service provider that responds quickly and clearly and accommodates new ideas.
If you’re ready to grow your business with the benefits of appointment setting, but find building an in-house program isn’t feasible, SalesRoads is here to help. Get in touch today to launch your custom appointment setting campaign and watch the leads roll in!
How can I measure the success of an outsourced appointment setting service?
Success can be measured by looking at various metrics such as the number of appointments set, the conversion rate of appointments to sales, the increase in revenue, and the feedback from the sales team.
Can outsourced appointment setting integrate with my existing systems?
Most outsourced appointment setting services are able to integrate with popular CRM and scheduling software. It’s important to discuss your specific needs with the provider to ensure compatibility.
Can outsourced appointment setting be customized to fit my business needs?
Yes, most providers offer customizable services that can be tailored to fit your specific business needs, including your target audience, your industry, and your sales process.