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Wednesday, 04 March 2015 00:00

The Best B2B Appointment Setting Technique…Ever

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We hear so much these days about the customer-driven buyer’s journey and that more than half of the sales cycle occurs without prospective customers contacting a sales representative. The new buyer’s journey puts ever-increasing pressure on marketing departments to handle the pre-sales process.

Although marketing technology, with its lead scoring, data integration, and automated content delivery tools, can help marketers respond quickly to inquiries online and deliver targeted content, it’s often not enough. That’s why the best marketers still match high tech with the human touch—especially when their product line is complex, and the sales cycle is long.

It’s not enough to capture a lead, follow up, pass the lead to sales, and hope for the business. You need to turn requests into qualified leads and ideally sales-enabled leads. Marketing’s job is to get salespeople in front of prospective customers. And one of the best ways to do that is to work with a professional telemarketing service that specializes in B2B sales and develop a proven appointment-setting strategy. 

First, Hire B2B Telemarketing Professionals

First, hire a qualified telemarketing firm that specializes in business-to-business tele-services. Because you will need telemarketing representatives who can follow your appointment-setting technique, you need people who will function as an extension of your business. Here are some of the criteria you should look for in a telemarketing firm:

  • Solid understanding of your industry
  • Willingness to commit dedicated agents to your campaigns
  • Access to native-language speaking agents
  • Agents with the education and experience to represent your business with the highest degree of professionalism
  • Agents trained in telemarketing and sales
  • Agents motivated to help you win business

But while your telemarketing agents are the raw talent you need to effect an appointment-setting strategy, they are only half of the equation. You must develop appointment-setting techniques that will connect with prospective customers emotionally and factually.

Second, Craft a Winning Message

Creating an effective appointment-setting technique requires you to know your target audience and keep their needs in mind as you craft your marketing message. The telemarketing call that effectively presents your value proposition, addresses competitive differences, and counters objections will instill confidence that a face-to-face meeting is what they need to make a buying decision. Here are several steps to help you refine your appointment-setting technique:

  • Identify Your Target Audience

    Know who your target audience is before you select who to call. Talk their language and prove that you understand them.
  • Match Stages of the Buyers’ Journey

    Buyers move through at least three phases: awareness, consideration, and decision. Shape your messaging to help your telemarketing agents converse effectively at each stage.
  • Address Industry Trends and Insights

    Customers need to know about trends and research in your industry that may impact their buying decisions. By working your unique insights into the messaging, you’ll give prospective buyers the confidence that you understand the industry and your products/services deserve consideration.
  • Counter the Competition

    The best defense is a good offense. Know what your competitors are saying about themselves and you. Build a positive response by positioning your products/services and emphasizing your value proposition.
  • Handle Objections

    Prospects will challenge telemarketers. So arm your agents with information and tactics for countering customer objections.
  • Share Success Stories

    Your customers have real-world insight into how your products/services can best be used. Use their successes to inspire prospects and help them to envision similar successes for themselves.

Third, Train Agents to Build Relationships

Nurturing is a way to build relationships successfully. Your appointment-setting technique should anticipate every stage of engagement. While most professional telemarketing agents won’t work from a script, you can outline the process that will help them get past gatekeepers and build an engaging conversation with prospects. Conversation is the operative word. Train your agents to build rapport, spark curiosity, and actively drive toward the objective—booking an appointment. A well-crafted appointment-setting technique in the hands of a professional telemarketer is a win for you and your prospects.

To learn more about B2B appointment setting, get our free guide: “Your Essential Guide to B2B Appointment Setting”.

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