Booking sales meetings is a critical part of your outbound sales process. When you reach a certain level in your business, delegating the task of appointment setting is the next logical step to scale.
In this article, we’ll share everything you need to know about appointment setting, including why it’s so important for B2B companies, top skill requirements for appointment setters, and the best time to hire sales development reps.
What is appointment setting?
B2B appointment setting is the act of booking sales meetings, usually through cold calling or email outreach. Designated sales development reps (SDRs) reach out to and follow up with prospects to book the initial appointment. Once a meeting has been set, the prospect is handed off from SDR to an account executive (AE) who handles closing the deal.
What is a Sales Development Representative?
The primary function of an SDR is appointment setting–to book a sales meeting or product demo between the prospect and an AE. Their day-to-day responsibilities include all types of prospecting activities.
In the past, SDRs mostly relied on cold calling and a pushy sales script. But today’s B2B buyers expect a different experience. As a result, the SDR role now involves a fair amount of lead qualification, customer research, and relationship building.
Inbound vs. Outbound SDR
Sales development reps normally belong to the outbound sales function, but as your company grows you may consider bringing on both inbound and outbound SDRs.
Inbound SDRs focus on following up with marketing qualified leads, while outbound sales reps concentrate on prospecting and cold outreach. Reaching out to warm inbound leads is typically easier than appointment setting with cold prospects, which is why outbound sales reps require a specialized skillset.
What skills do SDRs need for appointment setting?
To be successful at appointment setting, sales development reps need to have an in-depth understanding of their company, product, and prospects.
The daily tasks of an SDR involve everything from finding the best point of contact at a company to asking discovery questions, communicating a value proposition, and handling objections. SDRs also need to be masters of time management (balancing quantity and quality of calls), and adept navigating a CRM like Salesforce.
Having a clearly defined outbound sales playbook can make things easier, but SDRs are ultimately the ones responsible for appointment setting.
When does a company need B2B appointment setting?
Designating part of your team to appointment setting is a great way to accelerate growth. But when is the right time to start hiring SDRs?
If you have product-market fit and you’re looking to scale beyond a referral basis, it’s time to start considering SDRs. Appointment setting is a great way to ramp up lead generation, get in front of new customers, and start building brand recognition.
What type of business needs appointment setting?
B2B companies that typically benefit the most from appointment setting are those that sell expensive products or services and/or have a longer sales cycle.
Selling high-ticket involves more touchpoints and decision-makers, and therefore requires a more systematic approach to appointment setting. SDRs can help identify the best prospects, nurture leads, and consistently follow up until a meeting is set. This approach has the added benefit of allowing your AEs to focus their time solely on closing deals.
Should you outsource appointment setting?
SDRs are a critical part of outbound sales, but not all companies have the budget or expertise to build their own sales development team. More and more businesses are choosing to outsource their prospecting to focus on other areas of growth.
Building and managing an in-house SDR team is a major time investment. It can be a process of trial and error before you find the best system. In contrast, outsourcing your SDRs means you’ll be following a well-established strategy by a company that specializes in sales development.
If you’re ready to get started with appointment setting, our outsourced SDR Pods are the fastest way to get your outbound sales function off the ground. We’ll take care of everything from playbook design to training and managing a fully equipped team of SDRs–all you need to do is sit back and watch your calendar fill with meetings. Reach out here to learn more!
The benefits of B2B appointment setting
Appointment setting helps fill your pipeline with a consistent flow of leads, generating more consistent and scalable revenue.
Sales development reps are the key to successful appointment setting. Working with a team of designated SDRs ensures every leads receives proper attention and follow-up, and also allows your AEs to focus on what they do best–closing the deal.
In this guide, we’re sharing everything you need to know about not only hiring great SDRs but also how to train them for success and retain your best talent long-term. Steal our exact interview process, use our proven job description template, and learn how to motivate your reps beyond monetary compensation.