How important is appointment setting? To answer that, you must first understand what appointment setting is. It’s pretty simple, really. Appointment setting is the penultimate stage in the sales process. As the name suggests, a sales organization’s representative is set up for an appointment with another company’s representative. The final, and most preferable result, of this meeting is a sale, either of goods or of services.
IT companies have long looked to BPO firms for lead generation and appointment setting services. Since these companies are IT-heavy, most of their personnel don’t have the skill set necessary for completing a sales campaign. Call center agents specializing in telemarketing are precious commodities in the market, especially because of their relative scarcity. When all is said and done, the demand for telemarketers far exceeds the supply.
However, it’s not necessary for a telemarketer to have sales skills if he is to be an appointment setter. Lead generation is important, but pretty simple in its execution. Researchers look for companies and businesses which might buy IT-based products or services and list their company info and possible points of contact. Some telemarketers are also employed to verify the information put forth by the researchers and gauge the interest level of the points of contact or decision makers. That’s just the easy part.
The fun, and challenging, part lies in appointment setting. The telemarketer for an IT company has to pique the decision maker’s interest. To do this, he must have thorough knowledge of what the company is trying to sell. But more importantly, he must have sales skills which can turn even an uninterested prospect into a possible buyer. That requires experience from long years of telemarketing and talent that only the best have.
IT appointment setting is getting more difficult, especially because of the increasing number of IT-based companies trying to get a piece of the pie. These IT companies also employ or outsource lead generation and appointment setting specialists. With the number of calls a company gets regarding IT products and services, it’s no wonder that many of them are fed up with cold calls. Indeed, many have come up with ideas to put a stop to telemarketers before they reach their targeted point of contact. But there’s where the sales skill comes in, the skill that appointment setters should have.
Nobody should underestimate the power of IT sales and marketing tools like lead generation and appointment setting since they are the most effective methods of identifying and marking prospects and making sales. Email and internet marketing are nice but in a cyber world awash with IT-based goods, there’s still no substitute for getting in a prospect’s awareness and selling products through appointment setting by phone.