When the InsideSales.com research lab surveyed sales leaders about their top challenges, one of their questions caught our attention. InsideSales.com asked, which is more challenging, building a pipeline or closing a sale?
More than six in ten respondents (63.48%) identified building the pipeline as a more significant challenge. It stands to reason. If you have built a strong sales force, developed an excellent training program and have clear messaging, then all you need is a pipeline full of qualified buyers interested in what you are selling.
Building your pipeline may not be a matter of attracting and adding more leads into your funnel. You may not be converting enough leads into prospects … buyers that are primed and ready to speak with your sales reps. In other words, it’s not always a problem with leads going into the pipeline; it’s a problem with the output. Leads are leaking out or not filtering down the funnel, and not enough are becoming sales appointments.
Perhaps you’ve been considering outsourcing your B2B appointment setting, but have been hesitant to take the plunge. To help you make the decision, here are some telltale signs that your company would benefit from outsourcing your appointment setting process.
1. Your Sales Reps Are Wasting Time Nurturing Leads
Do your sales reps go into the first meeting with a buyer expecting to begin a serious sales discussion…only to discover that the so-called prospect isn’t ready to buy?
Your reps need more time for selling and closing deals. They shouldn’t be using meetings to nurture prospects and inquire about their wants and needs.
Professional appointment setters understand the art and science of setting appointments. They ask the questions necessary to distinguish a legitimate lead from a tire kicker. They can determine when that lead is serious about buying and ready to talk with sales.
When you work with a full-service B2B telemarketing firm, a team dedicated to your account can move a lead through nurturing, qualification, and appointment setting, and even prepare prospects for their first meeting with your sales rep.
2. Dirty, Incomplete and Duplicate Data Hampers Results
In today’s data-driven sales environment, maintaining clean, accurate data in your CRM is critical to your bottom line. Accurate data ensures better decision-making. More complete contact data allows your sales and marketing teams to create compelling, personalized campaigns. And when your data is clean, you can be confident that your mailings are reaching their destinations.
In addition to verifying basic contact information, a professional appointment setter knows how to draw more information from a lead. When it’s time for your sales reps to meet with prospects, they’ll be armed with company information, industry, pain points and why the buyer wants to talk with sales.
In addition to asking the right questions, a full-service firm can help manage your data. They have the tools and training to eliminate duplicate data, append new information, match and merge lists and even help segment and prioritize lead data based on your current customer list.
3. Moving Leads through Your Funnel Takes Too Long
If leads are remaining at the top of the funnel for too long and seemingly taking forever to qualify, then it’s time to bring in the professionals. They know the questions to ask in order to:
- Qualify leads quickly or put them into a nurturing cycle until they are ready
- Identify the decision-making team within a prospective account
- Determine a prospect’s fit and intent
- Identify a prospect’s problems and needs
Professional appointment setters will start building a relationship as they move prospects to a decision and set an appointment.
4. Your Sales Reps Don’t Have the Information They Need
It’s one thing to have a calendar full of appointments. It’s better to know that your first sales meeting won’t be a fishing expedition.
You want your sales reps fully prepped and primed when they go into their first meetings with prospective buyers. A team of appointment setters dedicated to your account ensures that first meetings will be time well spent—for both your reps and prospects.
Dedicated appointment setters take the time to know your products, services and the industries you serve. Because they don’t work from scripts, they are prepared to engage prospects in conversation, identify the most significant issues and open doors. Relationship building with the human touch gives your sales reps a head start.
Your salespeople can come to a meeting fully prepared to focus on real issues and solutions, which may also discourage prospects from spending a lot of time looking at your competition. And that’s a competitive advantage.
5. You’re Wasting Resources
Cut corners, and you get what you pay for. Your sales reps will be spending more time collecting information, qualifying leads and nurturing. That’s time not spent selling.
When prospects aren’t fully prepared to go into a sales meeting, sales cycles lengthen. That cuts not only into your ROI, but also your salespeople’s morale.
If you have dedicated appointment setters in house, you risk spending on unproductive overhead. If, however, you outsource appointment setting to a dedicated team of experts, you know you will get the best service. Also, you know upfront what services will cost.
You’re better able to manage your sales resources when you know your reps are laser-focused on selling, they’re going into meetings prepared, and you’ve cut overhead expenses.
When you put lead follow-up, qualification, nurturing and appointment setting in the hands of pros, your lead-to-prospect-to-customer conversion rates will increase. You’ll have more confidence in your projections and be able to set more ambitious sales goals for growing your business.