That’s it, you’ve done it! You’ve been honing your account-based selling approach and dedicating your time to a customized messaging strategy that has allowed you to qualify the target account that you’ve been working so hard on. You have all of the information you need in order to pass along this great opportunity to your closing sales rep. Now, all you have to do is set that first appointment for the next step.

As a sales development rep, there’s no greater feeling than getting on the phone with a targeted prospect, fully qualifying them, and passing them as an outstanding sales opportunity. It’s easy to get excited and assume that your prospect believes your offering to be as great of a fit for them as you do. And then, the appointment date rolls around and your closing rep hops on the conference line to the sound of…crickets.

Your closing rep walks over to the sales development team and asks, “What happened? I thought you said this was a great opportunity? I waited on the conference bridge for 15 minutes and your prospect never showed.

Your heart sinks. You thought for sure this account would be eager to discuss next steps with your rep and watch the tailored demo. Did you just assume they would show up at the agreed upon date, with no follow-up reminders or further contact?

To avoid that situation, there are seven steps and an objection handling formula that can be put in place to increase the success of booking appointments that actually occur. Start off by determining a standardized lead qualification and hand-off process for the whole sales team.

Before setting any appointments, a standardized sales process MUST be in place that is clearly mapped out, functional, and adopted by every team member. Defining a sales process that starts at the top of the funnel – from marketing to a closed sale – is step one to basically any other sales initiative you are looking to tackle.

At this stage, one aspect of the sales playbook should be focused on in particular, and that’s the lead hand-off process. This process should be well-documented and cover requirements needed from both, the sales development rep that is qualifying and passing the lead, and the closing rep. Expectations around what a qualified lead consists of and how it should be passed from one team to another should be crystal clear and documented.

To increase your conversion rates, use our 7 steps to book sales appointments that actually happen.

Download our latest guide, Align Your Sales Team to Increase Appointments & Pipeline Conversion Velocity, and don’t let sales opportunities slip away!