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SMART Appointment Setting Goals for Your Next Sales Campaign

One of the fundamental concepts of business management is setting “SMART” goals: Specific, Manageable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-Bound. Setting SMART goals for your appointment setting and lead generation is especially important. With the right mindset and management of your time and team’s resources, you can get the most out of your appointment setting opportunities and maximize your new business leads.

Here are a few key insights to keep in mind when setting SMART goals for appointment setting on your next sales campaign.

“Specific” Goals for Appointment Setting

Appointment setting is sometimes an unpredictable process and inexact science, but that doesn’t mean you can’t set specific goals. Think carefully upfront about how many appointments you can typically set in a day of calls. Map out your sales funnel and figure out your conversion rates for each step of the buyer’s journey.

For example, if your appointment setting team can make 100 calls per day, how many of those calls would you expect to turn into appointments? Set your appointment setting goals accordingly. Be specific and smart.

Make Your Appointment Setting Process “Manageable”

How do you manage the process of qualifying leads and conducting your business-critical appointment setting activities? Lead generation doesn’t just happen automatically; you need to manage the process. This might include:

  • Rethinking your sales funnel – what is each step in the B2B sales process for your particular industry or solution?
  • Understanding customer pain points: Why do B2B buyers want to hear from you? What current pain points are they dealing with in their business? How can you design your appointment setting call scripts and introductory sales conversations to show customers how you can help?
  • Create a compelling offer for the first appointment: What are you offering to customers to get them interested to sign up for that first sales appointment? Is it an online demo, a free download, or something else? Get creative. What can you give to customers as part of that first sales meeting that will be so useful and enticing that they’ll want to sign up for an appointment?

“Attainable:” The Importance of Qualifying Your Sales Leads

Qualifying Your Sales Leads

The goal of appointment setting is not to just sign up as many customers as possible; ideally, you should try to qualify your sales leads as part of the appointment setting process so that your sales team will be talking to high-quality prospects who are more likely to buy.

To help make your sales leads more attainable, have your appointment setters ask lead qualifying questions, such as:

  • What type of vendor/solution are you currently using?
  • How does your current vendor/solution fit into your overall business operations?
  • What are your biggest business challenges right now related to this solution?
  • How soon do you think you might consider making a new purchase/investment in this area?

These questions help learn more about your customers’ pain points and figure out which prospects are potentially more eager to buy. They also help your sales team learn more about your prospects’ businesses so they can go into the sales conversation with good business intelligence.

Align with “Realistic” Appointment Setting Capacity

Some B2B sales teams assume that the biggest problem is that they don’t have enough sales leads. But there really is such a thing as “too many” leads. What if you could wave a magic wand and tomorrow morning, you woke up with 1 million sales leads on your desk. Wouldn’t that be great? Well actually…it can be a problem to have too many leads.

Your sales team can only handle so many leads at once. If you get too many leads, some of the best prospects might fall through the cracks. Some people might not get called back fast enough. Also, too many leads mean that you might have too many unqualified leads. Sometimes “quality” of sales leads matters more than “quantity.” It might be better to get 5 excellent leads that are really eager to buy and who understand your solution than to get 50 unqualified leads that you have to spend time and resources to work and nurture.

Be realistic about what to expect from your sales leads, and this can help you get better results from your next appointment setting and lead generation campaign.

“Time-Bound:” Maximize Your Hours

Time is of the essence in B2B lead generation and appointment setting. Pay attention to how many calls your appointment setters can make per day, or per hour. Figure out how long it takes to convert (on average) a prospect from each stage of the early parts of the sales funnel – how many calls/points of contact do people usually need before they agree to a sales appointment or a product demo? How long does this usually take?

Understanding the time commitment involved with each part of your sales process will help you understand more about your overall sales cycle, and will help you get the most out of your appointment setting and lead generation programs.

If you’re going to invest the time, energy, and resources in B2B lead generation and appointment setting, make sure you’re doing it the SMART way: specific, manageable, attainable, realistic, and time-bound. Understanding the constraints and friction points of your sales process will help you make better-informed decisions and deliver more value for your buyers. Hopefully, these insights can help you get better-quality sales leads and achieve bigger sales results.

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