Should You Outsource B2B Appointment Setting?

Outsourcing appointment setting to a service, instead of using your SDR team, has its challenges. Sales development is very different from appointment setting. With claims that the service will set up so many appointments that your sales team will beg them to stop, it may sound like your sales will go through the roof. It may also appear that your reps will be freed up to sell instead of dialing, qualifying, and scheduling…but aren’t these critical components of inside sales and the SDR role? The differences between SDRs and appointment setters are where issues arise.

What is Outsourced Appointment Setting?

Outsourced appointment setting typically starts out with a SaaS application dialing numbers on a list. As connections are made, human agents navigate phone trees and gatekeepers to reach prospects and schedule appointments for your reps.

Consider these differences before outsourcing appointment-setting to a service:

Outsourced Appointment SettingFocus

Appointment setting is about scheduling an appointment with anyone who is willing to talk. The prospect may not be the correct person or may not be open to a sales conversation. Plus, if there are multiple parties that should be involved, the appointment may be unproductive. In contrast, the goal of sales development is to create sales qualified leads (SQLs). Appointments may be the end result, but only with qualified leads who are ready for serious sales discussions. And with all decision makers included.

Depth

An SDR has much more in-depth conversations with prospects. Sales development reps ask probing questions to discover pain points and qualify leads. Appointment setters don’t dig deep because their main goal is to set an appointment. Plus they don’t have the depth of knowledge to have the same quality of conversation as a rep.

Technique

Sales development involves so many techniques. It is multi-pronged – involving campaigns, websites, lead nurturing and prospecting calls to create SQLs. Appointment setting, on the other hand, is much more transactional.

Results

Although appointment setters may set up more appointments, a lower percentage will result in sales. This leads to wasted resources such as reps having more appointments with unqualified leads. This means more effort for lower returns than if SDRs made the initial calls themselves.

Missed Training Opportunities

Reps miss out on training opportunities when an appointment-setting service is used. They don’t develop skills like getting to the right contact, qualifying, pitching, answering objections and probing for pain points.

Context

Reps must rely solely on the appointment-setter’s notes to gain context.  They miss out on the opportunity to develop a rapport or a relationship. Qualifying questions may need to be asked along with probing questions to understand pain points. And this means reps may prepare for the call unnecessarily.

Although the goal of utilizing appointment-setting services may be to increase overall rep productivity, they do the opposite. So, how can reps make more qualified appointments in less time and increase sales?

With RingDNA’s Intelligent Dialer, reps can increase their call volume without sacrificing conversation quality. They can focus on scheduling only with qualified leads. They don’t waste valuable appointment time with unqualified leads. And all parties will be included if applicable. Reps are able to capture and view the entire history of activities, providing them with the context that they need to effectively help prospects. The results are a higher ratio of sales to appointments plus a well-trained, experienced SDR team. Not only that, every call and activity is automatically logged in Salesforce, keeping reps productive.

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About the Author

Melissa Halim

Melissa Halim oversees Marketing at RingDNA. "Full-stack marketer" is a trendy term, but she feels it describes most marketers today that have to know and do it all. Having dabbled in product management, Melissa's a huge customer advocate and sees it as the most rewarding (and conversion-driving, revenue-generating) "strategy" for all things related to Marketing. Oh, and she asks a lot of questions (journalism major), but if you answer with "puppies" or "dogs," you'll be good.

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