Appointment setting is a universal roadblock for businesses with the biggest determinant of success being timing. Every effective appointment setting campaign relies heavily on reaching the right person, at the right time, with the right message.
Selling B2B products and services presents a more complex sales cycle with multiple influencers and decision makers who need convincing. Because the buying timeline for each individual varies, the fortune is the follow-up.
Nurturing and following up with leads significantly increases B2B appointment- setting goal attainment. In fact, according to The Marketing Donut, “Eighty percent of leads need five follow-up calls after the initial meeting to become a sale, but 44 percent of salespeople give up after only one follow-up.”
The B2B outbound sales process is methodical, requiring schematic processes that include multiple touchpoints with a target buyer and accounts for the time between touchpoints. Knowing when to politely follow up without annoying potential clients is critical.
Here are some key findings to help you strategize and map out your follow-up lead nurturing workflows for B2B appointment setting success:
Early birds are exceptionally successful
Salespeople who follow up immediately with potential clients are more likely to convert leads into closed sales.
A survey by Lead Response Management reveals your chances of closing a sale decreases four times if you wait more than five minutes to follow up with a lead. Waiting more than 30 minutes before following up with a lead decreases your chances by 21 times.
Recommended solution: Establish a dedicated intake team to provide immediate follow-up to online inquiries and phone calls. This is not a job for secretaries or marketing coordinators. Ensure individuals responsible for doing the work have a sales-oriented background, demonstrate a sense of urgency and know how to build rapport to transition a prospect into a paying client. Having a dedicated team to address lead gen form submissions and phone inquiries will help increase your odds of qualifying a lead.
Lead scoring optimizes lead generation ROI
Not every marketing qualified lead is sales ready, so initial appointment setting may require further nurturing.
According to Gleanster, “Fifty percent of leads are qualified, but not ready to buy.”
Each prospective client requires a different follow-up routine; some may need more information through product fact sheets or case studies, while others may require video testimonials before scheduling a face-to-face meeting with your company.
Recommended solution: Salespeople will need to be flexible in their technique and able to adapt their follow-up routine to each prospect’s needs. However, each team member will need to be cognizant of the time dedicated to working each lead.
Assigning a value to each person (also known as lead scoring) based on observable actions and your understanding of their buying intentions will help you manage the time spent following a lead, and maximize the chances of conversion.
MarketingSherpa reports, “Organizations that use lead scoring experience a 77 percent lift in lead generation ROI over organizations that do not use lead scoring.”
Perseverance wins in the end
The Marketing Donut reports “Eighty percent of sales require five follow-up phone calls,” so do not be deterred if your lead is unresponsive to your first five contact attempts.
Recommended solution: Implement a multicall approach. Your intake team needs to reach out to your lead a minimum of 7-10 times via phone and at least 3-5 times via email. Engage with leads regularly, providing educational assets and product/service information to help navigate buyers through their decision path. Continue this process until your lead answers your call and/or expresses a lack of interest in your product or service.
Scheduling a qualified, B2B sales appointment requires multiple phone conversations and several email exchanges, but a properly executed lead nurturing workflow can generate more sales leads at much lower cost.
According a DemandGen Report, “Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50 percent more sales leads at 33 percent lower cost.”
Bottom line, when you work smart with clearly defined processes and targeted communications, potential customers will choose to move forward.
Elevation Marketing wants to help you reach your B2B appointment setting goals, which is why we’ve assembled the following guide containing proven B2B lead generation strategies. Grab your free copy today!