One of the biggest objections we often hear from companies that are pursuing outsourced B2B appointment setting is, “how do you ensure the leads you are producing are highly qualified?” We understand the concern surrounding lead quality, after all, that is the main goal of lead generation and key driver for successful sales. If the leads we generate aren’t qualified, your appointments will never turn into a sale which in turn means, we failed.
Quality Vs Quantity
There are many lead generation and appointment setting companies that guarantee a set number of leads per month. We don’t believe in guaranteeing a set number of appointments but rather guaranteed dial activity and maximum effort. From the amount of activity we execute, we can say we typically see a certain number of appointments set. The ratio of contacts to appointments is typically a consistent percent across the board. Our advice to you is to proceed with caution if a B2B lead generation company guarantees a set number of leads. Be inquisitive and ask them what steps they take to ensure that the leads they are producing are highly qualified for your product or service.
So how do we know that the leads we are passing are high quality? There are three main ways we determine this, all of which our clients play a large role in.
#1 You determine qualifications
For starters, you tell US what makes someone qualified. During our onboarding process we spend a significant amount of time with your team developing very specific qualifications. Determining your target eligibility happens on many scales from broad factors such as asset size, region, number of locations etc, all the way down to very specific details such as contract end dates, current provider, internal vs external production and so on. Each aspect established ahead of time will help us identify prospects who are most suitable for your product and service.
Establishing your target audience is the very start of the qualification process. It’s critical to do this right off the bat simply because there is no sense in wasting energy and effort on a random database filled with junk. We know it sounds obvious but you’d be surprised how many companies waste their efforts reaching out to the wrong people. Even if you have a wide range of target options, it’s best to hone in somewhere. A more targeted approach allows for better messaging which warrants the best results.
After your general target market has been established and the database has been vetted out, we move onto more specific qualifiers. What is it that makes someone an ideal customer? What are the requirements for the most successful relationship? Just as your product or service is unique to your business, so is your qualification checklist. We develop our talk track around these to immediately determine on our calls if a contact is a viable lead. Gathering data points and engaging prospects at this stage helps with overall target insights as well as saving you time down the road.
#2 Audio recording for appointment outcomes
At MPI, transparency is our top core value. To achieve the highest level of this we record every single conversation we have on your behalf. We do this for several reasons: receive feedback on our messaging and delivery, provide you with target and industry insights and to assist you with prospect education before your sales calls.
Call recordings are the most accurate way for our quality assurance team to review performance. Our team dedicates hours listening to many types of conversations and provides feedback to sales reps. Appointment call outcomes in particular allow us to understand what’s working well. Not interested or information request outcomes allow us to gain insight about pivot and objection handling strategies. We highly encourage clients to review calls and provide feedback as well. While this task is time consuming, it is vital and every sales team can benefit from listening to their calls.
Audio recordings are an extremely important asset available to you particularly for calls resulting in an appointment. Hear for yourself just how the conversation went and prepare for your sales presentation based on the discussion. It also gives you an opportunity to review qualifiers specifically. You can determine during these discussions whether or not we are asking enough qualifying questions at the appropriate time.
#3 Post-appointment follow up
Just because we set an appointment doesn’t mean the job is done. A prospect may check all of the required boxes and express interest, but there isn’t a guaranteed outcome. It’s important to make sure the prospect did indeed attend the appointment as well as discuss details of the conversation and what next steps may look like. This feedback can help guide other conversations over the phone. It also helps validate that we have done our job thoroughly or have adjustments to make in the qualification process.
In the chance that a prospect doesn’t show up for an appointment, we make a strong effort to reconnect and discover why. Sometimes it’s simply a schedule conflict, so we work to reset the appointment or overcome other hurdles that may have come up. In today’s world, people are busier than ever before, so it’s understandable that things happen but it’s imperative to keep things moving forward. We can’t speak for every lead generation company but we truly care about the quality of the appointments our team sets which is why we are so invested in your success.
It can be difficult to rely on the data to show us the quality of appointments set due to many contributing factors. That’s why there’s significant value in a post-appointment follow-up discussion. We love nothing more than hearing that an appointment results in a big sale! It makes our whole team realize the impact we have. That is the ultimate goal of each and every dial made.
A lot of what we shared is proprietary in how MPI ensures the quality of a lead. We are experts in lead generation and appointment setting, so all we can share is our successful experiences. With that being said, these three concepts can be implemented with your own sales team as well!
Spend time thoroughly identifying what an ideal customer looks like to you. From there, establish which questions are top priority to ask on your initial phone call to ensure a prospect is qualified. Don’t be afraid of disqualifying someone - it will save everyone time in the long run!
Invest in a phone system that allows you to record your conversations. You don’t want to rely on memory. Sometimes appointments occur later down the road and it can be hard to remember details from the initial conversation. These conversations are also valuable for continues sales and marketing efforts. The more conversations you have the more insights you gain.
Always have a post-appointment follow up with your sales team. There may be times when others on the team will see or hear something that you are missing. If a prospect was a no-show don’t take it as a no never. Continue to make an effort and get something on the books.