Appointment Setting & B2B Lead Generation Training: When & What to Expect

Appointment Setting Training Can be the Spark that Makes the Difference, or a Total Waste. How to Tell?

When it comes to appointment setting training, failure is a lot easier to predict than success.

You can teach all the right things about sales lead generation but without implementation, it is all for naught.

Or, there can be implementation that is totally useless. Let me explain.

Readers of these notes have heard me say repeatedly that b2b appointment setting and lead generation success is largely determined before anyone picks up the phone. Are expectations of appointment setting success reasonable or hallucinations? This is easy to figure out.

I never let a b2b appointment setting client tell me what to do

In my calling days many clients would try to control who was called and what was said. It never happened. I picked the list. I wrote the scripts. If they wouldn’t cooperate with my B2B sales lead generation process, I walked.

Why? Because failure was predictable before we even started trying to set appointments.

If organizations have closed minds on predictive elements of setting sales appointments, it is a huge red flag and a situation to avoid. Even great appointment setting and b2B lead generation prospecting training is not going to help.

Who should be called and in what priority, how value and credibility is communicated, how you are setup for calling efficiency have major major impact on whether you can reasonably expect prospecting results. Successful b2b appointment setters ponder these questions.

If an organization is primarily pulling names from google searches, or calling Chamber of Commerce or Trade Show lists they are not going to consistently set qualified b2b sales appointments and no amount of training will help.

If an individual or organization is calling off spreadsheets or paper lists there is little hope of increasing lead generation productivity. Good luck.

If appointment-setting companies are resistant to using certain sales script structures that lead to selling meetings or brainstorming new credibility and value statements (create a pile of words) then it is unlikely their message will have sufficient impact to get the job done.

For B2B Appointment Setting Results, Not Everything has to be Perfect

Not every element of an appointment setting program need be perfect to generate more qualified leads. For example, b2b appointment setters might be dealing with a legacy crm/contact manager that is woefully inadequate and a time waster but there is no quick fix. Or, people are using modified Email programs to call from and getting away from that is not going to happen overnight.

In those cases, if a company recognizes that there is a weak link in their setting sales appointments process that must be addressed at some point, we often can do a temporary work around. We look to see what minor changes can be made in that area that will help, knowing that it still isn’t great, yet it is the best we can do for now. That is OK.

In that instance you can still…
fine tune your list so more appointment setting calls are made to higher probability higher worth suspects,
modify your lead generation call process so that you have more conversations with decision-makers and get more call backs,
punch up your phone scripts so that your value and credibility is communicated and you don’t sound like every other b2b appointment setter that  calls.

In that example you can still move forward and perfect other component parts of success, knowing that you have to loop back at some point and improve your weak link to really add fuel to the fire. That is OK.

Maybe an appointment setting massage is all you need

I often work with successful companies that are setting sales appointments yet need to kick it up a notch. Maybe there is not quite enough in the pipeline, maybe there are too many appointments being made with low hanging fruit and the higher-value higher-worth targets are elusive, maybe competitors are making inroads in your market. Even successful appointment-setting companies can use a tune-up once in a while.

Do you believe in the 2% difference? I do. B2b appointment setting success is the result of a series of small differences in multiple areas that add up to major impact. Small improvements in the areas of list selection, contact manager use and setup, call process, scripting, how to ask for an appointment, handling objections and follow-up, add up to a major competitive advantage in lead generation. Individually, these small differences are not difficult to diagnose or alter.

Your appointment setting process might just need a tune-up or massage. If you have an open mind, getting an outside experienced view of what could be improved, what changes would have the most impact and when, and how best to implement them, can give you that small boost you need to realize a major boost in b2b lead generartion productivity. With that mindset, coaching helps you evaluate, training helps you implement.

Where appointment setting training will not work to improve b2b lead generation results

You can put lipstick on Arnold the pig from Green Acres, but you still have a pig. A very charming pig, but still a pig. You can do all the fancy talk, spout great strategies and ideas and provide great appointment setting training, but if the infrastructure is broken or crippled, it is a waste.

If companies are seeing qualified appointments dry up yet insistent that they “just need scripts” without evaluating other components, training or coaching will not help.

If management expects a sales coach to make a difference with a team ill equipped to get results, training will not help.

Where Appointment Setting Training will help

If there is open and candid evaluation and discussion about all component parts of appointment setting success, training and coaching can help.

If there are pieces that cannot be fixed to satisfaction fairly soon, if there is a recognition and understanding of weaker links so that there are reasonable expectations, you can move forward on what can be improved and fix the weak links when time and money allow.

B2B appointment setting is a process

Improving a B2B appointment setting program is a process, not an event. Few individuals or companies have the luxury of building a program from a clean sheet of paper. There are commonly elements and habits in place that will not be easy to change.

So long as there is open and candid discussion as to all elements of b2b appointment setting success, training can help.

Otherwise, you are just putting a lot of fancy lipstick on a pig.

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