31 Dec 2020

How to make outbound prospecting generate B2B sales appointments in 2021

Having B2B Sales appointments is the lifeblood for any business. That is because if you don’t sales appointments you won’t be able to generate sales revenues.

And without the sales revenue, we all know business existence itself in question.

Now when it comes to generating sales appointments, 2020 had been a watershed year. A lot of things got changed from the pure traditional model of lead generation and converting them to appointments.

For some, this may seem obvious, But if it isn’t, then I am glad you are reading this.  You can watch this below video

What is Appointment generation?

It is mainly a set of processes, tactics, and actions that you implement to…

  1. Define your ideal prospect, and identify the right channel to connect to reach to them
  2. Get your ideal prospect attention and attract
  3. Offer value, build social proof, the authority with your best prospects to gain their trust
  4. Get your prospect to schedule a meeting with you
  5. Finally, convert into paying customer or client

What Are The Different Ways To Get More B2B Sales Appointments?

Generating appointments comes in many shapes and sizes. There is not a single way to get leads interested in working with you. 

But here’s where most businesses start…

Inbound prospecting (Website, Online Advertising Lead Generation)

Now the common theme digital marketing is to focus getting appointments from your websites, running online ads etc.

This is great if your business is established and you need a lot of leads and appointments every month or your clients are from consumers who are each to reach from online.

For B2B, investing your time and money in running ads on social media or search engines is a big task and can make a big difference only if ready for significant investment in terms of time and resources. 

Now that many are doing this, the ad costs are rising, and unless you have the best marketing resources, getting the return on investment needed to justify the budget is not easy.

If you are like many businesses and don’t have a budget or complex sales funnel in place there are other ways to try initially. 

Traditional methods (Referral, Partners based)

Getting referrals from friends, family, clients, and other centers of influence who work with similar clients as you is one of the best ways to generate leads. 

The idea is referrals are easier to sell, typically have higher sales value, and have an acquisition cost is zero. 

The issue is unless you have a significant client base you can’t get referrals. Also adding partners you must have a clear incentive structure planned out and partners must work for you over others

Simply relying on people to send business your way is not a pro-active strategy. This will work definitely as you establish but entering new market, new products, or starting new, relying on referrals can prove to be expensive!

Outbound prospecting (personal outreach)

This is something that has been working great over the last 12 months or so.

Simply put, the best way for most businesses to generate leads and get more sales opportunities is reaching out directly. Today with the advantage of LinkedIn and E-mail, there is the perfect combination to outreach your cold prospects and warm them with content so they are ready for appointments. 

These potential leads that could be prospected are hundreds and can find LinkedIn, previous business contacts, people you meet at events, your existing email list.

The need to build relationships with cold prospects is very high as there is sense of lack of trust now!

For someone to consider doing business and spending with you, trust is key and it needs to be established right from the prospecting.

The key here is to not go for the quick sale. Instead, you first want to gain their trust through content, resources, and conversation.

Engage them positively with you by connecting to their pain points, goals, visions so that they consider you someone who can help them and ready to meet. 

This method earlier required extensive manual work and was limited to very high ticket clients. But today with sophisticated tools, this can be done for hundreds of prospects per month if not thousands, and gain consistent appointments.

What Method Is Right For You?

Only you can answer this question. I listed three options above but there are hundreds of lead generation strategies that you can try. 

For most B2B businesses who sell a service or high-cost product, you need to be more deliberate with your appointment generation method. 

Relying on just quick one-time connections, forums, website SEO, ads, may not be the best effort. From our experience, I suggest to most businesses, salespeople who want to get business development in a low-cost way with high effectiveness, start with outbound prospecting.