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11 Ideas to Guarantee Outsourced Appointment Setting ROI


Partnership Thinking about outsourcing appointment setting?  Your decision is more than simply a question of evaluating the vendor.  It’s also a question of evaluating yourself!  Sure your vendor needs to perform.  But ROI is all about a partnership.  Half of the partnership is you.  It’s like a marriage.  Don’t get married because you “fall in love.”  The best marriages last because of a long-term shared outlook that lasts long after the infatuation ends.  Your vendor doesn’t want a one and done (hint – it’s not particularly good for them financially either).  They’re looking for that special someone for a long term relationship.

Not sure if you are ready to ‘tie the knot’ with your vendor?  Ask yourself these questions: 

  1. What is the state of your marketing and web presence and how is it affecting your appointment setting campaign (positively, neutrally, or is it so bad that it has a negative effect)?  If your prospects cancel frequently after seeing your website, you may be in trouble.
  2. Do you know your ideal customer profile and targeted buying personas?  How about the use cases for your products and services from the perspective of your customers?
  3. If yes to the last, can you repeatedly generate lists of the targeted accounts that meet your ideal customer profile criteria?  
  4. How busy are your sales reps currently?  In other words will there be enough calendar space for the appointments set by the outsourcer?
  5. What’s your plan for sales rep turnover?  Who takes appointments that are set on the calendar in the future if a sales rep quits or is terminated?
  6. What are the job profiles and comp plans of your sales reps?  Are they account managers that are supposed to do a small % of their quotas from new business or 100% dedicated hunters where they really need appointment setting?  If the sales reps aren’t on board with hunting new business and the comp plans aren’t aligned, it doesn’t matter how good the meetings are that the outsourced appointment setting firm books.
  7. Do your reps have any idea of what to do with a first meeting booked by an outsourcer?  Have you certified them on conducting a discovery call?  Or do your reps get on the phone and just start demoing people to death?  Do they understand that the goal of the first meeting is to develop need and urgency to book the next meeting or do they think the goal is to close, close, close?  What skills do your reps have in areas like effective questioning, loosening the status quo, developing needs, nurturing, building urgency to invite other executives into the buying process, and pipeline management?
  8. What is your sales process methodology for evaluating opportunities?  Do you have clear sales stages that are well defined, understood, documented, and used by your sales team in your CRM/SFA tool?
  9. How do you track or flag opportunities sourced from the appointment setting campaign?  Do you have a closed loop reporting process that shows which of your sales reps are entering data into your CRM/SFA correctly?  What would an audit of your SFA/CRM system show about how your sales team is entering and tracking all appointments delivered from the outsourcer? 
  10. What are your sales cycle times?  Are your expectations around time to outsourced appointment setting ROI aligned with your historic sales cycles times for opportunities sourced through your own prospecting?  Don’t expect meetings scheduled for tomorrow to close at the end of the week.  If your sales cycle is 9 months it may shorten a little, but outsourcers aren’t miracle workers. 
  11. How do your prospect’s buy?  What are the key factors and evaluation criteria for selecting your solution?  What is your plan for nurturing opportunities where there is interest and a decision maker, but the timing for a purchase might be off?

Ensuring outsourced appointment setting ROI is half about you.  Before the altar, know thyself!



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