11 Questions to Ask Before Evaluating Outsourced Appointment Setting Companies
Are you thinking about outsourced appointment setting? Your decision is more than simply a question of evaluating appointment setting companies, it’s also a question of evaluating yourself! Yes, the appointment setting company needs to perform, but ROI is about creating a partnership. Half of the appointment setting partnership is you, it’s like a marriage.
The Golden Rule of Outsourced Appointment Setting
Don’t get married just because you “fell in love.” The best marriages last because of a long-term shared outlook that lasts long after the infatuation ends. Your partner doesn’t want a one and done (it’s not particularly good for them financially either), they’re looking for that special someone for a long term relationship. This same logic applies to the outsourced appointment setting process.
Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Appointment Setting
1. What’s the state of your marketing and web presence? How could it affect your appointment setting campaign - neutral, positive or is it so bad that it has a negative effect? If your prospects cancel frequently after seeing your website, you might be in trouble.
2. Do you know your ideal customer profile (ICP) and targeted buying personas? How about the use cases for your products and services? If yes, can you repeatedly generate lists of the target accounts (companies) that meet your ICP criteria that your appointment setting firm could go after?
3. Do you have someone on your team that can be the main point of contact for the campaign and communicate with the outsourced appointment setting company on a regular basis?
4. How busy are your sales reps? In other words will there be enough time on their calendars for the scheduled appointments?
5. What’s your plan for sales rep turnover? Who will take scheduled appointments if sales reps resign, are promoted or terminated?
6. What are the profiles and comp plans of your sales reps? Are they account managers that are supposed to get a small % of their quotas from new business or 100% dedicated hunters where they really need appointment setting for sales calls? If the sales reps aren’t on board with hunting new business through appointment setting sales calls and the comp plans aren’t aligned, it doesn’t matter how good the meetings are that the outsourced appointment setting company is scheduling.
7. Do your reps have any idea of what to do with sales calls scheduled by an outsourced appointment setting company? Have you certified them on conducting discovery calls that come through the appointment setting process? Or do your reps get on the appointment setting sales call and just start demoing people to death? Do they understand that the goal of the first meeting is to develop the 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?
9. How do you track or flag opportunities from the outsourced appointment setting campaign? Do you have a closed loop reporting process that shows which of your sales reps are entering data into your CRM correctly? Would an audit of your CRM show how your sales team is entering and tracking your outsourced appointment setting lead progress?
10. What’s your average deal size and sales cycle? Are your expectations around outsourced appointment setting ROI aligned with your historic sales cycles 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 outsourced appointment setting companies aren’t miracle workers.
11. How do your prospects buy? What are the key factors and evaluation criteria for selecting your solution? What’s your plan for nurturing opportunities where there is interest and a decision maker, but the timing for a purchase might be off?