Cold Calling Appointment Setting Strategies for B2B Companies

There are a lot of great marketing software solutions and technology shortcuts available today to help companies with cold outreach B2B appointment setting, but one of the most effective tools is from the pre Internet era: phone calls. If you’re trying to get better results from your lead generation services, one of the best strategies is to use a cold calling B2B appointment setting approach.

Cold Calling Appointment Setting

Let’s look at how your company can use the phone to your best advantage – and turn your B2B appointment setting cold outreach into “warm” business leads.

What is B2B Appointment Setting Cold Calling?

During the lead generation process, one of the most important steps is cold calling B2B appointment setting prospects and inviting them to a sales meeting. Appointment setters work from a cold outreach contact list – a list of names and job titles of your target sales prospects, the people who you most want to reach. This contact list might include email addresses or LinkedIn profiles; sometimes the appointment setters will use email, social media messages, or text messages to do their cold outreach to prospects. But the rubber hits the road when your lead generation team picks up the phone.

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Here is how the B2B appointment setting cold calling process typically works:

  1. Build a cold outreach contact list: Sometimes this contact information can be purchased from a public database, but most good lead generation companies will want to supplement this list with additional research and details.
  2. Create a cold calling sales script: Before they dial the first number on their contact list, good appointment setters will develop a script. Every conversation needs to be short, concise, and high-impact. Your appointment setting team might only have a few seconds to make a good impression on a prospect. The script should introduce your company, explain why your prospect is receiving this phone call, share details on how your solution can help solve their problems, and ask for a follow-up conversation in the form of a sales meeting or online demo.
  3. Start calling: B2B appointment setting can take time, and it requires persistence and attention to detail. Many people won’t answer the phone on the first attempt. Good appointment setters aren’t afraid to keep trying.
  4. Keep track of contacts: Your appointment setting team might need to leave voice mails and attempt to contact the prospect via multiple message formats – email, LinkedIn, and phone. Keep track of which prospects have been contacted on which dates, by which methods.
  5. Make the ask: Remember, your B2B appointment setting process is not intended to close the sale. You don’t have to achieve every step of the sales process right away. Appointment setting is just the first step. You’re trying to make a simple, approachable, do-able “ask.” All you’re asking for is, “Will you agree to meet with our sales team?” Or “can I schedule a time to talk with you in more detail and offer information?” Or “can we get on your calendar to book a product demo?” The exact wording that you use might be different depending on what you sell or your preferred communication style. Do it in a way that feels natural to you. But every appointment setting call needs to make a clear, specific “ask” and invite the prospect to agree to participate in a next step of the sales process.

Cold calling is a traditional sales skill that has not gone out of style. Ambitious, goal oriented B2B sales and marketing professionals cannot just sit at their desks and hide behind email and social media all day. Sometimes you need to pick up the phone and make some conversations happen.

Cold Calling B2B Appointment Setting

Top Strategies for Cold Outreach B2B Appointment Setting

Being an appointment setter takes a special kind of sales-focused, highly motivated personality. Some people are natural appointment setters, but everyone can learn from the secrets of the top performers. Over the years, here are a few strategies we’ve learned from rock star appointment setters.

Be Persistent

The best B2B appointment setting professionals tend to have a dogged, relentless attitude. They’re like bloodhound dogs; they have a “nose” for finding the trail and getting the sales conversation started. Whether it’s tracking down an email address or finding a prospect’s cell phone on LinkedIn, or doing that extra bit of research to learn how to correctly pronounce a prospect’s name or understand the context of how a prospect fits into the larger industry, the best appointment setters make the extra effort.

Don’t Take “No” Seriously

B2B appointment setting cold outreach involves a lot of rejection, a lot of calls that go straight to voicemail, and a lot of hangups and “no’s” for an answer. The best B2B appointment setters don’t take it personally. They stay level-headed and optimistic, and keep trying. Remember: not everyone is going to be ready to take your call, but almost everyone that cold outreach contact list is a potential customer who really would benefit from the solution that you sell.

Use “Omnichannel” Cold Outreach

B2B appointment setters are often working from a contact list that includes multiple means of contact: phone, email and more. If possible, it’s best to use cold calling and other channels of cold outreach. Leave a voice mail and send an email to remind the prospect that you called. Introduce yourself via direct message on LinkedIn, and then mention that you’ll be calling to follow up. Every point of contact is a chance to show the prospect that you’re a real person, you have a valuable reason for talking with them, and that you’re committed to getting a conversation started.

Know “Why” You’re Calling

The best B2B appointment setting teams are more than just telemarketers or cold-callers. They are knowledgeable professionals who are the first point of contact for the sales process. Appointment setters don’t have to be technical experts, but they need to know a helpful level of detail about the prospect’s business, their business pain points, and how the solution can help. Ultimately, your cold calls and B2B cold outreach will be more effective if you have a strong sense of purpose and mission. Knowing why your solution can help your prospects save money, boost productivity, improve their business performance, and make their everyday lives easier will also help you stay motivated to keep dialing the phone.

B2B appointment setting cold calling is a time-tested part of the lead generation process. Don’t assume that cold calls have gone the way of the rotary phone and the Rolodex; even in today’s complex business environment of social media, marketing software, email automation, and mobile apps, there is still a valuable role for phone calls. Remember, your B2B appointment setters don’t have to close the deal on the first call. They just need to start the process, begin to build a sales relationship, learn more about the prospect, and make the “ask” to keep the sales conversation going.

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