Wednesday, July 31, 2013

What Are The Secrets Of A Successful Appointment Setting Team?

What Are The Secrets Of A Successful Appointment Setting Team?
Keeping in touch with business prospects, nurturing the relationship, as well as keeping them interested in your business offering is no easy task. This is appointment setting, where the possibility of failure can be great. That is why you need the best people for this kind of work. But getting these personnel could be a far tougher task compared to your original goal. After all, these are the people who serve as the first point of contact between you and your sales leads. You need people who are brilliant, creative, innovative, as well as aggressive. For you to truly get more business coming into your firm, you need a team who can capably represent you. But for you to form such a successful marketing team, what qualities should you be nurturing inside?

They do not have back-up plans – this may sound strange, but this does make sense. When you keep creating back-up plans for every failure you think might happen, you tend to be sloppy in ensuring the success of your initial plan. Remember, in business, you need to succeed at the first try, lest your competition gets the better of you. If ever you have to create a back-up plan, make sure it will address the problems the initial plan might encounter.

They work hard nothing can be more important in improving productivity than to see your people working hard. Not that they spend all their time working, but the fact that they make the most of their time in the office being productive. This is an especially important characteristic of ideal lead generation personnel. When you have hard-working employees, most of them can do a really good work.

They do not join the crowd basically, these are the kind of people that do not go with the flow, or depend on trending market tastes. For these people, swimming against the current is natural. Usually, looking for or creating new technologies or marketing strategies can be a big help in tapping into the minds of customers. Think Apple, Google, or even Amazon. These companies became successful because they had people willing to do things differently.

They have real goals in mind what makes a marketing team successful is their ability to reach their goals. Setting an aim, a target to reach, can be a great help in focusing your efforts in finding potential B2B leads. You should also know what communication tools to use in order to reach your targets. Be it through telemarketing, social media, or email, you need to make sure that all of these can help you in your marketing efforts well.

There are other qualities of a successful appointment setting team. Anyway, the four elements mentioned above would help you get started on your path to success. If there are other things you might learn along the way, you can always add these to your list of lessons learned. Remember to believe in yourself, and work with those around you to reach the top.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Manage Conflicts In Your Appointment Setting Team – Before It Gets Worst

Manage Conflicts In Your Appointment Setting Team – Before It Gets Worst
In business, or even in real life, conflict exists. Be it a disagreement on what product or service to offer first, to the way the toilet paper is oriented in the bathroom, we all get those occasional angry or irritated vibes against someone. But once this turns into a daily occurrence, this becomes a real problem. If we put this inside an appointment setting set-up, the results could be nothing less than troublesome. So, how do we best deal with this, once this happens in our workplace? How do we handle this so as not to hinder our ability to generate and nurture our sales leads?

 Well, there are a few places that we can start:
  1. All of you meant well – keep in mind that your office is not a TV show (unless you are on Reality TV, but that would be for another story). This means that in most cases of arguments or conflicts, there is no real ulterior motive. Everyone wants to make the company grow, the problem here is that their viewpoints might clash.
  2. Try not solving the problem fast – when conflict or arguments become ugly, there might be some reason for it. Besides, if you take a side, you will end up earning the ire of the other party. Sure, solve the problem fast, and get your lead generation process moving smoothly, but the ill feeling remains. Now that is something no one really wants to have in their business.
  3.  Encourage face-to-face communication – no matter what the problem is, always make it a point that both parties talk to each other. And the need to do it face-to-face. This will help speed up the resolution of issues by directly tackling the problem, as well as help both parties reach common ground. 
  4. When necessary, take a side – basically, you are taking the third side, the arbiter’s side. When conflicts plague your telemarketing operation, you need to take action fast. Get both parties on the table. Hear them out, and only then should you make a decision for them. But do not do this often, lest they turn it into a habit and they begin bringing to you their problems all the time. Now that would turn into a bigger problem for you, as the manager. 
  5. Show what you tell – nothing beats practicing what you preach. When you deal with problems in the office, which compels you to set down specific rules, make sure that you are following these rules yourself. In this way, your employees will see that you mean business, as well as make you more successful in pushing these changes in the office.

Conflicts are normal in business. Without it, there would really be no real growth happening in your lead generation campaign. It is in how you manage things that it makes all the difference. So you should know how to deal with it in your business. As a business manager, this is one of your most important duties.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

In Effective Appointment Setting, Think Like Your Customers

Customers can be a real puzzle for some marketers. They can either be a source of profitable sales leads, or they simply leave you hanging in the course of your lead generation campaign. A lot of marketers define their market simply by their demographic profiles alone. But to truly understand your customers, to truly see them as your customers, you should go beyond knowing facts like their gender, age and geographic location. The more details you know about them, the more capable you are in creating a sales pitch or an appointment setting campaign that is precisely what your prospects need.

The only question is, how will you do that?

To start with, try stepping in their shoes. Spend time and talk to your customers and business prospects. Ask them about their business, what they do every day, as well as the challenges that the face regularly. You involve themselves in their daily activities. What you learn there are very important insights as to what makes their business tick, and if there are any lose gears, you have the appropriate solution to help them. Believe it or not, but spending time with your prospective B2B leads will help be a better marketer, not to mention partner, for their business. You just have to make a contribution.

Second, try using social media and telemarketing as an aid to your marketing research. Social media marketing can help open up new avenues and insights about your business, giving a better grasp of what they want, what they need, what they fear, as well as what they desire. Telemarketing , on the other hand, is an excellent communication tool with business executives when discussing business. It is formal, structured, with a directness that a lot of marketers favor for quick shop talks with their prospects. There are so many things that you can learn by talking and involving your company in their social and business circles. You catch something of your fancy.

Lastly, create a survey and feedback strategy for your customers. Serving them is good, that is true, but ensuring that you really are serving them good is just as important. That is why you need to monitor the market, looking for discontent and promptly addressing the hurt. Conducting market surveys are very useful in revealing what customers have in mind when they think of your business, plus it is direct and private enough to encourage their candidness. As a marketer, you need to ensure that your customers are satisfied and happy with what you are offering them. Asking them directly would be best.

Keeping yourself in touch with your customers is essential for the success of your marketing campaigns. Without first understanding what your customers want, you would not know where to start. Yes, there are marketing gurus saying that a customer does not really know what they want, but it never hurts to learn a thing or two for their lead generation campaigns. There are so many things that you can discover.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Six Ways To Boost Your Productivity

Productivity is an important part of business. This determines how much work you will be able to do in a day. Now, how can you increase your productivity?

Being productive is an important characteristic that must be observed in all parts of an organization. After all, being able to deliver your daily requirement ensures that your firm can operate at its full potential. But the problem here is this: how can you stay productive in the office or, rather, be able to boost your productivity? This is an issue that has long bothered many firms, especially those in the lead generation campaign. How can you be able to get more B2B sales leads for your company? The answer can actually be simple. If you follow these points well, then you will observe a greater performance level for you.

Work backwards – in this case, towards your goals, not from it. Break down the goal into its smallest parts, then do each part as best as you could. Not only will you be able to get the job done faster, you get the feeling that you really did something in a single day.

No to multi-tasking – if you think that multi-tasking will help you do more, then you are sadly mistaken. In fact, according to one study conducted by TNS Research, employees actually end up getting dumber in work when they do a variety of tasks all at the same time. Concentrate on one work at a time. You will do more this way.

Eliminate distractions – if you have to post a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on your door, do so. In fact, if you can come up with any working idea, even if it may sound bizarre, just so that you can concentrate on your work, then do so. If it can help you improve your productivity, as well as getting the best work done at the best time, then you should do it.

Make a schedule – when you need to check your e-mail, make a call, or look at business updates, then you should set a schedule when you are going to do it. Also, try not replying to e-mails more than twice. Unless you need to put things in writing, a simple telephone call might actually get the job done faster.

Work with a goal – one reason why distractions seem to be irresistible is because you might not have a clear goal in mind. Try setting a goal for yourself, of what you want to finish for the day. You may not be able to do them all (yes, there are times it happens), but at least you can be sure that you are going somewhere.

Work in intervals – 60 to 90 minutes of focused work can actually get you done fast. After that, take a short break like getting a drink, walking around a bit, as well as other activities that will take your mind of work for a few minutes. Not only will this refresh your mind, it will also help you concentrate better on the next task that you have to do.

If you want to boost your productivity, then these pointers will help you get there.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Four Things That Demoralize Your Appointment Setting Team

All right, we business owners and entrepreneurs all know how important it is to inspire and compel our appointment setting team to be at their very best when they are at work. To do that, we use various tactics and strategies to keep morale up, as well as boost their desire to be better in their work of generating qualified sales leads. Come to think of it, there are many choices available. Still, there are still some of us who make the mistake of choosing the wrong motivator. There is also the possibility that our actions and decisions, while it seems warranted or all right in our eyes, may actually bring down morale in our office. Ever wonder what these usual culprits are?

Cash rewards – people need money, there is no question about that. Offering good pay to those responsible for your lead generation campaign is good business practice. But using monetary rewards as the sole motivator for your employees is not exactly a brilliant idea. To tell you the truth, there are other ways to make your people work better, money not being one of them.

Multi-tasking – yes, we know you are a busy person, and that you need to be there in every aspect of your business. But common sense will tell you that you cannot do everything at the same time. You need to know when to compromise or to simply concentrate in a meeting with your subordinates. It can be disheartening to your people if they see you tapping on your tablet while they kept talking in front. Unless it is an emergency (which means you should not be having a meeting anymore), put away your tablet and focus at the talk at hand.

Inconsistency of message – this is something that a lot of business managers tend to overlook, since they often assume that everyone knows what they are talking about, even if the content varies from person to person. Please, avoid that error. A lot of miscommunication and resentment can be caused by a simple mix-up of terms or inconsistency of message and action on your part.

Criticism of ideas – sure, it is all right to critique the suggestions of your employees during a meeting, but outright criticizing them for even suggesting it in the first place is downright counter-productive. Steve Jobs once shot down the Macintosh computers in favor of his own Lisa computers, saying that it will not work. Well, we all know how wrong Jobs was on that. There are gems of truth in every suggestion or plan that could help you telemarketing team generate more B2B leads, so it pays to take them all with a grain of salt.

If you notice the pattern, you can see that all of these demoralizing actions that you can do to your team are actually harmless when done moderately or at minimum. Try minimizing these mistakes, and you can make your appointment setting team perform better. You just have to give them the chance to shine.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Why Should Software Companies Do Outsourcing To An Appointment Setting Company?

Many appointment setting firms these days offer their services to companies in any industry especially those that are dealing with b2b or business to business transactions. But, one of the industries that most of these b2b outbound telemarketing firms that are most popular with is the software industry where different software companies like for example those shipping software companies are offering not software products but offering software solutions because they know that there is a big difference between software products and software solutions and this is why some of these software companies know that outsourcing to these b2b telemarketing services firms or to an appointment setting company is their best investment.

But, why should these software companies try to do outsourcing to an appointment setting company that employs highly trained professional appointment setters to generate qualified leads and know more about the client company to be able to know their needs and if they really have the budget to invest on these telemarketing lead generation campaign when, the fact of the matter is, they have the resources and the manpower to make their own lead generation software to help them in their quest in gathering and generating software leads and business leads?

The reason behind why software companies would prefer to do outsourcing to these telemarketing firms or appointment setting company is because they may have the software but they don’t have the manpower with the right training and the right facilities to get the job done of setting up appointments between sales agents and the decision maker of a potential company client. It doesn’t really matter if they have the best software but if they don’t have the best professional appointment setters, everything will be gone to waste. They can develop software for generating qualified leads and do lead nurturing and management but this can all be worthless if they don’t have someone to do this kind of responsibility.

Most software companies will agree to these. They know that they have the people to develop all types of software but they needed some kind of ally that can utilize what they have and fuse it with the employment of a battery of telemarketers that can do face-to-face appointment setting services or arrange face-to-face appointments on their behalf. They may expect inbound telemarketing but what about outbound telemarketing? Honestly, software companies really don’t have the time to do outbound telemarketing and reach out to potential clients and letting them know what they are offering to them. If they will be the one to do lead generation and promoting product awareness, all they can offer are software products but not software solutions.

By offering nothing but software products, they may be talking to the wrong kind of people or they are talking to the right decision maker but they may be offering the wrong type of product. By offering software solutions, they know what they will be offering to the decision maker that will really be needed by the company that that decision maker is representing.

That is the reason why software companies should do outsourcing to an appointment setting company and if they do, not only they will be availing the best telemarketing services but they can also get the opportunity of utilizing other marketing methods such as email marketing, social media marketing and SEO or search engine optimization and even be provided with a targeted call list which will be very beneficial to them.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Best Practices in Appointment Setting: Mentally Preparing for an Outbound Telemarketing Call

Just like in any sport or competition, one must gear up for the battle. Indeed, in a craft such as outbound telemarketing and appointment setting, which requires determination, perseverance and the skill to converse intelligently, one’s mental preparations are as important as – if not more than - the physical. Organizing the mind prior to a call helps professional telemarketers in expertly handling both the expected and the unexpected.

It’s basically a battle of will and words; whoever can dominate during a call can dictate the outcome. Prospect clients do not have the luxury of seeing and feeling the product or service being pitched to them, rather, they rely on mere words in order for them to succumb to an appointment with genuine interest.

And words are more pleasant to the ear when it’s logical and well-thought of.

Common Responses
 During a call, the exchange of statements and questions between the telemarketer and the prospect would determine the flow of the conversation. The ultimate test for the telemarketer is to be able to respond appropriately to anything thrown at him - one wrong response can ruin everything. The odds of getting dominated by the prospect can be reduced if one would “pre-determine” the possible questions beforehand. Through time, one’s experience in countless similar calls can help him recognize a pattern on what objections usually arise during a pitch, therefore leading him into constructing effective responses.

Transition to Setting the Appointment
One major difficulty in appointment setting is timing. The call flow usually dictates a certain order: introduce, discuss, overcome objections, and then set the appointment. This sequence is standard - one cannot simply skip the introduction and proceed to discussion, or skip the discussion and set the appointment right away, and so on. Therefore, one needs patience and a smooth shift from one phase to another. Rushing to set the appointment may sound pushy for the prospect; on the other hand, over-discussing the product/service may become dragging and may dissipate the prospect’s interest. In order to maintain the flow, there must be a good balance of information and transitioning to setting up the appointment.

Handling hard and soft NOs
When the moment of truth comes, telemarketers must also be mentally prepared to handle it. While positive responses are always easier to deal with, it’s the NOs that usually require skill to overcome. A hard “no” is the most common comeback from prospects, and it is sometimes followed by the termination of the call. But if the opportunity to end the call properly is still given, a telemarketer must be ready to close the conversation in a way that is still professional and courteous. Alternatively, a soft “no” is the silver lining and requires a more delicate touch. These are potential opportunities in the future, and when a soft “no” is given, a telemarketer must respond in such a way that the prospect would still have pleasure in getting in touch in the future. It must not be resistant to the objection but rather it must be done in an understanding, appreciative manner. Preparedness is a basic human instinct but sometimes, because of the evil of familiarity and self-assurance, people forget the value of being ready. As they say, luck favors those who are prepared.